Eugene Heronamus Meltsner is a major character in Adventures in Odyssey, voiced by Will Ryan. A long-time employee at Whit's End, Eugene is the local "genius", possessing a reputation for erudition and a fondness for trivia. His most distinctive feature as a character is his unusual and remarkable pattern of speech, almost always utilizing the most complex sentence structure, extensive vocabulary and esoteric technical terminology possible to explain any idea on any occasion. (He may be considered a caricature of Asperger syndrome: absolute uncompromising technical knowledge, efficiency and competence at the expense of personal and social graces.) "To borrow the colloquialism," as he would say, Eugene is a geek. Major plot arcs involving Eugene include his conversion to Christianity, his courtship, engagement, and marriage to Katrina Shanks and the search for his father.
Eugene first entered Odyssey in the episode #51: “Connie, Part 1”, after Connie Kendall, a Whit's End employee, went to California. After a rather confusing introduction, Eugene was hired, and stayed on even after Connie's return. He attended Campbell County Community College, and eventually became a professor of computer science (#697: “A Penny Earned”) and chemistry (#729: “No Chemistry Whatsoever”). He finally became a Christian when he felt an incredible sense of loss when Regis Blackgaard was taking over Whit's End during #330: “The Time Has Come”. Although their relationship was rough, he finally married his sweetheart Katrina Shanks—first at her father's deathbed (#484: “Plan B, Part 1: Missing in Action”), and again for all their friends in Odyssey (#571: “For Better or For Worse, Part 2”).
Eugene disappeared from Odyssey for a great deal of time, spanning from #484: “Plan B, Part 1: Missing in Action” to #564: “A Most Intriguing Question”, in which he made a rather unusual entrance back into the world of Odyssey. (The episodes in which he appeared during this hiatus were clipped together from other episodes.) While continuing work for the National Institute of Health on the radio wave study, he accidentally wiped his memory of everything that happened in Odyssey. Frustrated at the failure of Whit's attempts to use the Imagination Station to restore his memory, Eugene—against the advice of his friends—overloaded his mind with the memories of Connie, Katrina, and Bernard Walton, which Whit had programmed into the Imagination Station, and prayed with Whit immediately afterwards when he was distraught that it did not work. A flood of memories overcame him after this, and in the end, Whit, though acknowledging that the Imagination Station may have played a small role, gave the credit to God.
In the more recent episodes, Eugene's adventures in Africa resulted in him coming into contact with his father, Leonard Meltsner, whom he thought to be dead. He also discovered that he has a brother still living, Everett Meltsner, who was kidnapped from his father by his father's nemesis, Dalton Kearn, at age two. Dalton was ultimately brought down by Eugene and his friends in the episodes entitled “The Top Floor”.
After being dive-bombed by birds who wanted his hair for their nests, Eugene finally got a haircut. But listeners still have one question: "How could Eugene see through all that hair?"
See Meltsner family
Eugene's mother died in Africa and his father Leonard is still alive serving as a missionary in Africa along with Eugene's younger brother Everett. His grandfather was Hiram Meltsner; unfortunately, he has also passed away. Eugene is married to Katrina Meltsner; in To Mend or Repair, they discover that they are unable to have children. Eugene is distantly related to Bernard Walton.
- After having his mind erased and getting it back, the first thing he remembers is when he becomes a Christian in: The Time Has Come
- He can sleep standing up. (#589: “The Impossible”)
- Eugene created two unsuccessful ice cream flavors: radish and green bean. (#379: “Best Face Forward”, #610: “Hear Me, Hear Me”)
- He organizes his vests by occasion.
- He disintegrated a bathtub when he was 6 while trying to invent a new cleaning solution. (#620: “A New Era, Part 2”)
- Eugene has a phobia of needles. (#599: “Blood, Sweat, and Fears”)
- His favorite vest has a tortoise shell print and he likes it because it makes him feel like an amphibian. (#610: “Hear Me, Hear Me”)
- His favorite book is Lactic Acid Bacteria: Microbiological and Functional Aspects Third Edition. (#610: “Hear Me, Hear Me”)
- He once was a missionary to Africa with his wife Katrina.
- He lives on Maple Street. (#567: “Two Friends and a Truck”)
- When he was 10, Eugene's favorite temperature was 68 degrees.
- Eugene's foster parents were Frank and Maddie Burnette.
- He owns a lot of dinosaur figures.
- He used to raise goldfish. (#437a: “Sunset Bowlawater”)
- He was nicknamed "Short Stuff" in high school.
- He is always losing his keys.
- He weighs about 117 pounds, and is 6 feet 2 inches.
- Eugene's camp nickname was Goggles. (#583: “The Champ of the Camp”)
- Eugene went to high school at age 9 and college at age 13. (#405: “The Graduate”)
- He designed an experimental aircraft and crashed it on the Tarmac at the Odyssey airport. (#679: “The Green Ring Conspiracy, Part 1”)
- Eugene once wanted a microscope but got a plastic turtle instead.
