Mascot Week: Bernard the Bee Boy 🌭

Where are mascots born? A panicked boardroom at 2 AM, with none of the drugs AMC promised. Just a whiteboard with the dumbest shit ten former artists have said in their lives. In the back, a disappointed mentor pockets another call from home. Something about a birthday. He fires a pleading, imminently divorced look.


You have nothing.

“Guys. Cereal is fun. People like cereal. Anything.”

You write down the nothing.

Or not, who knows. That scene almost explains Bernard the Bee Boy. He’s a legacy mascot, from a proud line of brand priests. Post has faith in advertising.

Faith rarely works out.

You saw the title. Meet Bernard.

Sorry, that’s Crazy Craving, the second oddest Honeycomb mascot. And a long-runner, despite heaven’s will. I can rant about dignity and sanity all day, but they don’t test well. Awards heap praise on thoughtful ads for things we don’t buy, while Crazy Craving turned trauma into cereal sales.

Crazy Craving tested my loyalty to Toonami. I could face the beast for Big O, a.k.a. Batman Found A Mech. But I fled during Silverhawks, a.k.a. Thundercats in Space. Today, I rate punching in seconds of Crazy Craving tolerance. I gave Jujutsu Kaisen a chance, but that’s six seconds of Crazy Craving, tops. Chainsaw Man is a solid minute.

With that breakfast shoggoth out the way, here’s Bernard:

Or the Honeycomb Kid, Honeycomb’s first mascot. He’s great. Imagine a cowboy pastiche, but from another timeline. The Honeycomb Kid’s lion-powered chariot doesn’t evoke any western ever made. Good. Authenticity’s for food that doesn’t glow. Post went weird ages ago, only the horror and tedium are new.

The Kid moved me to try Honeycomb. It’s fine for a sweet tooth in denial, or corn withdrawal. Like most cereal promising health and flavor, Honeycomb fails twice. It’s better than blowing rent on Magic Spoon’s protein chalk, but so is a weekend in Atlantic City.

The Honeycomb Kid defied fate to deliver prediabetes. Mostly with old cowboy tricks like hucking boulders back at avalanches. Which is how Tombstone ended in my heart.

Product worship can be fun! A mock folk hero feels fresh, or at least manically inspired. Now that you’ve seen a mascot work, meet Bernard.

Bernard’s a feral child.

A feral child raised by bees.

In fairness, I bury bleakness like this in sugar. And based on headlines and every dad in fiction, human parenting’s flawed. Sadly, bees are third rate animal godparents. While wolves teach you to found empires, bees teach you to starve.

Some questions emerge. Hitting an early spot might clear things up. As they said in my old hive: “that’s a little too urban for Princeton.” Later on, they said specifics matter.

This one’s fun. Still demented, but fun. Most cereal ads are, until Groundhog Day vibes set in.

Like many sugar mascots, The Bee Boy (not to be confused with a dancer/killer/mediocre student) lives on loop. Figuratively—exaggerations blend in here. For example, a Jane Goodall impersonator finds a preteen with super-speed living off nothing in the jungle. That’s a straight-laced summary.

Gane Joodall is decades ahead of the curve: she records Bernard for clout instead of helping. The web’s ravaged traditional publishing. And web publishing. And global democracy. But I suspect it’s hit freakshows harder. The better Bee Boy spots are all mockumentaries. If you don’t hear a strained English accent, you’re in for a bad time.

I should explain “super-speed.” As a rogue drone, Bernard emits a persistent and infuriating hum. He also twitches every two seconds, bending space and making the sound effect worse. Think Nightcrawler with a vuvuzela.

Gane should probably look into that. But she prefers the old bird vs. screen door gag. Fair play, even when the bird’s an orphan. That joke’s less of a lemon, and more shared culture. Object vs. face belongs to everyone.

Squint, and you’ll notice a box tucked just out of sight. It’s Honeycomb, the corn of the elite. This ad remembered the sponsor with ten seconds on the clock. For all the bees in Tarzan Jr., there’s not much room left for cereal. Unless…

Cereal tames the savage beast. Or rather, gives him tweaker convulsions. Again, that’s less of a joke and more of a transcript. The audio description track would say “Bee Boy scratches himself between violent shakes, desperate for his drug of choice.” Leaving blind viewers to assume a sick joke. Which this is, but not that kind.

