John Avery Whittaker


“Whit” is an inventor, author, entrepreneur and owner of Whit’s End—an ice cream shop and “discovery emporium” where kids can be kids. His wise counsel, inventiveness and insight have made him a trusted friend and confidant to everyone in Odyssey.


John Avery Whittaker is one of the more well-known residents of Odyssey, and everyone calls him Whit. Mr. Whittaker doesn't particularly like being called "Whit" by the kids at Whit's End, his shop, but that attitude seems to have changed a bit over the years. Mr. Whittaker opened up Whit's End, an ice cream and discovery emporium because of his late wife, Jenny Whittaker. John is an old man, strong in his Christian beliefs, and uses Whit's End as his ministry. His ministry has now reached into Connellsville with a Whit's End in the Oswald Heights section of town. Having two versions of Whit's End proves to be stressful on John, but he hires new employees to help relieve the stress. Whit is also an inventor, his major inventions being the Imagination Station, the Room of Consequence, and the Transmuter. His closest friend is Tom Riley, and they share some amazing adventures throughout the series.


Mr. Whittaker resides in his mediocre home, along with his son Jason Whittaker, who stays with him as well. Mr. Whittaker does not believe in valuing the things of this world so he continues to live modestly in an average home. As the founder of the Universal Press Foundation, Whit has helped compile information for an encyclopedia. Whit enjoys writing short stories in his spare time and has published a few books, as well as articles printed in the Odyssey Times newspaper.


Mr. Whittaker left for an archeological expedition to the Middle East when Eugene Meltsner and Bernard Walton were taking a road trip to California. While in the Middle East, Mr. Whittaker had some exciting archaeological adventures, and eventually Whit came back to run Whit's End again.


In his early days, John Avery Whittaker earned a purple heart award from President Roosevelt for his act of bravery saving an Englishman named Reginald Duffield. Also, Mr. Whittaker worked with the National Security Agency for some time with Tasha Forbes. However, from his conversations with Connie, he doesn't like to talk about that aspect of his past.


Throughout his many years of running Whit's End, he has discovered that the kids keep coming for the timelessness of the shop and not necessarily the inventions. He learned his lesson when he tried to enhance the Whit's End experience by revamping and renaming his store to The W.E. Whit's ministry at Whit's End has opened up many other opportunities for ministry, including little league, Kids Radio broadcasts, teaching children about the Bible, and many more.


Whit has certainly had his share of peril on the show. Mr. Whittaker lost his son Jerry to the Vietnam war. Jerry is survived by Jason and Jana Whittaker, Whit's two other children. Also, Whit suffered a mild heart attack, discovered a fully clothed skeleton in the basement of Whit's End, and other minor details. He has had run-ins with Dr. Regis Blackgaard, heard news of Whit's End's foreclosure during his archaeological days, and even had to endure a world-threatening, mind controlling plot by Novacom.


Although Mr. Whittaker is able to communicate with the kids who visit Whit's End, his downfall seems to be his lack of strong relationships with his very own family. Communication barriers have barred the Whittaker household for years.




  • John Avery Whittaker first appeared in the Adventures in Odyssey episode Whit's Flop and has been on the show pretty consistently ever since (with the exception of his traveling to the Middle East).

  • Mr. Whittaker has been played by three actors: Hal Smith, Paul Herlinger, and Andre Stojka. Hal Smith's passing left the AIO team at a loss of Odyssey's main character. Eventually, the show picked up Paul Herlinger, who voiced Whit from 1996-2008. Paul Herlinger passed away in 2010 shortly after retiring from the part. Actor Andre Stojka assumed the role in 2009.

  • Whit's Imagination Station invention has taken on many forms over the years. Originally, the Station could only hold one person per adventure. However, it eventually held two people, and currently, the Imagination Station can hold up to ten people.

  • Mr. Whittaker is a die-hard Andy Griffith fan. He even keeps an autographed photo of him in the safe at Whit's End.


...Character Guide

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