- Eugene wants a tire pressure gauge for Christmas. (#678: “Grandma’s Christmas Visit”)
- Eugene plays guitar (#678: “Grandma’s Christmas Visit”) and ukelele (#101: “Scattered Seeds”).
- Eugene once taught Penny and Connie in a college chemistry class. (#729: “No Chemistry Whatsoever”)
- Eugene wears a size 27 in pants. (#610: “Hear Me, Hear Me”)
- In #51: “Connie, Part 1”, Eugene says that he hates nicknames, but he does sometimes refer to Mr. Whittaker as Whit.
- Eugene invented a device that would administer an electric shock to keep his parents out of the fridge while they were dieting; he later made a similar device for the cash register at Whit's End. (#113: “Suspicious Minds”)
- Eugene knows French, Greek and a little Spanish.
- Eugene once tried to grow a mustache. (#323: “A Little Credit, Please”, #330: “The Time Has Come”)
- People sometimes mistake his name for "Hubert." (#76: “Eugene's Dilemma”)
- He was once called Gene Malstin in a newspaper article. (#580: “Tales of a Small-Town Thug”)
- Eugene likes old-fashioned carnivals—besides the freak show displays, which remind him too much of his first year in middle school. (#679: “The Green Ring Conspiracy, Part 1”)
- Eugene's best pitching speed was 61 miles per hour (#712: “Child’s Play”).
- Eugene once shaved his head (#660: “For the Birds”)
- When Eugene first proposed to Katrina, she said no.
- He is the president of the Odyssey Historical Society. (#636: “A Class Reenactment”)
- Eugene's password for his answering machine is his favorite prime number. (#620: “A New Era, Part 2”)
- His eyes are periwinkle blue. (#254: “Truth, Trivia and 'Trina”)
- His favorite saying is "Greetings and salutations!"
- Eugene is an accomplished thespian.
- His favorite musical is Persian Nights.
- His first date with Katrina was at Panzini's.
- He takes things literally during intense conflicts. (#734: “Life Expectancy, Part 1”)
- In addition to talking like a dictionary, he even thinks like a dictionary! (#441a: “What Do You Think?”)
- He once stopped a bomb (for a little while). (“The Last Days of Eugene Meltsner”)
- Connie wanted him to be her male model for her bejeweling business, Creations By Connie. (#696: “You're Two Kind”)
- He was taught to drive by Connie. (#194: “A License to Drive”)
- He created a password-cracker that he used to find a password for an AppleBerry phone. (#686: “The Green Ring Conspiracy, Part 8”)
- He once created a mystery with his Campbell County Community College acting friends to try to get Whit out of his daily routines. (#142: “Train Ride”)
- He once did spy work in Morocco. (#581: “A Christmas Conundrum”)
- See Meltsner quotes
- "The time has come."
- "To borrow the colloquialism..."
- "Has anyone seen my keys?"
- "Greetings and Salutations!"
Eugene has appeared on the back cover of the following albums:
- Album 00: The Lost Episodes
- Album 06: Mission: Accomplished
- Album 16: Flights of Imagination
- Album 25: Darkness Before Dawn
- Album 31: Days to Remember
- Album 32: Hidden Treasures
- Album 46: A Date with Dad (and Other Calamities)
- Album 55: The Deep End
Eugene has appeared on the front cover of the following albums:
- Album 03: Heroes
- Album 07: On Thin Ice
- Album 08: Beyond Expectations
- Album 11: It's Another Fine Day...
- Album 12: At Home and Abroad
- Album 13: It All Started When...
- Album 14: Meanwhile, in Another Part of Town
- Album 21: Wish You Were Here!
- Album 26: Back on the Air
- Album 27: The Search for Whit
- Album 30: Through Thick and Thin
- Album 31: Days to Remember
- Album 34: In Your Wildest Dreams
- Album 44: Eugene Returns!
- Album 45: Lost and Found
- Album 47: Into the Light
- Album 48: Moment of Truth
- Album 50: The Best Small Town
- Album 51: Take It From The Top
- Album 52: Cause and Effect
- Album 55: The Deep End
- Album 58: The Ties That Bind
These are the episodes that feature Eugene's ukelele, and the songs that are played in them.
#101: “Scattered Seeds” : Oh! Susanna
#158: “A Day in the Life”: Sumer is Icumen In
#215: “Caroling, Caroling” : Seasonal Feliciataions
#276: “Third Degree”: The Blue Danube
#387: “New Year's Eve Live!” : Out with the Old Year; Annum Novum
#434: “B-TV: Redeeming the Season” : The Holly and the Ivy; O Tannebaum; Silent Night
Pictures of Eugene Meltsner
Drawn by Bruce Day.
Eugene running from a bull in The Cross of Cortes.
Eugene steps out of the Imagination Station in A Most Surprising Answer.
Eugene is startled by his father in Cover of Darkness.
Connie cuts Eugene's hair in For the Birds.
Eugene playing his ukelele at the New Year's Eve Live Show
Eugene and Bernard fighting over the best way to clean windows.
Eugene and Jason at the entrance to The Place of Tow.