The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee Wikia

Leaf Coneybear is a speller in the 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. He was originally portrayed by Jesse Tyler Ferguson (prior to his fame from Modern Family).

Family Life[]

Leaf Coneybear is homeschooled and comes from a large family. It includes his mom, dad and his siblings, Marigold, Brook, Pinecone, Landscape, Raisin and Paul. While not explicitly stated in the script, his family is most often portrayed as hippies/stoners due to all the kids having nature related names and the large number of children the parents had.


Official Script Description[]

"LEAF CONEYBEAR [actor also plays CARL DAD]

A second alternative, he never expected to compete here today. Home-schooled with his many siblings, everything about this public bee is an adventure for him, from meeting the other kids to showing off his homemade clothing, to each moment of unexpected attention. He may have severe Attention Deficit Disorder but delights in his own wandering focus. Leaf doesn't expect to win - or even to spell one word correctly - but he finds absolutely everything incredibly amusing. His mother made him wear a protective helmet to the bee."


Leaf is the second runner-up from his district (with the winner and first runner-up having to attend a Bar Mitzvah). He is incredibly excited and joyed to be a part of the Bee, with him being in wonder with everything that happens. He shows himself to be an underdog in the Bee, as nobody believes he has any chance of winning. This is highlighted in his main song, "I'm Not That Smart". In the musical number, he reveals that his family sees him as dimwitted and dumb, and that makes him feel insecure. He reveals more about himself in the song, such as his kind nature and the fact that he is very easily distracted (shown when he goes on a tangent about his hair). It is very-heavily implied that he has ADD/ADHD (it is the actor's choice if they want to portray him with it) and that his family's degrading view of him comes from that. He surprises himself when he spells a word correctly (as he goes into a trance when he spells) and leaves the show with a newfound self-appreciation. He knows "he's smart" with his final song (minus Finale) "I'm Not That Smart (Reprise)". He ends the show on a high triumphant note.


Leaf has bright red hair and wears a red cape, light brown pants and a black and blue jacket. He also has a helmet that he sometimes wears. He makes all his own clothes.

Most Well-Known Portrayers[]

  • Jesse Tyler Ferguson (OBC)
  • Stanley Bahorek (Broadway Replacement/ San Francisco 2006)
  • Andrew Keenan Bolger (First National Tour)
  • Tim Wright (Melbourne 2006)
  • Chris Carswell (London 2011)
  • Logan Chapman (Michigan 2021)


  • Cats are his favorite animals.
  • He is not allowed, by his parents, to have candy (as shown by his Myspace videos).
  • There is a large community online that likes the romantic pairing of Leaf and Chip. There is nothing in the actual musical that supports this.
  • Many fans believe Leaf to be homosexual, although there is no evidence to support this.





Leaf Coneybear on Being Homeschooled

This was a video published on Leaf's Myspace page from 2004/2005


Leaf Coneybear on Himself

Originally posted on Leaf's Myspace page from 2004/2005


Leaf Coneybear Has Cats ASPCA

An add for the ASPCA, Originally posted on Leaf's Myspace Page 2004/2005


I'm Not That Smart (Leaf's Solo)-0

I'm Not That Smart (Leaf's Solo)