Humphrey B. Bear
|Humphrey B. Bear|
|Here's Humphrey character|
Humphrey B. Bear
|First appearance||24 May 1965 on Children’s TV show The Channel Niners, with hosts Ian Fairweather and Ann North|
Humphrey B. Bear is an Australian children's television series and its fictional character namesake is an icon of Australian children's television. Humphrey B. Bear was first broadcast on Adelaide's NWS-9 on Monday, 24 May 1965. The show became one of the most successful programs for pre-schoolers in Australia. The part of Humphrey was originally played by Edwin "Ted" Duryea, (c.1930-2009) an actor, singer and dancer whose human identity was never revealed.
The character of Humphrey is a tall, shaggy honey-loving brown bear with a large, glossy nose, straw boater hat, tartan waist-coat and oversized yellow bow-tie. His television show always features a companion who assists and narrates Humphrey's various adventures in the "magic forest" including his brightly coloured tree house. The show is shot on television studio set. In the early days the character was known as Bear Bear and was named Humphrey B. Bear as the result of an on-air competition.
The show has won Logies for Best Children's Series and the Humphrey character has received national awards and commendations, including a special "Citizen of the Year" Award at the 1994 Australia Day celebrations. Humphrey B. Bear has viewers all over the world thanks to the United States version of his show shown on PBS in America and the Spanish version shown on Galavision. It has been translated or produced in 55 different languages.
Each episode of Humphrey is designed to entertain and educate its audience thought music and storytelling as they join in the fun with the character of Humphrey B. Bear. Humphrey is a honey-loving bear who lives in his Tree House in the Magic Forest. Humphrey is a friend to everyone and everyone is his friend.
The writers of Humphrey B. Bear, including Anthony O'Donohue (also long time host of the show), attempt to set up each show as a new adventure for Humphrey that parallels the needs, encounters and interests the average young child. The character of Humphrey explores life as they do, trying to reinforce their self-esteem and showing them it's all right to embrace challenges. The series attempts to show it’s important to be the best that you can be, give things your best shot and to simply take part in your life, family, community and the world.
In February 2012, Imagination Ventures, the philanthropic enterprise of media company Imagination Entertainment, purchased the assets of Banksia Productions that included all the rights to the Humphrey B. Bear.
In May 2012 Humphrey was announced as the official 'Ambassabear' for the Women & Children's Hospital Foundation and he was introduced to a new generation of children. His first major fundraising effort saw the release of a limited edition gift set featuring a Humphrey plush doll & DVD with all proceeds supporting the hospitals Kids FUNd program. Since then, Humphrey has reappeared across Australia featuring in live shows including school performances, community events and birthday parties.
In July 2013 Humphrey returned to national TV screens on Television stations in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide & Perth.
Humphrey celebrated his 50th Anniversary in 2015.
In September 2016, OZPIX Entertainment facilitated the acquisition of all the assets and rights to Humphrey B. Bear from Imagination Ventures. Imagination Ventures continues to partner with the Humphrey B. Bear brand.
Village Roadshow Studios now play host to Humphrey B. Bear’s new headquarters at their studios on the Gold Coast, Australia.
Highlights & Awards
|1965||A star is born
Release of Theme Song #1
Competition to rename "Bear Bear" and the winner is "Humphrey"
|1968||First Plush Toy Released|
|1969||1st Logie Award - Best Children's TV Series|
|1975||Parents Without Partners Distinguished Service to Children Award|
|1978||2nd Logie Award - Favourite Children's Personality
Gold Record for outstanding sales of "Look There's Humphrey Bear'' Music Record
Festival of Light Award
|1979||Television Society of Australia Individual Achievement|
|1982||3rd Logie Award - Best Children's TV Series
Penguin Award - Best Children's Personality
|1990||Release of Theme Song #2|
Release of Mandarin/Chinese version
Release of Theme Song #3
|1998||Launch on "Here's Humphrey" USA Series as part of "Someday School" on PBS|
|1999||Launch of Humphrey Australia Post Postage Stamp
Launch of "Hispanic Humphrey" Series on Galavision
Humphrey for President Campaign
|2003||Humphrey becomes Heritage Listed and a National Trust Icon|
Humphrey has been recognised as an icon of Australian television and is featured in the Australian National Museum.
He became the only bear in the world to become a cub when he was initiated into the Scouting Movement.
- Humphrey Bear lives on, February 16, 2007, smh.com.au