Edward Van Helgen is one of the pirate barbers in The Curse of Monkey Island. He agrees to join Guybrush's crew when he is challenged to a gentleman's duel on the Field of Honour. Guybrush is able to match his skill with a banjo up to the point when Van Helgen begins playing a furious solo. Guybrush is nonetheless successful in convincing him by underhandedly shooting his banjo, proving that "[he's] a pirate, after all". According to Guybrush, Van Helgen is considered an infamous pirate in the Caribbean, as he exclaims "Not THE Edward Van Helgen". His name is an allusion to Eddie Van Halen, a famous metal guitarist. His pet name is Snugglecakes.
After their departure from Plunder Island, Guybrush's ship is boarded by Captain Rottingham, whom Van Helgen and co. promptly ignore in light of some whale-watching. After being scolded by Guybrush they engage in song ("A pirate I was meant to be"). Van Helgen is later seen in the background, swinging from a rope on the ship. When the Sea Cucumber crashes on Blood Island he joins the crew in mutiny and leaves Guybrush to find the uncursed diamond ring on his own.
He says he joined the barbershop quartet to enjoy the music of the sea while remaining safely on land. The singing group is comprised of two others: Haggis McMutton and Cutthroat Bill. Dominique, their tenor, left because of creative differences. In the game the player can attempt auditioning for Van Helgen but each time he receives furious criticism and even causes Van Helgen to suffer a minor stroke. Songs Guybrush will sing for Van Helgen include "Wooden Leg, Restless Heart", "There's a Monkey in My Pocket", "Silver's Long Johns", "I've Got a Friend in the Ocean" and "Plunder on My Mind".
In 1675, Edward Van Helgen was on a course towards the wreck of The Rattling Phlegm, aboard his ship the Obsessivo-Compulsivo. Two months into the journey, he and his mates realized something was horribly wrong: they were all haunted by a diabolical melody (Edward himself demonstrates the song—it sounds exactly like the Monkey Island theme), and many threw themselves into the sea. Out of a crew of 50 men, only 8 returned.
"Mine is the name that pirates fear the most. Edward 'Snugglecakes' Van Helgen."