Beekeeper Review: Charles “Bumbles” Johnson

What’s difficult about this Beekeeper Review is that even though he appears in the Wait Till Your Father Gets Home episode that is entitled “The Beekeeper” we never actually get to see Bumbles do any Beekeeping.

The Boyles, the show’s protagonist family, have bees in their house. They check the phone book and see a big ad: “Charles Bumbles Johnson: If you’ve got bees give me a buzz – 851-6181”. Bumbles Johnson, voiced by Don Knotts, comes in exuding confidence, using his radio to stay in contact with his “Bumble Base” headquarters. He seems to have a supernatural ability to smell bees (“You can tell a bee man by his nostrils”) and shows no fear of being stung (“When you’re in bees, you learn to leave fear behind”). He seems like an ideal beekeeper, except that the comedic conceit of the episode is that he’s not good at his job and he’s kind of a jerk on top of it.

His attempts to get rid of the bees are unsuccessful. He causes chaos and destruction in the household. He flirts with the women and tells (presumably fictional) stories in which he name-drops celebrities he has supposedly worked for (“Bumbles Johnson, Sprayer to the Stars”). Eventually he insists that the only way to beat the bees is if he moves in with the family full time, naturally making of a nuisance of himself while he’s there. He eats all their food and tries to do non-Beekeeping-related tasks around the house, which he does badly as he does his attempted bee removal.

It’s a perfectly normal thing for a beekeeper to be called in to help with. So far so good. But he doesn’t do it. Also, we’re never shown that he has a hive or anything. He does state his intent to take care of the bees without killing them, but that is the only check in the positive column that Bumbles earns. It’s not enough.

One Honeycomb out of Five. It pains me to add another low-scoring review that bring the Average Beekeeper Rating down, but if I’m to remain the world’s foremost reviewer of fictional beekeepers, then I need to commit to the truth, not to raising the ABR.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.