Gane and Bernard bond over substance abuse.

Whoever meth-coded this brand? We’d get along. No one that chooses this can bore you. They might accidentally ruin both your lives, but they won’t bore you.

I think this first spot’s alright. I also expect nothing from this medium or mankind, but I respect a fresh swing. Especially after Crazy Craving. Sadly, the sequels suck out loud. They overdo it. Reuse material. Beat a horse’s skeleton. If you think Lucky’s stuck in a time loop, watch Bernard’s journey go nowhere.

Granted, low effort’s the goal. The dream’s a machine so simple another agency can’t break it. The Trix Rabbit mined one joke until empathy became hip. The King’s death mask invoked fates worse than Burger King for a decade. Post wanted a self-driving brand. They found one in the ’60s, but new execs need new trophies.

Bernard seemed like a repeatable joke. Saturday morning’s only competing fiends were Ed Edd & Eddy. The gimmick survives Bernard’s trip to the zoo, where he challenges a bear to single combat.

Over honey, naturally. Bernard’s handler lures him back with cereal. I’m wary of a “Would You Kindly” trigger as a product benefit. But that appeals to some parents and keeps the premise alive. The academic frame, honey gags, and ear-stabbing buzzes limp along.

The joke stretches thinner when Bernard meets the neighbors. His jungle’s next to Whoville. The Jim Carrey edition, with a sneering bourgeoisie:

Client notes said “more cereal.” It’s a yellow-tinted town, the neighbor has a yellow dress, blonde beehive, and Post serial code tattoo. It’s a honey world, the Bee Boy just can’t afford it. That’s not where I’m stuck.

Bernard has neighbors? He’s the most unhoused mascot I’ve seen. Oscar the Grouch is ahead by a trashcan. Bernard has negative assets, a Schedule I habit, and a stage parent. Sure, this gated community might be in the heart of the Amazon, sparking more questions. But Bernard’s credit score isn’t high enough to face this rejection.

The Who’s heart grows, and she offers to show Bernard central air. If he leaves his bees outside. The only creatures to show him loyalty or love.

Bernard’s betrayed something. His family? Class? Friends? He can vibrate all he wants, his inner bee’s dead. I hope this home’s copper wiring is worth it.

But we’re aiming for absurd. Overthinking means you’re bored, and Bernard’s schtick is getting old. He speaks entirely in twitches and buzzes, in dialogue-driven sketches. The charm’s less Kenny McCormick, and more a child thrashing to mosquito love songs. We’re already behind the Silverhawks line of commercial tolerance. Desperation’s scent is smothering the honey.

It doesn’t improve with Halloween Bernard.

Or yearbook Bernard.

Or flash Bernard.

The website’s dead, like this idea. We’re eight seasons into a sitcom, and the showrunner’s on trial. I’d say they stopped trying, but that implies they’re missing something. They aren’t. Bernard’s a dry well. We’re restarting another comic at #1.

The solution? The same as any failing relationship. Another baby.

Meet the second Bee Boy. Bernard’s saving throw against joining the Kids’ Club in the grave. I could say this angle defied Scrappy and Jeb, and saved the campaign. I could also say plastic fades, VC firms saved the internet, and Honeycomb tastes chalk-free. It’s better to face reality.

To spell it out: younger, spunkier replacements might work in sports and love. Less so in stories, which ads oddly still insist on telling. Sure, Bernard finally found a kindred spirit in a lonely hive. But that is impossible to give a shit about. Post should’ve rented Terry Crews a decade earlier.

Still, give Post some rope. Cereal’s a tough niche:

This article was brought to you by our fine sponsor and Hot Dog Supreme: Ken Paisley, who once killed a man for Sugar Smacks. Smacks are whack, kids. Stay in school.

One reply on “Mascot Week: Bernard the Bee Boy 🌭”

Geez, those kids are young enough and these ads seem elaborate enough that they probably had to have at least one day of on-set tutoring. What a job, what a life, what a country!

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