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We're on our way to fight disease at Heimlich Hospital down the road. You're welcome to join us, brothers and sisters! I called you "brother" and "sister" because we believe that all people are brothers and sisters.

The Bearded Man is the leader of the Volunteers Fighting Disease. He is overly cheerful and is never seen without his guitar.


Early Life

Because getting a cheerful balloon helps people picture getting better, and if you picture something, it makes it so. After all, a cheerful attitude is the most effective tool against sickness.
— Bearded Man, The Hostile Hospital

The Bearded Man has been with the Volunteers Fighting Disease since the organization began. He, along with the rest of the group, have long-believed that a cheerful attitude is the most effective medicine- more so than legitimate medical treatments- so they would travel to Heimlich Hospital and sing to the patients in an attempt to cheer them up. They would stop by the Last Chance General Store on their way to the hospital to fill up on gas, which Milt gave them for free since he believed them to be doing wonderful work.

The Bearded Men along with the rest of his fellow volunteers do not address each other by their real names, instead referring to each other as siblings. As such, his true name is unknown. He also never read the newspaper, believing that no news is good news.[1]

The Hostile Hospital

My, you look glum. Well, don't worry. I'm sure wherever your parents are, they're having a good time, so let's not see any frowny faces. Being cheerul is the whole point of Volunteers Fighting Disease.
— Bearded Man, The Hostile Hospital

Under the impression that Violet, Klaus and Sunny Baudelaire are other Volunteers, the Bearded Man calls for them to jump into the van. On the drive, he leads the volunteers into their cheerful song, unintentionally making the Baudelaires more anxious that someone will notice they don't belong. After the song, the Bearded Man requests that they have cheerful conversations until they reach the hospital.

He sits with Violet and Klaus, telling them that they don't use names in VFD. They ask if he's known Jacques Snicket, describing him, but he doesn't recognize him. As the children are confused, he tells them to check the hospital's Library of Records. Klaus slips up and mentions their parents, and when the Bearded Man asks if their parents are there, and they get depressed, he encourages them that wherever their parents are, they're having a good time. He also explains the organization's purpose to the children, which only serves to confuse them more.

They arrive at the hospital and depart the bus, where the Bearded Man remarks that he's sure the rest of the hospital will be finished someday, but for now they will just have to picture the second half.

As they approach the hospital, Babs calls and tells the Volunteers that she needs three people to report to the Library of Records. The Baudelaires take this opportunity to exit.

The next day, the Volunteers return to the hospital and are again infiltrated by Klaus and Sunny. They ignore the patients' cries for help, as no doctors have arrived for them, as they have to move quickly to visit reach room. After a while of searching, in which Klaus and Sunny do not find their missing sister, Klaus asks the Bearded Man if he can borrow the list, which the Bearded Man happily gives him, as reading the names of sick people depresses him.

The Volunteers are still in the hospital when the cranioectomy happens, and Mattathias goes on the intercom to announce the Baudelaire murderers are in the hospital. The Bearded Man sees them rush past with Violet on a gurney, and the Volunteers decide to help the guards capture them, joining with the Henchperson of Indeterminate Gender.

Violet uses a false intercom to tell the Volunteers to look in the unfinished half of the hospital, and the Bearded Man tells everyone to follow him there.

Netflix Series Divergent Canon

The camaraderie at this hospital is really inspiring!

The Bearded Man is still the apparent leader of the Volunteers Fighting Disease, and he welcomes the Baudelaires into the bus. When they tell him honestly that they think they have the wrong VFD, he tells them of the Library of Records- which he has never been to, as it is too depressing. He and his Volunteers meet Babs at the front of the hospital to get their patient list.[2]

He and the Volunteers spend the night in the lobby of the hospital, until they are awoken by the White-Faced Women with their new patient list. The Bearded Man cheerfully leads his group in song around the hospital, barely noticing as they are joined and abandoned by Klaus and Sunny.

Klaus later approaches him and other Volunteers disguised as Dr. Faustus, asking for the patient list. The Bearded Man is reluctant, and then happy when Mattathias Medicalschool arrives and shows Faustus his own list.

He and the Volunteers are in the crowd for the cranioectomy, and watch as the Baudelaires are revealed and then flee. They join the mob chasing them, singing an altered version of their song. Klaus pushes a gurney into the Bearded Man, who falls over and remarks that he needs a doctor. He is later seen with the Perky Volunteer and the Henchperson, trying to open the door of the storage closet the Baudelaires have locked themselves in.[3]

He is portrayed by John Bobek.



We almost left you behind, brother and sisters! We filled the van up with free gas, and now we're all set to head off to the hospital. Climb aboard. We don't want our volunteers to get lost before we even sing the first verse.
— Chapter Two
Boy, do I love that song! I could sing it all the way to Heimlich Hospital. But I guess we'd better save our voices for the day's work. So why don't we settle down and have cheerful conversations until we arrive?
— Chapter Three
Sometimes brothers and sisters are just people who are united for a common cause.
— Chapter Three
We don't use names in V.F.D. We just call everybody 'sister' and 'brother,' because we believe all people are sisters and brothers.
— Chapter Three
I'm sure they'll finish it someday. But in the meantime, we can picture the other half, and picturing something makes it so. Now, let's picture ourselves getting out of the van.
— Chapter Three
Man in Casts: Excuse me, could you please call a nurse for me? I was supposed to take some painkillers this morning, but nobody has come to give them to me.
Woman in Casts: And I'd like a glass of water, if it's not too much trouble.
Bearded Man: Sorry. We don't have time to do things like that. We have visit each and every room of the hospital, so we need to move quickly.
—Chapter Eight
I don't like to read all these names of sick people, anyway. It's too depressing. I'd rather hold balloons.
— Chapter Eight
Those must be the murderers Mattathias was talking about! Come on, everyone, let's help that guard capture them!
— Chapter Twelve
Did you hear that? The criminals are over in the unfinished half of the hospital. Come on, everyone.
— Chapter Twelve

TV Series

  • "We're on our way to fight disease at Heimlich Hospital down the road. You're welcome to join us, brothers and sisters! I called you "brother" and "sister" because we believe that all people are brothers and sisters."
  • "Mostly, we wander the halls, singing songs and handing out heart-shaped balloons to each person on our list, like the song says."
  • Bearded Man: "Thanks, sister."
    Babs: "My name is Babs."