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If the Barclays are a “good” example of an Odyssey family, the Rathbones are the complete opposite. Bart Rathbone, the father, wouldn’t stand up to scrutiny. There are few ethical questions that he’s inclined to ignore. From unscrupulously coaching a softball team to using shady methods to run his electronics shop, “The Electric Palace,” to coming up with all manners of get-rich-quick schemes, Bart affably stands for everything Whit—and the world of Odyssey—is against.
Rathbone is known as a cheap and scheming businessman, always plugging "The Electric Palace" (phone number is 555-3122), an electronics store he manages, pushing questionable sales promotions, and launching half-baked entrepreneurial ideas (such as "Rathbone's Electric Castle and Rock and Roll Instruments of Destruction" in #164: “Sixties-Something”).
He is also known for his ill-fated campaigns for the mayorship of Odyssey. In episodes #286: “Tom for Mayor, Part 1” & #287: “Tom for Mayor, Part 2”, he faces off against Tom Riley; in #380: “The One About Trust, Part 1” & #381: “The One About Trust, Part 2”, he runs against Margaret Faye. According to Bart himself in #181: “It Takes Integrity”, he has been running for office since his school days.
Now that Walker Edmiston has passed away, Bart Rathbone's original voice is gone. The creative team has revealed that for at least one show, a new actor, Robert Easton will take over Bart's voice, but whether the take-over will be permanent or not depends on the fans' reactions.
Bart is the proud "pop" of Rodney and the less-than-ideal husband of Doris Rathbone. He has an Uncle Lanny that had been in prison and was a lawyer, and his brother-in-law is a business agent who, according to Doris, is as reliable as Bart is.
He has grease in his hair.
- The episode Sunday Morning Scramble reveals that Doris has kicked Bart out of the house for a multitude of reasons, including putting engine parts in the dishwasher and eating cheese doodles in the shower.
- Bart once tried to take advantage of people during a tornado. (#397: “Tornado!”)
- Bart once taught his son, Rodney, to cheat while playing checkers.
- Bart once trained Alex Jefferson to become the next mini gold champion.
- See Rathbone quotes.