David Jacobs

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Name: David "Davey" Jacobs
Occupation: newsboy
Relationships: Sarah (sister), Les (brother), Jack Kelly (selling partner), Esther (mother), Mayer (father)
Fandom: Newsies
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David Jacobs, nicknamed Davey and sometimes called Mouth, is one of the main protagonists of the film and stage musical Newsies. He and his brother Les join the Manhattan newsboys and help to organize and lead the strike.


Davey begins working as a newsboy at the start of the musical, alongside his younger brother Les. His father has recently lost his job, so the rest of the family is taking up work to pay for essentials. Jack is his selling partner, and the two of them co-found the Manhattan union. He is the primary organizer of the strike and associated rallies.



Lamp!David is a meme AU in which David Jacobs is actually, whether literally or metaphorically, a lamp. It is sometimes related to the sexy lamp test.[1] It was originally inspired by a meme in which Tumblr user seize-the-davey removed David from an introduction and left Jack pointing at a lamp, a post which has over 2,000 notes.[2]

It has been debated whether David can talk as a lamp, he is treated as a nonspeaking person despite being a lamp, or Les does a voice for him, among other options. In most interpretations of David as a literal lamp, the strike is still his idea.[3][4]


when your best friend is actually a lamp by seize-the-davey (January 23, 2015)

Mom Friend

David is frequently written as a "mom friend," with Jack sometimes being a "dad friend." This is often credited to stage actor Ben Fankhauser. The trope has recently been a subject of controversy, with fans criticizing what they see as found family being placed in a nuclear family box.

like i dont think ben fank intended to play him as mom-friendy, i think most of that is misconstrued by fanon seeing davey in a way he’s not intended to be seen, but from what i’ve heard about ryan’s performance, he’s way too awkward and shaking-like-a-leaf-ish to be seen as the “””mother””” of the newsies and i am so fucking HAPPY about it


i think the main problem with people forcing the mom friend role onto david boils down to javid shippers placing heteronormative expectations onto a queer ship. even if you don’t ship javid, davey and jack fall into this category of Mom and Dad of the newsies- and this makes no sense to me because, if anyone was going to be the mom friend, it would be jack! [...] a lot of it does stem from jack being the more “aggressive” of the two, in terms of personality and physicality that the actors have given his character, whereas david is seen as “softer” because he fights primarily with his words, not fists, and believes that the strike can be more than just a brawl. which, again, this doesn’t make sense when taking into account what ben fank’s david is. he stands his ground. he’s snarky, he’s bitchy, he doesn’t beat around the bush. ben fank’s davey isn’t passive, or anxious, or scared, and he doesn’t need jack saving him- he’s not a damsel. he doesn’t fit into this “””feminine and maternal””” role that the fandom kind of pushes him into.



David is popularly interpreted as Jewish, and the rest of his family by extension. In the original Hard Promises script, which the fandom has had access to since the late 1990s, his family lived in Jewtown and Wiesel called him Jewish slurs.[7] In addition, the official novelization, published in 1992 when the film came out, portrays David as Jewish.[8] Other fans came by this without knowledge of the script on the basis of the Jacobs family's names, which are Jewish in background.[9] In more recent fandom, David has also been portrayed as Jewish because his original Broadway actor, Ben Fankhauser, is Jewish. While some fans in the past have written Davey as culturally Christian,[10] this is uncommon now.


David is frequently interpreted or headcanoned as anxious and/or autistic. His Newsiepedia bio highlights difficulty reading social cues, a strong sense of ethics, antisocial behavior, and nervousness.


Example Fanworks


Fannish Links


  1. ^ my favorite thing abt the lamp!davey thing is... ask by anonymous (January 27, 2015)
  2. ^ when your best friend is actually a lamp by seize-the-davey (January 23, 2015)
  3. ^ okay but so the question is this by letssoakemforcrutchie, reblogs by david-jacobs-would and icamelatetothenewsiesparty (January 25, 2015)
  4. ^ same post, different reblogs by david-jacobs-would and seize-the-davey (January 25, 2015)
  5. ^ i absolutely hate dwvey being seen as the “mom” friend of the group by we-are-inevitable (2023)
  6. ^ this got a little out of hand by we-are-inevitable (2023)
  7. ^ Highlights of the 1991 Script by newsiesquare on Tumblr (2018)
  8. ^ I don’t know 100% where it’s from, but in addition to what everyone else has said, it’s stated in the Newsies book that was published in 1992 with the movie! by to-be-a-dreamer on Tumblr
  9. ^ David Jacobs on the Newsies Fanfiction Wiki
  10. ^ The Christmas Angel by Action Monroe (1999)