|Occupation||Unknown, Former Night Manager|
Bruce McCombs is a character in the show Wilfred (US Series). He is one of the only other characters that Ryan encounters who can also see and talk to Wilfred. He is portrayed by Dwight Yoakam and later William Baldwin.
Bruce appears as an older male who is balding. He is the only other character in the show who can legitimately see and talk to Wilfred, adding onto the debate on whether Wilfred is all in Ryan's head.
Bruce is a mysterious man from Wilfred's past. Not much is known about him but he does mention many tidbits of his life throughout his episodes, how true they are are unknown.
Bruce explains how he met Wilfred to Ryan in Doubt. He claims he was promoted as a night manager and began renting a sweet studio apartment. One day he went to pay his rent and instead of his landlady, her "mentally unstable son playing dress up", he presumes, answered instead. The two smoke a joint and begin hanging out (almost parallel to Ryan), and Bruce notices nobody else sees what he sees.
Bruce also tells Ryan of how Wilfred ruined his life, from talking him out of a job, taking a piss in someone's hat and even convincing him to make out with his own father at a party. He then tells Ryan Wilfred had slipped him a defected condom and, soon after, Bruce was stuck with the stripper Cinnamon Sizzle and their twins (This appears to be false).
Implied by Bruce, Wilfred once had him kick his cousin's kid in the face with a running start.
Bruce is first seen in the eleventh episode of season one (Doubt) driving past Ryan in his car while Ryan speaks to Wilfred. He is later seen spying on Ryan at Kristen's yoga class. He shows up again at a clothes store and confronts Ryan about Wilfred, only to flee when Wilfred is looking for Ryan. Ryan agrees to meet up with Bruce at a restaurant, where he begins explaining how he was in the same position as Ryan and that Wilfred ended up ruining his life.
Ryan then goes on a date, at the expense that Wilfred switched who he was meeting up with, and enters the bathroom to find Bruce. Bruce demands he test out the condom Wilfred prepared for Ryan's date and it indeed turns out there is a hole in it. Bruce suggests that Ryan get rid of Wilfred, explaining how he is now Ryan's problem.
Bruce appears in the forest Ryan planned to abandon Wilfred at only for Wilfred to pretend Bruce does not exist. Bruce dismisses this by hocking a loogie on Wilfred's face and the two engage in an argument that leads to him whipping out a gun. The two fight and Ryan ends up with the gun, and has to make a decision. Ultimately Ryan shoots at Bruce. But he's not dead, it was only a blank gun. It turns out Wilfred and Bruce do know each other and that the "shit they do is complicated".
In order for the key to open the suitcase Ryan has to face Bruce in another "game".
The game Bruce selects for the first round is "Why the hell is he wearing that mask", in which whenever Ryan says the phrase, Bruce gets a point. Bruce gets two points.
Next a montage displays more games, including the two balancing an apple between both their foreheads, Ryan balancing multiple items as Bruce hits him with a pillow, Ryan eating a leech off of Bruce's bald head, the two wearing donning excessive amounts of fake white hair, Bruce making noise with trash can lids as Ryan reads a book while upside and dumping a bucket of noodles onto Ryan.
It appears a tie until Wilfred gives a riddle for Ryan to solve (What dwells in the blue with a sunset face and a nose like a dagger, with wood at its base?), if he solves it he wins the suitcase, and if he loses he gets spanked by a moose antler. Ryan guesses a Toucan, but the correct answer is actually Martin Van Buren ("sunset face" = Rosacea).
Bruce is about to leave in victory until Wilfred calls... Moncchichi Clown Bubbles! It's sudden death. One last round, if Ryan wins he gets the key, if Bruce wins he gets to chop off Wilfred's tail.
The game is Truth or Dare. Wilfred insists to pick truth, but Ryan goes against him and chooses dare. Bruce picks up a phone and dares Ryan to call his own father and tell him it was his fault and he wants to come back. Ryan is seconds away from speaking to his father when he switches to truth. Ryan wins and Bruce leaves.
He appears again in Distance in conversation between Ryan and Wilfred when discussing Wilfred's "peeps" on Instagram, to which Ryan states Wilfred can't talk to anyone else, then mentions Bruce as he is the only other character who can see and talk to Wilfred, and he apparently has a long and confusing history with Wilfred. Nevertheless Wilfred does not want to bring Bruce into it as he is not trustworthy and a snake. Literally, a slithering, hissing snake. One that when you catch it and try to eat it but it bites the inside of your cheek it swells up. Weird action. Anyways, Wilfred insists a snake that walks on two legs and has opposable thumbs. The two discuss mindgames, and Wilfred laughs at the thought of Ryan playing a mindgame on him.
This leads Ryan to snatch Bruce's address off of Wilfred's iPhone (Where he apparently knows 259 Guys). He reaches the address and finds Bruce gardening. He seems guilty. He insinuates the idea of him murdering an elderly couple and living in their house, cashing their social security checks. He understands Ryan's apparent "thought" of this scenario but insists it's just his vibes. They dismiss it and Bruce shows a photo to Ryan. In the photo Bruce is pimping it up and has two armfuls of a woman named Deb and her daughter Tammy, whom have taken Bruce in "like family". Bruce explains they are very nice and away at a Christian retreat for the weekend, and that Ryan has to remove his shoes. Fuckin' Deb's rules, what are you gonna do?
