Bio[edit | edit source]
Andre Bennett is the ex-husband of Shirley Bennett. He is mentioned frequently by Shirley in her first year at Greendale in a negative way. It's not until her second year at school that he meets her new friends in the Study group. According to Shirley, he left and divorced her prior to her enrollment for either a bank teller or a stripper. This was later revealed to be a stripper named Mysti. Andre ends up leaving Mysti and reconciling with Shirley. Eventually he proposes to Shirley again, and they renew their vows. He is portrayed by Malcolm-Jamal Warner.
Character history[edit | edit source]
Andre is first mentioned by Shirley, although not named, when Shirley takes an Accounting course taught by Professor Whitman. After loudly berating her, Whitman gets her to confess her real reason for being at Greendale. She states that it's because she wasted 15 years of her life on a man who left her with stretch marks and a foggy memory of two bland orgasms, and now it's time to get what's hers. Andre is referenced when Shirley goes overboard trying to get back at Michelle Slater for stealing Jeff away from Britta. When she calls Slater a "long neck, weave-having bank teller" she admits her actions had more to do with her own personal situation than Britta's. She further elaborates by saying that her husband had come to her that morning and asked for his ring back. It was his mother's, and he wanted to give it to his new girlfriend. Shirley says that even though him leaving was the best thing that ever happened to her, she still wanted to have the opportunity to reject him if he ever came crawling back, but now he's denied her even that chance ("Introduction to Statistics"). When Shirley and Britta see Jeff living out of his Lexus, she mentions that her ex-husband did the exact same thing for four weeks after mistakenly calling her "Valerie" one time ("Home Economics"). Shirley mentions to Britta that her husband's fiancé needs her van to get to her stripping gig ("Beginner Pottery").
In her second year at Greendale, Shirley is forced to admit to the study group that she thinks she might be pregnant when they find a pregnancy test in her purse. She reveals that she and Andre have gotten back together and are now dating ("Cooperative Calligraphy"). It's then that Troy suddenly realizes that Chang may actually be the father when he remembers having been left a weird voice mail by Chang on Halloween saying that he and Shirley hooked up. The situation comes to a head when Andre comes to Greendale to meet the group. At the same time, Troy accidentally reveals to Pierce that he believes Chang could be the father. Later that day, the group throws a mixer in Group Study Room F to try and find a new member. Andre attends the party and finds himself being awkwardly questioned by Troy about the specific date he reconnected with Shirley. Meanwhile, Chang and Rich end up being the only two candidates for membership and a vote is held.
|Andre notes that because she hadn't voted the vote is tied and the decision is up to Shirley. A threat from Pierce for her to vote for Rich causes Shirley to vote for Chang. In retaliation, Pierce reveals to everyone that she slept with Chang at the Halloween party. Shirley and the others refuse to believe it's true until Troy and Chang come forward with evidence to back up the claim. A stunned Andre leaves the study room and goes outside, ignoring Shirley's pleas. At the behest of Britta, Jeff tracks him down to talk to him, hoping to sort out the situation. Andre explains he isn't mad at Shirley but at himself for having left her which allowed this to happen. He goes on to say that he's changed from the selfish guy he was before thanks to Shirley's influence. He resolves that whether or not the baby is his, he will be there for Shirley and help her raise it. He goes back inside the library and lets Shirley know he isn't going anywhere ("Asian Population Studies").
|Andre next appears when Annie throws a baby shower for him and Shirley in Group Study Room F ("Custody Law and Eastern European Diplomacy"). Although bothered by Chang's insistence that Chang be a part of the baby's life in some way, he stops Jeff and Shirley from trying to frame Chang and get him sent to jail in order to get him out of their lives for good. His final appearance at school that year was when Shirley's pregnancy reached its climax in the Anthropology classroom. With Britta and Chang's help, she gives birth to a boy and Andre arrives just in time to witness it. The questions surrounding his parentage was resolved when Chang admitted it couldn't be his since "Chang babies" are always born with tails. To thank him for helping her she named the baby after Chang, only realizing, after Andre points it out to her, that her newborn would now be called Ben Bennett ("Applied Anthropology and Culinary Arts").
|During the study group's third year at school, Andre made a flashy return to campus. Using backup dancers and musical accompaniment he proposed to Shirley in the cafeteria. She eagerly accepted and the two immediately made plans for the wedding to be held in Group Study Room F. A rehearsal was scheduled and Britta volunteered to help with the arrangements. This was so that Shirley could focus on her business deal for a sandwich shop in the cafeteria with Pierce. When she was late to the rehearsal Andre was furious. He insisted things she focused on being the homemaker while he makes the money in the family. Shirley got upset as well feeling that his previous actions made a return to how things were an impossibility. When Andre then questioned why they were getting married Shirley stormed off. He followed her outside and they try to hash things out until Annie interrupted informing them they needed to stop a drunk Jeff and Britta. Andre and Shirley separate the pair who were trying to get the minister to marry them. They criticized Jeff and Britta's reckless behavior explaining that marriage isn't something you blindly go into. Shirley told them it's a serious commitment that takes work to make it successful. Andre agreed and accepted that he had to let Shirley try and succeed with her business ventures. The minister then suggested since they were on the same page now they could save money and get wed now and save. They both agree and quickly get remarried. ("Urban Matrimony and the Sandwich Arts").
Andre does not appear in the study group's Senior year together at Greendale, but he is mentioned several times. In October, Shirley and Andre decided to go with a "Star Wars" theme for their Halloween costumes. Shirley dressed as Princess Leia, Elijah and Jordan dressed as Stormtroopers, baby Ben went as an Ewok and Andre dressed as Han Solo ("Paranormal Parentage"). The November of that year, Shirley invited the study group to her house for Thanksgiving dinner. Andre's family were there as well, but he couldn't attend himself because of a sale he was having at his stereo store ("Cooperative Escapism in Familial Relations"). At the end of the year, Abed researched the past of each study group member to determine whether or not they had met before coming to Greendale. He discovered that in 2008 Jeff was indirectly responsible for Mysti the stripper hooking up with Andre. Jeff had not only successfully defended her in court and prevented her from going to jail but he also encouraged her to hit on a married man who turned out to be Andre. Shirley was furious at the revelation but eventually forgave Jeff as she understood he was a different person at that time ("Heroic Origins").
In the study group's fifth year together at Greendale, Shirley reveals to her friends that Andre has left her again. After graduation she had became obsessed with trying to expand her sandwich shop business. Unfortunately, this took up all her time which caused her to start neglecting her family. When her efforts failed, the financial loss was the final straw for Andre. This time he took the kids, the dog and the DVR containing 166 episodes of "Bones" and went to his sister's house. Shirley didn't blame him this time and realized she was at fault for their current separation ("Repilot").
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