Psych follows Shawn Spencer who has developed a keen eye for detail after being instructed by his police officer father to note even the most minute details of his surroundings. After Shawn calls in a tip on a crime to the police, he is accused of committing the crime. To try to clear his name, Shawn convinces the police that he is a psychic.
Gus is often shown to be academically advanced. As a child, he applied for and was accepted into the Meitner School for gifted students; however, his parents turned down the placement, later telling Gus that it was too far to drive. In middle school, he was involved in spelling bees until 1989, when he lost a competition by accepting covert advice from Shawn on the spelling of "aggiornamento." He continues to follow the American Spelling Bee meticulously, and tapes the yearly championship. He was also voted most likely to succeed in high school and is upset that he has not done more in life. However, after helping Shawn solve a murder, he realizes that he leads a very productive life and he's happy with what he has done. Guster also attended Pomona College (class of 1998), something he shows off in multiple episodes.
Gus's parents, Bill and Winnie Guster, are shown to be overly protective of their son and still regard him as a child who needs looking after. They long disapproved of his friendship with Shawn, whom they regarded as a bad influence. After Shawn and Gus solve a murder for which Bill and Winnie had been wrongfully arrested, they mellow towards Shawn and admit that perhaps they do not need to baby Gus so much. (However, immediately after Gus leaves, they offer Shawn cash with a stern order to look after their son.) A brother has been referenced in Gus' blog on the official USA Network website, but has received no mention in the show to date. In the deleted scenes for "Gus' Dad May Have Killed an Old Guy" on the Season 2 DVD, Gus's mom mentions a brother who lives in Connecticut. In the episode "Christmas Joy" Gus' family comes to town for the holidays, including Gus' sister Joy, who shares a mutual attraction with Shawn.
While in Mexico on Spring Break in 1997, Gus met Mira Gaffney and married her on a drunken binge. He broke off the relationship soon afterward, and the two lost contact until 2008, when the marriage was annulled in anticipation of Mira's upcoming wedding. He also has an uncle named "Burton Guster", nicknamed "Burt" for short. Gus was baptized by his mother after his uncle, so the older is upset that he goes by the name "Gus" and not "Burton". Ever since Mira, Gus has a reputation for being attracted to crazy women.
Gus has a job in pharmaceutical sales, where he makes $48,000 a year. With his vast knowledge of drugs, he helps solve cases by identifying poisons and other drugs used in crimes. He also tries to gain clients while they are interviewing doctors in a case.
As part of his day job, Gus drives a corporate car—a bright blue subcompact hatchback, which Shawn and Gus (mostly Shawn) call the Psych Mobile or "the Blueberry". The car is described on the show as a 2002 Toyota Echo, but is actually a 2005 Toyota Yaris.
Gus is an assumed Catholic. Although he rarely discusses matters of religion, it is confirmed he believes in demonic possessions, exorcisms, and that the third wise man was black and named Balthazar. He seems to regularly attend or at least be fairly comfortable with the practice of confession.
Gus has a very refined sense of smell and has nicknamed his nose "the Super Sniffer". He is able to recognize the base component of a perfume by smelling it and can perform the same trick with food. The talent seems to be hereditary, as it has been displayed by both of his parents, and has led to the uncovering of crucial evidence in several cases. He has been shown to have a fear of dead people, having run away from a scene where a dead person is present on more than one occasion. He is also well-versed in high-tech locks or safes, as demonstrated by his ability to crack an electronic lock on his first try.
Gus was described in the serial killer Mr. Yang's book as "laughing on the outside, crying on the inside. The fastidious wrinkle in the brow of Psych". Yang also wrote that Gus has "skin of pure cocoa velvetiness" and stated she would like to "use that skin to make children's dolls". Gus is also an experienced tap dancer, and was a member of an a cappella group in college. Several episodes reference Gus's keen interest in astronomy and his particular fondness for the (dwarf) planet Pluto; he uses "Did you hear about Pluto?" as a pick-up line, which Shawn often mocks. While usually the voice of reason, Gus does have some beliefs that even Shawn thinks are crazy (such as his insistence that Michael Jackson faked his death with help from Lisa Marie Presley).
He is often compared to Rudy Huxtable's friend Bud on The Cosby Show, with many people looking at him and asking if he played the character on "The Cosby Show".
Although early in the series Gus is very reluctant to get involved in Shawn's capers, the partnership has developed into a much more equal one, with Gus taking a larger role in their cases as opposed to constantly being "[dragged] around by the collar against his will". Gus has become more relaxed as the show has progressed and more capable of standing his ground against Shawn. The change in his clothing is reflective of his more relaxed approach.
In a cross-promotional ad for Monk featuring several characters from shows on USA, Gus corrects Shawn after he calls Monk, "his sidekick." In the Lee Goldberg novel Mr. Monk Goes to Germany, it is mentioned that Gus (although not referred to by name) has met Natalie Teeger. This is implied when Natalie mentions that the group of detectives' sidekicks she regularly meets with sometimes has other such sidekicks as guests, one of which is mentioned to be a man who is sidekick to a false psychic (a clear allusion to Gus).
In a cross-promotional ad with Royal Pains, Gus tries to hard-sell Hank Lawson on becoming Hank's pharmaceutical rep in a bathroom to the point of creeping Hank out.
GUS ... IN HIS OWN WORDS
The SuperSniffer, MagicHead, Spellmaster, Weepy Boy Santos
What's an Anagram of Your Name?
What's on your playlist?
1. The Harder They Come Soundtrack
2. Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley: Mr. Marley
3. System of a Down: Mesmerize
4. Art of Noise: The Seduction of Claude Debussy
5. Yo La Tengo: Prisoners of Love
Favorite Album at Age 15:
Biz Markie: I Need a Haircut
Three things I couldn't live without:
1. Annual pass to Santa Barbara Planetarium
2. Annual pass to Santa Barbara Natural History Museum
3. Library card
1. The Eighth Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness by Steven R. Covey
2. PS2: Blow the Lid Off! by Brian Underdahl
3. Elements of Style by Strunk and White
What's the craziest thing I've ever done?
I became a Blue Mage in Final Fantasy without mastering the Black Mage. Oh, and I ran across the freeway once, but I was being chased. Ask Shawn.
Best American City:
New York City
Favorite Ice Cream Topping:
Describe Yourself in One Word
Now in Spanish:
Favorite Old Movie:
"Every Which Way But Loose"
Crime of Fashion:
Argyle sweater vest with ascot.
Name of Your Imaginary Band? What Instrument Do You Play?:
"Funk Foundation" ... Trumpet
Dirty Little Secret:
I really don't get Bob Dylan.
If You Had to Have a Girl's Name, What Would You Choose?
Here's $10 ... What Do You Buy?
$10 Savings Bond
Your environmentally conscious invention:
Your Superhero Name ("The," your favorite color, the automobile your dad drives):
The Gray Torino
What Celebrity do People Say You Look Like?
Bud from The Cosby Show
The last thing that made me laugh out loud:
Shawn. Crashing into a lamppost on his rollerblades.
"All rising to a great place is by a winding stair."
Burton 'Gus' Guster Photos
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