Dr. Bunsen Honeydew



Dr. Bunsen Honeydew is a fictional character from The Muppet Show, performed by Dave Goelz. The Muppet was a bald, bespectacled, lab-coated scientist who would do periodic science segments from "Muppet Labs...where the future is being made today." The face of the muppet had no eyes, only glasses, and his experiments always went awry, usually causing great harm to his long-suffering assistant Beaker (Richard Hunt), a nearly mute Muppet with shocked red hair. In the first season of The Muppet Show, Honeydew worked alone. In the second season and beyond, he was accompanied by Beaker.

Originally, Beaker would end up blown up, electrocuted, eaten by large monsters, or missing body parts. Beaker can only communicate in a nervous, high-pitched squeak that sounds like "Mee-mee-mee mee!" (In books and merchandise, the sound is spelled "Meep".) His tone or expression helps to communicate his meaning. He rapidly became a favourite with audiences, who both sympathized with and enjoyed laughing at his humorous sufferings. Occasionally, Beaker was able to take revenge, particularly an episode in which he inadvertently made several copies of himself and spent the rest of the episode chasing Honeydew. Some of the inventions that were created and tested included: edible paper clips, a gorilla detector, hair-growing tonic, banana sharpener, a robot politician and an electric nose warmer. In response to the ancient quest of alchemy to turn lead into gold, Bunsen created a device that turned gold into cottage cheese.

The two scientists were later incorporated into the Muppet Babies animated series. Howie Mandel voiced Bunsen, and Frank Welker provided Beaker's squeaky meeps. Following Richard Hunt's death in 1992, the role of Beaker was taken over by Steve Whitmire.

In a 2004 Internet poll sponsored by the BBC and the British Association for the Advancement of Science, Beaker and Dr. Bunsen Honeydew were voted Britain's favourite cinematic scientists. They beat Mr. Spock, their closest rival, by a margin of 2 to 1 and won 33 percent of the 43,000 votes cast.

Dr. Bunsen Honeydew's name was derived from the traditional piece of lab equipment, the Bunsen burner, plus the fact that his head was shaped like a honeydew melon. He was rumored to be modeled after Lew Grade, whose company ITC Entertainment produced The Muppet Show. Henson responded in a Judy Harris interview:

"Bunsen Honeydew was not specifically Lord [Lew] Grade when we did him. It would have been easy to make him much more like Lew Grade if we had tried to and, in retrospect, I wish that we had. The character that owns the Muppet theatre only appeared a couple of times and I always - in looking back - wished that I had made that to look just like Lew Grade because he's very caricaturable."

One of his most endearing features is his lack of eyes, despite the fact that he wears glasses. Occasionally, Honeydew removes his glasses to clean them, or lifts them as if to get a better look at things, which is something of a running gag.

According to the official Muppets website, he graduated from Carnegie Melonhead University (a spoof of Carnegie Mellon University) and was employed as an assistant to Dr. Pinhole Burns. He is the founder of Muppet Labs.Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, with no Front-Cover Texts, and with no Back-Cover Texts.
Virtual Magic is a human knowledge database blog. Text Based On Information From Wikipedia, Under The GNU Free Documentation License. Copyright (c) 2007 Virtual Magic. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.1 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU Free Documentation License".

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