Humphrey B. Bear is one of the most successful childrean's characters in Australian History. Introduced to Australian children on May 24 1965 and still running 37 years later, he has been entertaining and educating children every weekday morning (i say he, although in reality, it could really be a she, being a bear, its hard to tell). The show is focused at young toddlers, around the age of 4, though many older children do watch it.

Humphrey is forever 4 years old and lives in a tree house in a magic forest by himself, but regularly has human friends come to visit him. He was originally called Bear Bear but got his current name after an on air competition was run. Being a bear, Humphrey cant actually talk. So he uses hand and body gestures to indicate what he wants. Humphrey and his friends do a variety of activites, such as painting, riding a horse, singing (at least his friends do), dancing and playing simple games. The kids seem to love it. I guess that explains why he is still on the air. He is also one of the biggest fans of honey known.

Under this 'entertainment', however, The Humphrey show (entitled Here's Humphrey) is a very successful attempt at combining education with entertainment (as successful in Australia as shows like Playschool, except Playschool doesnt have a 5'8" cuddly bear). Often the games include counting and simple maths, which, combined with their exciting and fun presentation, gives off the feeling that its fun to learn. Humphrey also often makes mistakes. This is fully intended, as the show tries to show that its ok to make mistakes and that you will learn better by learning from them.

Humphrey B. Bear isn't just a TV star though. He also has many, many different items you can purchase, such as stuffed toys and music CDs of his favourites songs from the show (strange seeing as he can't talk). He also makes visits to many many schools, kindergartens, shopping centers and parks around Australia, giving talks (with the help of his friend's) and performing stage shows infront of (sometimes) thousands of excited children and their parents.

The popularity of Humphrey B. Bear is so great, he has not only survived 37 years on television (Fat Cat, another popular childrens character, was cancelled in the early 1990's), but has also managed to find his way onto overseas television. His show currently also screens in the US (Here's Humphrey USA), Latin America (Here's Humphrey Spanish Series) and in some asian countries (Here's Humphrey Mandarin).

Some other activities this 4 year old bear has undertaken include conducting an Orchestra, traning to be a fire fighter and joining the air force. Also a minor note, Humphrey has sometimes been attacked by (in my opinion) over zealous and utterly ridiculous community groups for being naked on television. I believe these people have forgotten that it is un-natural for a bear to wear clothes in the first place.

I wish i could have been a fireman when i was 4.


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