The two discuss Wilfred. Ryan has questions, and Bruce knows something "crayon related" (the drawing perhaps?). He mentions wormholes and time travel briefly, but ends his statement. Shit, he's said too much. Ryan insists he needs to know the truth of Wilfred's existence in his life. Bruce has the answers, but only if Ryan gives him the Holy Grail: Wilfred's balls. Without them, Wilfred will no longer be aggressive. That's the only offer Bruce will take.
Ryan reveals this to Wilfred, who instructs to get some Vincenzo's meatballs, as they look exactly like his testicles. After much shenanigans the two realize they have been mindfucked by Bruce in the mindgame and get him back. They go through with the Vincenzo's meatballs, but Ryan informs Bruce that Wilfred had died during the procedure. Bruce chuckles and calls bullshit. Ryan's for real. Bruce freaks out, without Wilfred he is nothing he declares. Ryan says Bruce still has Deb and Tammy, Bruce freaks out some more, holy shit he pulls out a gun. It's over. He pulls the trigger and next thing you know there's blood all over the curtains and he falls to the ground.
Ryan's now freaks out, until Bruce opens his eyes. He's alive. Wilfred comes out and the two have a laugh on Ryan. Boom, mind-gamed, bitch! Wilfred eats his meatball and realizes it's... oh, shit! Ryan grabbed a pair of dog testes from a biological waste bin while at the vet earlier. Bruce is pissed he went through all that bullshit for zero meatballs. He banishes the two from his house.
After giving chase to the man who picks up the money drop from Genevieve in Forward, Ryan discovers it to be Bruce, albeit looking different as well as wearing prosthetics. In his new abandoned factory home, Bruce explains he went through a "cleanse". Soon enough Ryan discovers it's just another game, as Wilfred wanted Ryan to hang out with him according to Bruce. Ryan refuses to play.
In The Basement Ryan tells Wilfred not to play anymore games with Bruce, only for Bruce to appear in the background disguised as a lamp (clip on lamp pull earring completing this). Bruce explains Wilfred and he are all tied up, as Ryan crawled into a window earlier in the day. Wilfred refuses to take part in the Endgame due to he and Ryan's agreement, but Bruce declares the Endgame is still on.
Wilfred runs away from Jenna and she asks Ryan to find him. Ryan goes to Bruce, who is urinating all over several objects in an alley, to find Wilfred. Bruce agrees, but on the condition Ryan outwit him in a game entitled "Moonlight Fallin' On The Egret's Feathers". The rules are simple, whoever can eat a Post-It note faster wins. Ryan refuses but then accepts the challenge, and comes out victorious. Bruce claims he didn't have enough saliva, but tells Ryan Wilfred was at the beach taking a leak on Tower 24.
With no sign of Wilfred at the beach, Ryan returns to Bruce's factory home and peaks in the now boarded up door, seeing Wilfred dancing around to music while drinking from a wine glass. Ryan sneaks in but only finds Bruce, who inquires him on where he parked at the beach. Lot 6. Bruce is furious, as the Endgame depended on where he had parked and Bruce had waged on Lot 7, giving Wilfred the win.
Ryan is still insistent on finding Wilfred, and then notices Bruce drinking from the same wine glass and dribbling, similar to Wilfred earlier in the episode. Inspecting Bruce's bedroom he finds a makeshift dog bed along with a tennis ball. Ryan's now convinced it wasn't Wilfred he had seen through the window but rather Bruce, and backs this up by enticing him with the ball, rubbing his belly and threatening him with a rolled up newspapers. He's convinced Bruce is a dog, but Bruce thinks that's crazy. Bruce then prepares himself and takes off his face to reveal himself
again, only in a Wilfred outfit. Krungle's the name, he declares. He admits to trying to ruin Ryan's life, but Ryan insists on finding Wilfred. Bruce drugged him and brought him to a kill shelter, where he could go at any moment. Ryan has a choice: save Wilfred or find out who's been receiving Genevieve's money drops.
- Wilfred claims Bruce had a cocaine addiction and weakness for prostitutes.
- Bruce is the only named contact in Wilfred's phone (The rest are Guy - 1 all the way to Guy - 259).
- He took a special effects class at the Learning Annex.
- Bruce may be a reverse of what Wilfred is: instead of a man in a dog costume, he may be a dog in a human. Minimal interaction between him and anyone other than Ryan and Wilfred blurs these lines. Wilfred also repeatedly insists Bruce is a snake.
- Bruce is the only other person besides Wilfred and Ryan to go in The Basement (Though Henry has been in the basement in a dream in Intuition)
- In both Doubt and Distance Bruce fakes his death via gun, only to be shown alive mere seconds after the shot.
- He enjoys Carl's Grub Shack and Vincenzo's
- He has lived with a woman called Deb and her daughter Tammy.
- It can be concluded that Bruce was almost entirely in Ryan's head, and just a manifestation based off of Shane, the Flock member who had portrayed Krungle in the Flock's rituals.
- A popular in show theory regarding Bruce's appearance change (from Yoakam to Baldwin) suggests Ryan came up with Bruce's appearance for Seasons 1-3, then when when Ryan sees Shane in Patterns this triggers Bruce to look just like him. Despite this theory, essentially the main reason Bruce's actors change was due to Yoakam being busy with work on Under The Dome.
A popular theory suggests Bruce to be a dog in a man suit, or the opposite of Wilfred. Like Wilfred, he has a tendency to perform doglike acts while being human:
- He was "taken in" by Deb and Tammy "like family", with theories insisting this represents them taking in a stray dog.