Saturday, March 29, 2008

Comedy series

Mr. Bean was a British comedy television series of 13 half-hour episodes starring Rowan Atkinson. It was written by Atkinson, Robin Driscoll, Richard Curtis and Ben Elton. The self-titled first episode was broadcast on 1 January 1990, with the final episode, "Goodnight, Mr. Bean", on 31 October 1995.

Mr. Bean

The title character, played by Atkinson, is a selfish, childlike, sometimes ingenious, and generally likeable buffoon who frequently gets into hilarious situations due to his various schemes and contrivances. The show relies upon physical comedy, with Mr. Bean speaking very little dialogue. He lives alone in his small flat in Highbury, North London.

Mr. Bean often seems unaware of basic aspects of the way the world works, and the programme usually features his attempts at what would normally be considered simple tasks, such as going swimming, redecorating or taking an exam. The humour largely comes from his original solutions to any problems and his total disregard for others when solving them. Indeed, some of Bean's actions occasionally have a particularly malevolent aspect to them.

At the beginning of episode two onwards, Mr. Bean falls from the sky in a beam of light. These opening sequences were initially in black and white in episodes 2 and 3, and were intended by the producers to show his status as an "ordinary man cast into the spotlight". However, later episodes showed Mr. Bean dropping from the night sky in a deserted London street, against the backdrop of St. Paul's Cathedral. Later in the animated series he was shown to be an alien. Atkinson himself has acknowledged that Bean "has a slightly alien aspect to him".

Mr. Bean's Teddy

Teddy (usually pronounced "Teddie" by Mr. Bean) is Mr. Bean's teddy bear, generally regarded as Mr. Bean's best friend. Although inanimate, he is invaluable as a trusted conspirator, easy to beat at chess and doubles as a good dish cloth or paint brush in an emergency. The bear is a dark brown, knitted oddity with button eyes and sausage-shaped limbs and invariably ends up broken in half or in various other states of destruction. Occasionally, Teddy seems to be almost animate, for example when Mr. Bean hypnotizes Teddy, snaps his fingers and the bear's head falls backwards as if he's fallen asleep instantly.

Mr. Bean's Car

Mr. Bean's car, a MkIII Austin Mini, developed a character of sorts. At first, an orange Mini was Mr. Bean's vehicle of choice, but this was crashed at the end of the first episode. From then on, the car was lime green with a black bonnet. It made its first appearance in 'The Curse of Mr. Bean'. BTW, I was thinking of a Party theme, and I thought whether we can do a funny theme, check this website Party Supplies.

The Mini was central to several antics, such as Mr. Bean getting dressed in it whilst driving or steering it whilst sitting in an armchair strapped to the roof. It also had a number of innovative security measures; Mr. Bean fitted the door with a bolt-latch and padlock, rather than use the lock fitted on the car, and he always removed the steering wheel instead of the key, which formed a running joke in several episodes, at one point deterring a car thief. The car was crushed by a tank in 'Back to School Mr. Bean', but returned in later episodes.

The Mini is often seen in conflict with a light blue Reliant Regal Supervan III, which will usually get tipped over, crashed into, bumped out of its parking space and so forth.

One of the original Mr. Bean Minis is on display at the Cars of the Stars Motor Museum in Keswick, northern England.

Other Characters

Although Mr. Bean is the only significant human character in the program, other characters appear, usually as foils for his various antics. There is only one recurring supporting character, his sometime "girlfriend" Irma Gobb (played by Matilda Ziegler). However, several notable British actors and comedians appear alongside Atkinson in sketches as various one-off supporting characters, including Richard Briers, Angus Deayton, Nick Hancock, David Schneider and Richard Wilson.

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