John Whittaker

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John Avery Whittaker
Whit with bible.png
Video appearances
Episode mentions
Entrepreneur\ CEO of Whit's End\ Chairman of the Board for UPF
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John redirects here. For other uses see John (disambiguation).

Minister John Avery Whittaker, known to most of his friends as Whit, is the main fictional character of Adventures in Odyssey and the namesake of Odyssey's most famous attraction, Whit's End. Whit invents machines and runs the Whit's End soda shop, which also showcases his inventions. Two of his inventions are the ROC (Room of Consequences) and the Imagination Station. He has a few employees, which over the years have included Eugene Meltsner, Connie Kendall, Nick Mulligan, and Wooton Bassett. He was originally voiced by Hal Smith; after Smith's death in 1994, Whit left Odyssey to lead an archaeological mission in Israel for the Universal Press Foundation, of which he is the CEO. Whit returned to Odyssey in 1996 and was voiced by Paul Herlinger until 2008. In 2009, Andre Stojka started voicing Whit when Paul Herlinger retired. To honor Whit in 2015, Focus on the Family created The John Avery Whittaker Award.


See also: Timeline of Whit's past

The character of Whit is somewhat of an enigma. His actual age is never mentioned in the audio series, but we can assume he was in his late teens or early twenties when serving in the Pacific in WWII. This would put him to be about 65 at the start of the radio series and about 100 as of 2024 but there is no hard confirmation of that. According to Radio Scripts, Volume 1 and the Original Complete Guide, Whit was born on October 1st, contradicting the The Caves of Qumran which suggests that Whit's birthday is August 14, 1939 which would make him 84 as of 2024. However, the writers have informed fans that the character of Whit is ageless.

Early life

Although born in Scotland, Whit does not have a Scottish accent. Whit's family moved to North Carolina when he was nine years old, where his father, Harold, taught at Duke University and married his stepmother, Fiona Donneral. During a horseback riding accident, his stepmother was struck by a branch and lost her sight as a result. Young Whit saw the accident as his fault, but in the end, her faith and contentment about her situation were the biggest influences on his faith. These events were flash-backed to in #49: “Thank You, God”. In #94: “Operation Digout” he also mentions that he was attending Duke University before he was drafted into the military.


Whit served in the U.S. Navy as a signalman on the USS Irongate during World War II in the Pacific, having been deployed shortly before the Battle of Guadalcanal (#93: “Rescue from Manatugo Point” and #94: “Operation Digout”). He is missing the top part of his right ear from a battle.


After the war, Whit attended the University of Southern California (with help, presumably, from the Montgomery G. I. Bill and also from the profit of the Spanish coins Whit and Jack found as boys (#297: “Blackbeard's Treasure”), where he studied English and met his future wife, Jenny (as revealed in episode #464: “The Triangle, Part 1”).

Though Whit mentions in #94: “Operation Digout” that he was first studying at Duke University, it's possible that after the war he simply transferred to USC to finish his studies.

Universal Press Foundation

Following university, Whit's history is somewhat unclear. At some point, he founded the "Universal Press Foundation", an encyclopedia publisher, and helped create the Universal Encyclopedia. His time at UPF was also spent working closely with members of the Department of Defense in the creation of the powerful computer program, "Applesauce" (#73: “A Bite of Applesauce”)Which was later destroyed by Whit himself, after Dr. Blackgaard tried to steal it again in episode #156 Waylaid in the Windy City Part 2 .

Education Career

Despite the fact that in The Triangle, Part 1 Whit said he didn't have the patience to be a teacher, that was ultimately his primary profession. He spent at least fifteen years teaching at McCollum Jr. High as mentioned in Great Expectations. Apparently McCollum Jr. High wasn't the only school he taught at in Odyssey as he mentioned in The Lost Riddle he taught at Odyssey Middle School part-time when Odyssey High School was being renovated and both schools were in the middle school building. It's possible that because he was such a good teacher (Tom Riley mentioned in Recollections that the city council gave him an award for teaching) he was asked out of retirement for his part-time work at Odyssey Middle School. It's also mentioned that he's a Sunday School teacher at Odyssey Community Church.

