Lee Kelso (Queen of the Willis)
|Queen of the Willis character|
Mayor Lee Kelso
|First appearance||"Pilot" (2006)|
|Last appearance||"And Now There Are Fewer" (2019)|
|Created by||Ava Zinn|
|Voiced by||Lee Kelso|
|Full name||Lando Leslie Kelso|
|Occupation||Former Mayor of Quillsville, Indiana (1980-2019)|
Mayor Lando Leslie "Lee" Kelso is a character voiced by former Fort Wayne television news anchor Lee Kelso on the American animated television series Queen of the Willis. He is the 10 term mayor of the city of Quillsville, Indiana, where the show is set. He has appeared on a recurring basis from his first appearance in the pilot until "And Now There Are Fewer".
Mayor Kelso is characterized as an intense yet friendly, soft-spoken, elderly crackpot whose delusions often come at great expense and sometimes danger to citizens of Quillsville. His whims include wasting council money on CBS moving its affiliation from channel 8 to 40 and many flings with Tina Craven.
In the episode "Cable TV Fascism", he criminalizes the use of satellite and over-the-air television after listening competing against Tina Craven's Sweethearts Express, only to repeal it a few days later when Ava threatens to expose him not listening to the citizens of Quillsville.
In the episode "Ten Years to Life", he marries Ava's boss Tina Craven and in that episode it is revealed that Kelso inherited 50 percent stakes of Craven Gifts, Craven Media, and Sweerthearts Restaurants chain. The episode "Dr. Z and the TransMen" strongly suggests he's fully sane and his bizarre antics are actually a smokescreen to throw people off and cover up a dark side.
Mayor of Quillsville, Indiana
Kelso announced his candidacy for mayor of Quillsville in 1979 and defeated the Republican incumbent Mike Ollie, defeating him by a massive landslide, 59%-40%, a 19-point margin. Kelso then defeated Democrat challenger, Mike Gilroy, 52 percent to 41 percent. When Kelso took office in 1980, he became Quillsville's first Republican mayor since 1947. Among his accomplishments during his first term were the establishment of charter schools in the city and development of several arts and culture initiatives.
Kelso won reelection to a second term, defeating an unnamed Democratic Quill County Councilman (54–46%).
Kelso won reelection to a third term, defeating a second unnamed Democrat (68–32%).
Kelso won reelection to a fourth term, defeating Democrat Jill Long Thompson (67–31%).
Kelso won reelection to a fifth term, defeating Democrat Jill Long Thompson (67–32%). He becomes the first Quillsvillian mayor to be elected to five terms
Kelso won reelection to a sixth term, defeating Democratic challeger John Gregg (66-31%).
Kelso won reelection to a seventh term, defeating Democrat Melina Kennedy (60-30%). During his seventh term, he led the efforts to consolidate city and county government, merging the Quillsville City Council with the Quill County Council to form the Quillsville Metropolitan Council under the leadership of Quill County Counclilwoman Chloe Anderson. Kelso is also credited for attracting additional downtown development including the construction of two Marriott Hotels in Quillsville.
Kelso won reelection to an eighth term, defeating Democrat Melina Kennedy (80-15%)
Kelso won reelection to a ninth term, defeating Deomocrat Melina Kennedy and Libertaraian Rupert Boneham (70-20%).
Kelso won reelection to an unprecedented tenth term, defeating Democrat Melina Kennedy and Libertarian Rupert Boneham (83–13-4%).
Kelso ran for reelection to an eleventh term but would have been defeated in the Republican primary by former Indianapolis news anchorwoman Nicole Pence (89–11%), who went on to win the general election defeating Democratic challenger Alisan Porter.
Kelso was expected to easily cruise to re-election in 2019 as no well-known opponents entered the race until the last month, leaving relatively unknown political newcomer Nicole Pence as his Republican opposition with Alisan Porter and Melina Kennedy as the Democratic opponents. Indeed, many thought that the once-dominant Democratic Party was all but dead in the city. However, largely due to high property taxes and a rising crime rate, several polls rated the race about even as election day approached. However, in "The Rape of Heather Willis," Kelso resigned as he would have been first mayor to lose his seat in a primary in the city's 200-year history. His resignation also saw Pence becoming Quillsville's first female mayor.
Queen of the Willis creator Ava Zinn wrote several episodes of her first cartoon series Amanda & Elisa. Kelso played a similarly intense and rendition of himself in an episode written by Zinn, "Amanda and Elisa Meets Lee Kelso!", first broadcast in December 2005. In the episode, Kelso's fictionalized persona displays characteristics that differ to the later Queen of the Willis character. However, he dressed formally and behaved slightly similarly to his role at WANE-TV (channel 15) in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Zinn found Kelso's personality in Fort Wayne and performance from the real-life CBS affiliate, WANE-TV so outstanding that she created a similar character for Queen of the Willis.
|“||The character we've created is kind of this alternate-universe Lee Kelso where he's mayor of this city, and we deliberately have not made any references to him as a former anchorman, because we like keeping that separate. It's the obvious place to go. We tried it; we thought it would be funny to do something different with the mayor of this town. People like Rupert from Survivor and Wayne Seybold who have taken whacks at this sort of thing — there's a precedent for it, television personalities getting into politics. He's the mayor, but he's this guy who clearly does not have it all together and eventually pays the price for it.||”|
The fate of the character was unknown following Ava Zinn's move from Marion to Fort Wayne, Indiana on May 14, 2018.
Zinn told The Chronicle-Tribune that they do plan to address Kelso's aging character, while also revealing that it is something they've been dealing with concerning Zinn's commitments to Vote for the Girls with Ava Zinn & Alexandra Moffitt. Zinn went on to say that Kelso will lose re-election in an upcoming season and will certainly reflect the importance that the characters and actors past and present within the series.
- Queen of the Willis: "Cable TV Fascism" Review
- Amanda & Elisa Meets Lee Kelso
- Ava Zinn interview