Do You Hate Grandpa Joe from Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory? You Aren't Alone
What a prick.
There are a lot of people to hate in the cast of Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. The bratty kids, the arrogant and maniacal Wonka, the ineffectual parents, maybe even the whiny and frail Charlie Bucket, who wastes his time trying to win a ticket to a chocolate factory while his family starves.
The 1971 musical comedy, based on Roald Dahl's 1964 children's novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, remains a must-see for kids of all ages. The older you get the more twisted it becomes, though.
But Grandpa Joe? Portrayed by the late Jack Albertson? The "man" from Chico and the Man? What did he do to anyone, besides get out of bed, instill hope in his grandson and bark at Wonka when he did his grandson dirty?
According to this Facebook page, "The I Hate Grandpa Joe From Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory Page," there is plenty to hate him for.
The makers of this Facebook page are not alone. Say No To Grandpa Joe has also been fighting this fight for sometime, labeling the patriarch as a bastard, ratbag, industrial spy who is at turns vindictive, cruel and even a misogynist.
From the site:
In both versions of the tale, it is very clear who is number one in Grandpa Joe's mind. He decides he must accompany Charlie to the chocolate factory. In the movie, he actually speaks of the ticket as though he, not Charlie, was the winner."I've got a golden ticket."
He considers eating everything a viable option. He doesn't pause to consider that others might be hungry. He puts his immediate desire for fizzy lifting drinks ahead of Charlie's lifetime supply of chocolate, and convinces Charlie to break the rules and drink the fizzy lifting drink!
In the very beginning, Grandpa Joe lays comfortably in a bed with his wife and the elders of the family instead of helping the family financially or domestically at home. He sees his daughter working long hours in a run down laundry house, and poor Charlie delivering newspapers to help his mother make ends meet. The only motivation for this jackass to get out of bed is to go to a chocolate factory. As far as he is concerned a loaf of bread is a banquet and he has every right to smoke tobacco from his pipe while the family starves...
Finally the final point that demonstrates what a evil man this senior citizen really is, is this: When Willy Wonka yells at Charlie and tells him that he gets nothing, due to the fact that he stole fizzy lifting drinks, Grandpa Joe's immediate reaction is to avoid an apology, and try to convince Charlie to sell the everlasting gobbstopper to Mr. Sluggworth. Good thing that Charlie did not listen to his irresponsible grandfather and decides to return the gobbstopper instead. This is an awful man people. And everyone should be made aware of his evil deeds!!!
All great points, we stand corrected. This is a lazy, shiftless, sad excuse for a grandfather. He was probably a malingerer or a deserter from the Allies in World War II, and he more than likely had bad breath.
Which isn't to say that Wonka himself was a saint. Wasn't he sort of a pedophile and an admitted slaveholder?
Get the Theater Newsletter
Get a rundown of upcoming theater events and ticket deals in Houston.