Odyssey and Whit's End

Eventually, he moved, along with his wife Jenny, to Odyssey after founding UPF. There, he taught middle school children. His wife's death inspired him to open Whit's End (#19: “Recollections”). After Jenny's death, Whit also considered adopting a young girl named Clara Portland, but Jack made a mistake in letting Whit become close to Clara when Jack knew that Clara would be adopted by someone else.

Leisure Activities

Whit is something of a daredevil who's been known to sky-dive in his spare time. But it's probably safe to say that at the end of the day, he'd rather just read a good book (#7: “Promises, Promises”, #213: “Best Intentions”). He enjoys jogging once per week (#463: “Green Eyes and Yellow Tulips”).





Main article: Whittaker family

Whit's wife was Jenny Whittaker. Whit's children are:

It is interesting to note, that with the exception of Monty and formerly, Phil, all in Whit's family have the initial "J".

He also thinks of Connie as his "daughter" as she in return thinks of him as her second father. He told her he loved her like a daughter in #534: “Something Blue, Part 2”.

In the episode My Brother's Keeper, it mentions that he had a sister. She is later introduced as Charlotte in #789: “The Journal of John Avery Whittaker”.

In Hear Me, Hear Me, we find out he has a cousin named Evelyn who is extremely talkative. In fact, she is so talkative that she claims her husband uses duct tape sometimes to quiet her.

In Attack at the Arena, Whit mentions that he has an ancestor named Albert.


In many episodes he doesn't allow posters or pictures put up on the front window of Whit's End. He does have a bulletin board that people can use in the Little Theatre.
He was very good at hide and seek. (#582: “Silent Night”), (#356: “The Search for Whit, Part 2”)
He walks with a slight limp.
His nickname (“Whit”) is an adaptation of the phrase “Whit Sunday” (Pentecost).
His favorite dessert is lemon poppy seed cake with raspberry filling.
He is taking flying lessons.
He is 6 feet tall.
He has blue eyes.
He is missing the top part of his right ear.
He once took skydiving lessons.
He sings baritone in his church's choir.
He loves fountain pens.
Whit and Jack Allen have unusual spiritual gifts. While Jack's ability is foresight, Whit's is spiritual insight, which gives him the ability to feel when spiritual warfare is at play, in the case of (#122: “Castles and Cauldrons, Part 1”), #758: “The Ties That Bind, Part 8”, and #788: “Between the Lines, Part 2”.
He became an ordained minister in order to perform Wooton and Penny's wedding.
He owns an Apple MacBook.
His full name is Johnathan Avery Whittaker.
He ran two miles in 21 minutes.
Whit has been involved with the NSA in the past. In the book The Mystery of the Hooded Horseman, it is revealed that his agent number was 1102.
Around the time of Whit's End's opening, he was experimenting without a mustache.
He was baptized as a kid.
[[Shadow of a Doubt| He was once convicted of theft, but Dylan Taylor proved he was innocent.]]
He used to write his high school crossword puzzles.

Album Appearances

John Whittaker has appeared in the following albums:

John Whittaker has appeared in the following club seasons:

John Whittaker has appeared on the front cover of the following albums:

John Whittaker has appeared on the back cover of the following albums:


See Whittaker quotes.


John Whittaker has appeared in 682 episodes, has been voiced by 11 actors.

All (682)  · Paul Herlinger (1996-2017)  · Kyle Ellison (1995)  · Joseph Cammaroto (1988-1999)  · Aden Schwartz (2016-2017)  · Jim Custer (1989-2018)  · Sage Ryan (2012)  · Travis Burnett (2020-2022)  · Hal Smith (1987-2020)  · Andre Stojka (2009-2025)  · Videos (16)

John Whittaker has been mentioned in 84 episodes.

John Whittaker has appeared in 15 comic story arc(s).

Pictures of John Whittaker