Eugene 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.) (On a side note, Eugene has difficulty with driving, which is something that people with autism can struggle with.) 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 volunteers at the local library on occasions. 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 Will Ryan's time off the show 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.
While Eugene and Katrina were hiding from Andromeda, they traveled to Africa to build communication equipment for a remote village. Their adventures in Africa resulted in Eugene 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 #611: “The Top Floor”.
After being dive-bombed by birds who wanted his hair for their nests, Eugene finally got a haircut in #660: “For the Birds”. But listeners still have one question: "How could Eugene see through all that hair?"
During The Green Ring Conspiracy, Eugene and Katrina met 14-year-old Buck Oliver, a young con artist with a good heart. After Buck spent time in Juvenile Hall, Eugene and Katrina took Buck into their household as their foster son.
See Meltsner family
Eugene's mother, Thelma, 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 was raised by his foster parents: Frank and Maddie Burnette. Eugene is married to Katrina Meltsner; in To Mend or Repair, they discover that they are unable to have children. They are Buck Oliver's foster parents. Eugene is Bernard Walton's cousin.
- 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 agent. (#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 according to Connie, 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”)
- Eugene 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, His favorite temperature was 68 degrees (#584: “Dead Ends”).
- Eugene's foster parents were Frank and Maddie Burnette.
- He owns a lot of dinosaur figures.
- He used to raise goldfish. (#437a: “Sunset Bowlawater”)
- Eugene was nicknamed "Short Stuff" in high school (#405: “The Graduate”).
- He is always losing his keys — even before he had a driver's license.
- He weighs about 117 pounds, and is 6 feet 2 inches.
- Eugene's camp nickname was Goggles in #583: “The Champ of the Camp”.
- He 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. (#269: “Fences”)
- He wants a tire pressure gauge for Christmas. (#678: “Grandma's Christmas Visit”)
- He 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”)
- He wears a size 27 in pants. (#610: “Hear Me, Hear Me”)
- In #51: “Connie, Part 1”, He says that he hates nicknames, but he does occasionally 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”)
- He knows French, Greek, and a little Spanish.
- He once tried to grow a mustache, but it didn't work out. (#323: “A Little Credit, Please”, #330: “The Time Has Come”)
- People sometimes mistake Eugene's name for "Hubert." (#76: “Eugene's Dilemma”)
- He was once called Gene Malstin in a newspaper article. (#580: “Tales of a Small-Town Thug”)
- He likes old-fashioned carnivals — with the exception of 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”).
- He once shaved his head in the episode #660: “For the Birds”.
- When he first proposed to Katrina, she said no (#363: “The Right Choice, Part 2”)
- Eugene was the president of the Odyssey Historical Society. (#636: “A Class Reenactment”)
- His 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”)
- Eugene's favorite saying is "Greetings and salutations!"
- He is an accomplished thespian.
- His favorite musical is Persian Nights (#731: “More Than a Feeling”)
- Eugene's first date with Katrina was at Panzini's (#731: “More Than a Feeling”).
- 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?”)
- Eugene once stopped a bomb (for roughly 54 seconds). (“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”)
- Eugene 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”).
- Tom Riley often gets mad for Eugene's fancy words
- He hates puns (#51: “Connie, Part 1”)
- He considers armadillos reptiles. (#610: “Hear Me, Hear Me”)
- On his answering machine he mentions the size of an amoeba. He also has a t-shirt that says what the size of amoeba are. (#610: “Hear Me, Hear Me”)
- Eugene at minimum must have a masters degree in the subjects he teaches at Campbell County Community College (computer science (#697: “A Penny Earned”) and chemistry (#729: “No Chemistry Whatsoever”) respectively) but may very well have doctorates in said subjects considering the amount of time he's spent in college.
- Eugene knows the language of the Ashanti Village. He considered moving there.
- Eugene prefers marinara Sauce to Alfredo sauce on his spaghetti (#594: “A Time for Action, Part 1”).
- His name means "well-born" (#619: “A New Era, Part 1”)
- He reads law books for "light" bedtime reading (#578: “All-Star Witness”)
- While in Montana as a child, his head became wedged between two fence posts (#593: “Around the Block”)
- He describes himself physically as a "tall, slender, handsome man" (#595: “A Time for Action, Part 2”)
- People are always mispronouncing his last name.
