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The origins of Mr. Bean

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  • The origins of Mr. Bean

    I'm not actually a fan of Mr. Bean. His comedy is old-fashioned and samey. Rowan Atkinson has become rather tired in his talents since the days of Not The Nine O'Clock News, in my Nobel-Prize-award-winning opinion, but be that as it may. I find this old clip, entitled "Does God Exist", from Not The Nine O'Clock News, rather Beany, before Atkinson formally developed his Bean character.


  • #2
    As I mentioned in an earlier topic, some of the mannerisms of the character 'The Prof', in the old children's TV programme 'Vision On', remind me of Mr. Bean. Scroll to 1:18 to see 'The Prof' in this 1964 episode of 'Vision On'. Surprisingly it's in colour - or did somebody colourise it? Does the Prof remind you of Mr. Bean?

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    • #3
      Rowan Atkinson has said that his Mr. Bean was influenced by Jacques Tati and early silent film actors. I've never watched Jacques Tati so can't comment. I've always been surprised by how popular British slapstick comedy actors/characters are or have been around the world: Benny Hill, Norman Wisdom, and Mr. Bean himself. My German friends are huge fans of Mr. Bean.

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      • #4
        Mr. Bean was so internationally loved that he even appeared at the London 2012 Olympics.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by garth View Post
          I've never watched Jacques Tati .

          Well you should.

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          • garth
            garth commented
            Editing a comment
            Just tried and he does nothing for me. I'm therefore awarding you this year's Nobel Prize for Having All the Wrong Opinions. Sorry.

          • narabdela
            narabdela commented
            Editing a comment
            My apologies garth. I should have mentioned that a sense of humour was a prerequisite.

          • garth
            garth commented
            Editing a comment
            Ouch! Saucer of milk for Mr Narabdela, please.

        • #6
          Originally posted by garth View Post
          I've always been surprised by how popular British slapstick comedy actors/characters are or have been around the world: Benny Hill, Norman Wisdom, and Mr. Bean himself. My German friends are huge fans of Mr. Bean.
          I liked Not The Nine O'Clock News, and absolutely love the Blackadder series. However, I've never cared for Rowan Atkinsons' Mr. Bean character - I've tried watching several episodes but somehow I just never warmed to it. I'm not a great fan of his Johnny English character either if I'm honest.




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          • garth
            garth commented
            Editing a comment
            And I saw some 'comedy' film in which Atkinson played a vicar, and he was embarrassing. I think he has no more new tricks up his sleeve.

        • #7
          Originally posted by narabdela View Post


          Well you should.
          I agree. They are wonderful, garth!

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          • Ian Fryer
            Ian Fryer commented
            Editing a comment
            A few years ago I saw a cinema screening of "M. Hulot's Holiday" and it had the entire audience in gales of laughter. The inspiration for Mr Bean was plain to see.

            Apparently Benny Hill used to go to Paris to see the theatrical mime acts regularly and borrow their act wholesale for his own show!

        • #8
          I remember watching the pilot of MrBean when it was originally broadcast on New Year’s Day 1990 - with much better theme music. I thought the first two thirds were hilarious but by the end I felt the idea was exhausted. I was amazed at how popular it became ploughing the same furrow over and over again.

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          • #9
            Originally posted by Simon36 View Post
            I was amazed at how popular it became ploughing the same furrow over and over again.
            Yes. I blame the Germans for liking it too much.

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            • #10
              Originally posted by Simon36 View Post
              I remember watching the pilot of MrBean when it was originally broadcast on New Year’s Day 1990 - with much better theme music. I thought the first two thirds were hilarious but by the end I felt the idea was exhausted. I was amazed at how popular it became ploughing the same furrow over and over again.
              Your comment about the idea being exhausted is exactly how I feel about some of the Monty Python humour. Very funny, but then they don't know when to stop and it becomes tedious.

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              • #11
                Originally posted by Shirley Brahms View Post

                Your comment about the idea being exhausted is exactly how I feel about some of the Monty Python humour. Very funny, but then they don't know when to stop and it becomes tedious.
                That's true enough. Even truer of Spike Milligan's Q series. Yet even among the dross of each Python series, you did find some pearls. But I notice that John Cleese took the decision to stop 'Fawlty Towers' after two series of six episodes, probably for that very reason.

                In my own case, the decades fly past and yet still I go on and on and wonder why I'm still here when I'm not all there. But then another fine episode enters my life and I'm refreshed and keep going.

                You must remember, though, Miss Brahms, that the UK is a Python-worshipping nation, and once Boris Johnson comes to power, he might invade Australia if he hears you saying things like that.
                Last edited by garth; 16th June 2019, 11:59 AM. Reason: Typos.

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                • #12
                  Originally posted by Carl V View Post

                  I liked Not The Nine O'Clock News, and absolutely love the Blackadder series. However, I've never cared for Rowan Atkinsons' Mr. Bean character - I've tried watching several episodes but somehow I just never warmed to it. I'm not a great fan of his Johnny English character either if I'm honest.



                  I'm the same. I find "Mr Bean" tiresome but I thought "Blackadder" was hilarious.
                  Some people love "Bean". Different tastes innit!

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                  • #13
                    I never saw the attraction of Blackadder, but I thought it had a marvellous theme tune. I had a work colleague who was a fan of Blackadder, back in the day, but even he grew tired of the constant ridiculous comparisons uttered by Blackadder. Examples:

                    “There hasn’t been a war run this badly since Olaf the hairy, King of all the Vikings, ordered 80,000 battle helmets with the horns on the inside.”

                    “Baldrick, you wouldn’t recognise a subtle plan if it painted itself purple and danced naked on a harpsicord singing ‘subtle plans are here again’.”

                    “Your brain is so minute Baldrick, that if a hungry cannibal cracked your head open, there wouldn’t be enough to cover a small water biscuit.”

                    Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

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                    • #14
                      Anyway, wadsy, you seem to have grown a beard in record short time. I hope you haven't been abducted by aliens and returned with 'missing time'. There used to be a fellow here who posted about such things. Whatever happened to him?

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                      • #15
                        I’m always bewildered by Cleese’s comment about quitting Fawlty Towers while they were ahead, and people seeing it as 12 fresh, perfect episodes. Maybe it’s just me, but aren’t at least three of them not very good? It’s quite a patchy show for such a short-lived one. The Wedding Party is dire. I could live without at least the first half of The Germans too, and most of Gourmet Night.

                        Blackadder certainly ticked all the boxes at the time but looking back it’s quite staggering how it managed to simply remake the same scripts from series to series. The fourth series regurgitates the second quite shamefully!

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