Joey Donovan is a fictional character portrayed by Joey Lawrence on the NBC American Sitcom Gimme A Break! which ran from 1981-1987.

In the fall of 1983, Joey's father Tim left him with his irresponsible brother Jerry, a conman, while he went off to work at sea on a boat. While they were passing through Glenlawn, Joey's uncle Jerry fled to Chicago and abandoned Joey, which made him fend for himself. Pretending to beg for help for Jerry's kids to help his sick little brother, Joey encounters Nell, The Chief, and the Kanisky family. After he swindles money from them and leaves, Officer Simpson catches him and the Chief is furious, calls social services, and Joey is worried he will be placed in a foster home, so he flees the scene but Nell catches him at the bus station ready to take off for Chicago and holds Joey at the Kanisky house until the social worker decides what they will do with him. After a few sentimental moments, Nell asks the Chief if they can adopt Joey and he gives in. Shortly after when Grandpa Stanley Kanisky becomes a widower after the passing of his wife, Mildred, he moves into the Kanisky house and he and Joey become fast friends and roommates usually doing many things together that would often upset the Chief such as dumping soap suds in the mayor's fountain.

In the fall of 1984, Joey and Nell went to the World's fair in New Orleans, where Nell met up with her old flame, Good Old Charlie Johnson, who proposed marriage to her at a jazz club, and while there, Joey's father Tim was ironically there from being off his job on the boat he worked on. Tim and Joey had a blast at the fair and he meets Nell and finds out that his brother Jerry was irresponsible and Nell was taking care of Joey now with the Chief. Tim agrees to leave Joey in Nell's hands and they agree he will stop at the Kanisky house from time to time to visit. Later on, Katie opened her boutique after graduating high school and needed money to keep it running and Joey decided to help her raise the money by not doing his homework and breakdancing at the beach with his pal Boomer. After this point, Samantha, the youngest Kanisky daughter got jealous of Joey because he was getting all the attention and painted him in blackface when he had to perform an Al Joleston song in front of Nell's congregation.

In 1985 and into 1986, with the family getting over the recent passing of the Chief, Joey was found out by his school to be a gifted child and Nell had many hopes for him and wanted him to take a test to be placed in a higher grade but they both decided together that 4th grade was the right grade for a 9 year old boy to be in. In the fall of 1986, with the Kanisky girls now grown and out of the house, it was just Nell, Grandpa Stanley Kanisky and Joey living at the Kanisky house, and that fall, Nell and Joey took a trip to the east coast to drop Samantha off at Littlefield College in Warren, New Jersey, and then stopped in New York City to see Addy, who was living there now and working at a University there. While in New York City, Tim, Joey's father, was in town, and told Nell he had a surprise for Joey, he quit his job at sea, moved to New York City, and introduced Joey to his little brother Matthew who was living in Pittsburg for the past several years. Tim explains that after Matthew was born his mother got sick and died, and he tried to get the boys together but never could get to Glenlawn and Pittsburg at the same time. Tim decides to now raise Joey himself with Matthew who had been staying with his aunt Jane and Uncle Dick for the the past few years, and Nell leaves for Glenlawn, broken hearted. Shortly after, she returns to New York City to get Joey back,agrees with Addy to be roommates with her, and Tim tells her that he really wants to go back to sea and he wants Nell to raise the boys which she accepts.

During 1986-1987, Joey pretty much was growing up at this time, was learning more responsibility, and was a big brother to Matthew. He took a liking to one of the tenants in his building, Maggie O'Brien, who was a young dental hygenist who loved to skateboard and act like a kid, and idoloized his landlord Marty, an older, dopey guy who owned a Spanish restaurant called El Gaspacho at the bottom floor of the apartment building. Joey got into many strange predicaments in late 1986 and into 1987, including getting picked up by an officer for running illegal gambling at Marty's restaurant, finding out his idol on TV, captain jerk was a racist when Nell had to give him blood after he accidentally swallowed his laser whistle, steering away from his grouchy teacher Mr. Gronomeyer, who tripped on Maggie's skateboard in his apartment and sued everyone involved, got set up with Nell's boss' daughter in hopes she'd keep her job when everyone was getting fired which turned Joey into a ladie's man and one who ignored his family, especially Matthew on his 6th birthday, and going with Nell to Alabama to help save her daddie's church when an old for of her's decides to tear it down and build condos there.

Pages in category "Joey Donovan"

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