I must've missed it. The only scene that I recall with the Red Bee by Robinson was in Starman where he was just a whiner in the afterlife. If that was making him cool, no thanks. I prefer seeing him going out as a hero (the reference about being a decent swimmer struck me as an homage to the fact that two of his covers have him in the water).
I agree ... the charcter's adventures were pretty close to bigfoot style. He was deliberately humorous. If the only thing you can do with a character like that is to make him incompetant, there's something wrong.