Bunsen Honeydew

Bunsen Honeydew

Dr. Bunsen Honeydew is a Muppet from The Muppet Show, performed by Dave Goelz. He is a bald, bespectacled, lab-coated scientist who would do periodic science segments from "Muppet Labs, where the future is being made today." The muppet has no eyes, only completely transparent, lensless glasses. This makes him appear a very absent-minded intellectual. He was named after Robert Bunsen, inventor of the Bunsen Burner. His last name is an obvious reference to the honeydew melon for which his head bears a striking resemblance.

Honeydew's experiments usually cause great harm to his long-running assistant Beaker, a nearly mute Muppet with a shock of reddish hair. Honeydew worked alone in the first season of The Muppet Show, but from the second season onward, the luckless Beaker would always be present.

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, Honeydew created a device that turned gold into cottage cheese.



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 and colored 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 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."

Some hold that the muppet was based upon Jim Henson's children's high school chemistry teacher, Allan Abrahams. This has not been confirmed.

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.

Among other films, he appeared in The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992), Muppet Treasure Island (1996), and The Muppets' Wizard of Oz (2005) with Beaker.

He and Beaker will be in the upcoming Muppets movie.


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.

The two scientists were later incorporated into the Muppet Babies animated series. Howie Mandel and Dave Coulier voiced Bunsen, and Frank Welker provided Beaker's squeaky meeps. Bunsen made an appearance in Little Muppet Monsters voiced by Bob Bergen. 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.

See also

External links

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