"Wizards of Waverly Place" focuses on the Russos, a typical family, which includes a mother, Theresa Russo; a father, Jerry Russo; a daughter, Alex Russo, and two sons, Justin Russo and Max Russo. The family live normal lives, but what their friends don't know is they are wizards.
Jerry is the average father. He is stern, protective and is annoyed by Alex and Max constantly, and even by Justin occasionally. Unlike his children, he does not have powers any more; nonetheless, his children inherited their powers from him, with Max having a fascination of the magic normal humans can do such as microwave popcorn, Alex being a natural at magic yet using it recklessly, and Justin continually trying to improve his magic through knowledge. Jerry lives on Waverly Place, a street in downtown Manhattan with his mortal wife Theresa Russo (Maria Canals Barrera) and his children: middle daughter Alex Russo (Selena Gomez), eldest son Justin Russo (David Henrie), and youngest child Max Russo (Jake T. Austin). He owns a sandwich shop called the Waverly Sub Station with Theresa, where his children work, and, in the season one episode "New Employee" so did Alex's best friend Harper Finkle (Jennifer Stone), although they only did it so they could be together more often. It is mentioned in the season two episode "Make It Happen", that Jerry's original career plan was to be a bull rider. His most popular catchphrase is "But-he-you-she-ALEX!"
Jerry is the typical over-protective father towards his daughter. It was first shown in season one's First Kiss when Alex claimed to have had her first kiss. He said "No! She's my little girl! What's his name? I'll make him cry!" (it is almost immediately revealed that Alex lied about having had her first kiss, and when Justin teased her for it, she kissed the first random boy she deemed good enough to kiss in school the next day, who was Matt, giving him a kiss that lasted a few seconds long and catching him off guard by her blunt, surprising way – she had slammed his locker shut when he was using it, right before pulling him by the shirt to direct his face towards hers to be able to kiss – and when he finally recovered from it, he turned around and ran in the direction of Alex, calling out her name to presumably ask her on a date), and continued in "You Can't Always Get What You Carpet" from that same season, when he didn't want to teach her how to ride the carpet because he was afraid she would grow up and leave home. He also was seen putting babyish wallpaper on her walls. When Max is accidentally transformed into a little girl in "Daddy's Little Girl," Jerry calls the new Max "Maxine" and dotes on her, which does not go unnoticed by a jealous Alex, who tries to get her father's attention to no avail. However, when he becomes aware of Alex's jealousy and sadness, Jerry apologizes to her, explaining that he only did so because Maxine reminds him of Alex when she was little and reassuring her that she will always be his little girl.
He normally isn't okay with her dating, such as in the first season episode "Potion Commotion" when Alex said "That's my new boyfriend!" about her crush Brad Sherwood (Shane Lyons), he said "I'll pick your new boyfriend!" But later on when Brad complimented Jerry, he said "I like your new boyfriend!" When Alex began dating Dean (Daniel Samonas), he liked him at first until Alex revealed Dean wanted to kiss her in season two's "Alex's Brother, Maximan". Jerry said "I never cared for that boy!," when he had just said the other day he liked Dean. When Alex pointed that out he said "That's before I knew he wanted to kiss you! He was using me to get to you! And I fell for it!" In "Alex Charms a Boy" Jerry is no longer overprotective because when he saw Alex and Mason kiss he smiled instead of freaking out, because he knew it was an honest and true relationship. He can be somewhat of a cheapskate; for example, in "Taxi Dance", he is unable to remember the number of the hospital room where Justin was born when he remembers his own lottery ticket number from that same day, and being so cheap that his antics resulted in Theresa giving birth to Alex in a taxicab instead of in a hospital. Notably, before this, Theresa told the kids that Jerry had tried to make her walk to the hospital while she was in labor, to which Jerry replied, "I offered to push you in a shopping cart!". More notable, in "Western Show", when Max's increase of intelligence and maturity make him apply for various colleges, instead of showing happiness for the success of his son, he was upset with the possibility of having to pay for his learning. Additionally, in "Quinceañera," he is reduced to tears when Alex offers to tell him how much her Quinceañera cost.
Jerry is proud of his magical ancestry and teaches his children about the proper uses of magic in "Wizard Training Class" on Tuesdays and Thursdays, in the lair magically disguised as a food locker in the restaurant. However, his children often disobey his magic rules (Alex, most often being the case), and he has to punish them. He wants his kids to be great wizards, but also wants them to be able to live a life without using their powers since they may not have them in the future, as only one of them will get to keep his/her powers as an adult.
Jerry has an younger brother named Kelbo (Jeff Garlin), who is seen in the season one episode Alex in the Middle, who is the wizard in Jerry's family because Jerry had to give him the powers to marry Theresa. Jerry's children consider Kelbo to be more fun than Jerry, and Alex even decides to have Kelbo be her magic teacher, and is revealed to be irresponsible with magic (almost as much as Alex is sometimes) as is shown when Kelbo fails to stop a package of sea chimps that spouts a huge gush of water eventually flooding the wizard lair and turning Kelbo and Alex into sea chimps. Jerry ends up being the one who saves them both, and he reveals a secret that he has kept from Alex, Max and Justin: that he gave up his powers in order to marry Theresa, due to a rule forbidding wizards and mortals from marrying, thus relinquishing his powers to Kelbo in order to marry her.
In Retest it is revealed that Jerry and Kelbo have a sister, Megan. Megan holds a grudge against Jerry for giving Kelbo his powers instead of her. She lives in an art studio in Paris where she paints pictures. She is similar to Alex because she, like Alex, loves Art and hates hard work, though, unlike Alex, she is unwilling or unable to apologize for her actions. It is most likely their parents are still alive because of references from Alex and Max. Such as in Future Harper, when Alex is telling Harper about a wizard adventure about her and her brothers, Harper already knows the ending and tells Alex she already told her the story. Alex replies "Oh my gosh I'm starting to sound like Grandma".
Jerry also is a fan of the New York Mets and New York Jets. In several episodes of the series (more so in season one, than in other seasons), Jerry often makes a remark that accidentally insults Theresa, and quickly tries to correct his statement. Such an example is in season one's "Movies", in which Theresa tells Alex that no matter how old she gets that she is not too old to spend time with her family, Jerry responds "Exactly, just look at your mother". Alex then points out that Jerry accidentally called Theresa "old", and he attempts and fails to change the subject.
In Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie, Jerry gives Justin the family wand and the spell book which Alex steals accidentally wishing her parents never met or fell in love, but it was resolved – ironically by Alex herself, the reckless one out of his three children, who also surprisingly won the Premature Family Wizard competition against Justin, as Justin was the favorite out of the three to win it but lost to Alex, who then gives up her powers so they could compete for their powers when they are old enough.
Jerry has made more than one mention of past friends of his youth, including "Pony-boy" and 'John Bender'; both names of rebellious teen characters in classic 80's pop-culture films, "The Outsiders" and "The Breakfast Club", respectively. Aside from the names, no other specific connections or further implications seem to have been made connecting Jerry's youth and the events in these stories.
Jerry Russo Photos
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