- See Meltsner quotes
- "The time has come."
- "To borrow the colloquialism..."
- "Has anyone seen my keys?"
- "Greetings and Salutations!"
- "It is I, Eugene!"
Eugene has appeared in the following albums:
- Album 03: Heroes (4 episodes)
- Album 04: The FUN-damentals (2 episodes)
- Album 05: Daring Deeds, Sinister Schemes (5 episodes)
- Album 07: On Thin Ice (2 episodes)
- Album 08: Beyond Expectations (3 episodes)
- Album 09: Just in Time (2 episodes)
- Album 10: Other Times, Other Places (6 episodes)
- Album 11: It's Another Fine Day... (2 episodes)
- Album 12: At Home and Abroad (9 episodes)
- Album 13: It All Started When... (2 episodes)
- Album 14: Meanwhile, in Another Part of Town (5 episodes)
- Album 15: A Place of Wonder (5 episodes)
- Album 16: Flights of Imagination (4 episodes)
- Album 17: On Earth as It Is in Heaven (3 episodes)
- Album 18: A Time of Discovery (1 episode)
- Album 19: Passport to Adventure (5 episodes)
- Album 20: A Journey of Choices (5 episodes)
- Album 21: Wish You Were Here! (10 episodes)
- Album 22: The Changing Times (4 episodes)
- Album 23: Twists and Turns (5 episodes)
- Album 24: Risks and Rewards (2 episodes)
- Album 25: Darkness Before Dawn (7 episodes)
- Album 26: Back on the Air (3 episodes)
- Album 27: The Search for Whit (6 episodes)
- Album 28: Welcome Home! (8 episodes)
- Album 29: Signed, Sealed and Committed (4 episodes)
- Album 30: Through Thick and Thin (4 episodes)
- Album 31: Days to Remember (6 episodes)
- Album 32: Hidden Treasures (6 episodes)
- Album 33: Virtual Realities (2 episodes)
- Album 34: In Your Wildest Dreams (8 episodes)
- Album 37: Countermoves (1 episode)
- Album 38: Battle Lines (1 episode)
- Album 44: Eugene Returns! (7 episodes)
- Album 45: Lost and Found (10 episodes)
- Album 46: A Date with Dad (7 episodes)
- Album 47: Into the Light (5 episodes)
- Album 48: Moment of Truth (4 episodes)
- Album 49: The Sky’s the Limit (3 episodes)
- Album 50: The Best Small Town (5 episodes)
- Album 51: Take it From the Top (4 episodes)
- Album 52: Cause and Effect (6 episodes)
- Album 53: The Green Ring Conspiracy (12 episodes)
- Album 54: Clanging Cymbals (6 episodes)
- Album 55: The Deep End (8 episodes)
- Album 56: The Grand Design (5 episodes)
- Album 57: A Call to Something More (6 episodes)
- Album 58: The Ties That Bind (10 episodes)
- Album 59: Taking the Plunge (4 episodes)
- Album 61: Without a Hitch (3 episodes)
- Album 62: Let's Put on a Show! (3 episodes)
- Album 63: Up in the Air (2 episodes)
- Album 64: Under the Surface (2 episodes)
- Album 65: Expect the Unexpected (1 episode)
- Album 66: Trial by Fire (4 episodes)
- Album 67: More Than Meets the Eye (1 episode)
- Odyssey Adventure Club: Season 1 (6 episodes)
- Odyssey Adventure Club: Season 2 (2 episodes)
- Odyssey Adventure Club: Season 3 (4 episodes)
- The Lost Episodes (3 episodes)
- The Truth Chronicles (1 episode)
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
- Album 59: Taking the Plunge
- Album 61: Without a Hitch
- Album 62: Let's Put on a Show!
- Album 64: Under the Surface
- Album 66: Trial by Fire
Eugene has appeared on the back cover of the following albums:
- 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
- Album 55: The Deep End
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 Felicitations
#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 Tannenbaum; 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 Tau.