Bernd das Brot (Bernd the bread) is a puppet character on the German children's television channel KI.KA, a usually frustrated, depressive and disagreeable talking loaf of white bread with "far too short arms" (his hands are directly attached to his body). He is featured in the programs "Chili TV", "Tolle Sachen" and "Bravo Bernd".
Bernd is a fatalistic character. His favourite activities include staring at his south wall at home, learning the pattern of his woodchip wallpaper by heart, reading his favourite magazine "The desert and you", and enlarging his collection of the most boring railway tracks on video.
One of his commonly used words is "Mist", which translates to manure, used in much the same way as the English "crap".
Bernd's ease is constantly disturbed by the two co-main characters, Briegel der Busch (Briegel the bush) and Chili das Schaf (Chili the sheep), who always drag him along for their adventures.
Bernd belongs, according to himself, to the genus "Homo Brotus Depressivus" (depressive bread-human).
KI.KA played until 2005 the same loop of Bernd films over and over every night, during its notional close-down period from 9pm to 6am. By 2008, these had reappeared.
Bernd is a cult figure with many adult fans in Germany, and has received much media attention.
In 2004, Bernd das Brot won the Adolf-Grimme-Preis.
According to the official version, the short-armed bread character made its first appearance as part of an advertising campaign for a bakery chain. When the campaign turned out unsuccessful, Bernd was forced to apply for job at the KI.KA, which is also the reason for his permanent scowl.
In reality, Bernd was "born" on napkin, on which his creator Tommy Krappweis sketched his first ideas for a new KI. KA mascot. In doing so, he portrayed a white bread which he gave the complexion of his friend Norman Cöster (who, according to rumor, besides his facial features also shares some character traits with Bernd).
Similarly, Tommy himself served as archetype for Chili the Sheep, who - just like Tommy himself in his earlier years - gets on people's nerves with nonsensical stunts, while Briegel the Bush was modeled after a further producer of the series, Michael Briegel. He, too, is said to have a predisposition for wreaking havoc - according to an anecdote, he once set fire to an office computer.
The actual character designs of Bernd and Briegel are the work of cartoonist Georg Graf von Westphalen.