Otto Mannkusser is the German owner of The Grotto, a ranch, and Francis' boss and sidekick for the fourth and fifth seasons. He speaks with a very heavy German accent. He becomes Francis' new boss, starting in the episode Zoo.
Biography[edit | edit source]
Otto Mankusser and his wife, Gretchen are a German couple who are in charge of a dude ranch called "The Grotto". It is named after the two of them, combining the names "Gretchen" and "Otto" into "Grotto". Other than Gretchen, Otto's family also includes a cold and distant teenage son, named Rutger, who appears in the episode Garage Sale. He also has a cousin named Willy who appeared in the episode Kicked Out. He can play the piano, and doesn't speak English.
Otto made his first appearance in the episode Zoo, where he and Gretchen found and hired Francis and Piama, when their 1974 Cadillac broke down in front of their Grotto, on their way back from Alaska, where they worked their previous jobs as loggers. (for more information, see Monkey)
Otto is an overly nice boss at The Grotto, as he gives his employees a bunch of unnecessary special treatment. His employees know his weak spot and take advantage of him, with the exception of Francis, who mainly tries to respect him, but occasionally takes advantage of him too when he really wants to.
His final episode serving a role in the show was in the episode Hal's Christmas Gift, where he was not seen, but mentioned. Apparently, Francis had deposited the money for the Grotto into what he thought was an ATM, but wasn't. (What it really was is never mentioned) Although Otto has always been so forgiving and easy-going on Francis and his other employees in the past, this was apparently the final straw and this resulted in Francis finally getting fired and Otto suing him.
After this, he and Piama had to live on their own in a crummy old apartment building.
Personality[edit | edit source]
Otto is gullible and a bit of a pushover. He is too nice to his employees and he hires way more of them than he needs, gives them extra vacation days, gives them undeserved raises, spends money on useless things that scammers sell him, etc. He doesn't have the heart to fire any of them, no matter how terribly they may go awry. His workers all take advantage of him, except for Francis and Piama.
Episode Appearances[edit | edit source]
- Stupid Girl
- Forwards Backwards
- Forbidden Girlfriend
- Boys At Ranch
- Long Drive
- Kicked Out
- Stereo Store
- Hal's Friend
- Garage Sale
- Academic Octathalon
- Future Malcolm
- Day Care
- Goodbye Kitty
- Malcolm Films Reese
- Christmas Trees
- Block Party
- Dirty Magazine
- Hot Tub
- Ida's Boyfriend
- Malcolm Dates a Family
- Malcolm Visits College
- Dewey's Special Class
- Hal's Christmas Gift (Mentioned)
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- His last name might be derived from the ill-formed German expression "Mannküsser", literally meaning "man kisser."
- In the German version of the show, Otto and the other Mannkussers are Danish.
- Otto is one of the few recurring characters aside Eric that was given an in-series reason for his character being dropped.
- Kenneth Mars was supposed to reprise his role as Otto in which involves a Christmas plot having the Wilkersons travel to the Grotto Ranch to spend Christmas with Francis and Piama. It was he who was tricked into dropping off his money to a fake ATM machine. Francis, Malcolm and Dewey saves Otto thousands of dollars by confronting the con artists and getting them all arrested.