So what’s the most hilarious fictional character in a comedy series? Mr. Bean is definitely on top of the list.
Often finding himself in the most awkward situations, he brought laughter to many living rooms. In this post, you’ll discover the ultimate list of facts about Mr. Bean.
1. Who is Mr. Bean?
Mr. Bean is a fictional character created and played by Rowan Atkinson ( born on January 6, 1955) who appears in the comedic television program of the same name, its animated spin-off, and two movies.
2. How was Mr. Bean created?
When Rowan Atkinson studied to get his master’s in electrical engineering at the Queen’s College in Oxford, he was asked to sketch the Oxford playhouse.
So he was given a 48-hour notice to come up with something, and since he’s not much of a writer, he just started to make funny faces in the mirror. That’s how Mr. Bean developed into a non-speaking, socially awkward, child-like, grown man.
3. When was Mr. Bean’s first performance?
The first time Mr. Bean appeared in front of a large audience was in the early 1980s at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the world’s largest art festival. It went well but surprisingly, the character wasn’t used again for many years.
4. Without this guy, Mr. Bean would have never happened.
So Rowan Atkinson wasn’t much of a writer, even though he had the acting ability. That was clear from early on.
So the most important meeting in his life probably was that with Richard Curtis, the now-famous movie director/producer known for movies as “Love Actually,” “Bridget Jones’ Diary,” “Four Weddings and a funeral,” and “Notting Hill.”
he became the writing partner Rowan so desperately needed to further develop the oddball character he created earlier.
5. Mr. Bean originally had a different name.
Rowan Atkinson’s acting career actually started before he ever made his first appearance as Mr. Bean. He played a similarly awkward, yet speaking character he developed called “Robert Box” in a one-off sitcom named “Canned Laughter” in 1979.
6. Non-verbal characters can conquer the world.
Because Mr. Bean hardly speaks, the series became popular all over the world. In fact, the television show has been broadcast in over 200 countries.
7. What makes Mr. Bean truly popular?
But is that the main reason that Mr. Bean resonates with just about anybody that watches his antics? There must be something on a deeper level going on.
In an interview with ABC, Atkinson says he believes that he knows why Mr. Bean is understood in all corners of the world. It’s because he behaves like a child, trapped in a man’s body.
8. The worldwide conquest was tested before it happened.
One of Mr. Bean’s first performances happened in 1987 at the “Just For Laughs” comedy festival in Montreal, Canada. Remarkably, Atkinson insisted he would be playing the Mr. Bean sketch in front of a French-speaking audience.
The reason? He wanted to see if a non-verbal character would be able to entice laughs from an international audience. Well, it surely did!
9. When did the first episode of Mr. Bean air?
Mr. Bean made its television debut in a pilot episode, “Mr. Bean,” on January 1, 1990. ITV1 had licensed the show and it appeared two more times that year with “The Return of Mr. Bean” (November 5, 1990), and “The Curse of Mr. Bean” (December 30, 1990).
10. Mr. Bean’s definitive name was only decided after the first episode
One of the most interesting facts about Mr. Bean is that his name wasn’t even decided after the first episode was created. The contenders were “Mr. White,” which Atkinson thought wasn’t good enough, and Mr. Cauliflower.
While throwing names around of some more vegetables, they decided that “Mr. Bean” was the perfect name to represent this peculiar character.
11. This is the character Mr. Bean was inspired by.
We were about to say “The character Mr. Bean was based upon,” but that wouldn’t have been correct. In fact, it’s more of an inspiration of a comedic genre that Rowan Atkinson saw for the first time in a film featuring Jacques Tati‘s called “Mr. Hulot’s Holiday.“
Atkinson referred to this moment in the documentary “The story of Mr. Bean” as “It just struck a chord with me” and “It was an uncompromising comic attitude and setting that I really admired.”
12. Mr. Bean is more popular than royalty.
In 2015, a poll was conducted on foreigners living in the UK to determine who are the best-known Brits. Surprisingly, Mr. Bean came up higher on the list than Kate Middleton.
13. He was invited for their wedding though.
No hard feelings about a trivial poll right? Not at all! On April 29, 2011, he was one of the guests at the Wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton.
Just to get the facts straight: Rowan Atkinson was invited, not Mr. Bean.
14. What is Mr. Bean’s first name?
It appears that we only know Mr. Bean’s last name right? Well, in the 1997 “Mr. Bean’s Holiday” movie we actually get to see his passport revealing his first name as “Mr.”
So he should actually be addressed as “Mr. Bean” and because of this we also know that he’s a British citizen and has the same date of birth as Rowan Atkinson.
15. Mr. Bean likes toilets.
At least, he is “The Man Who Likes Toilets” in one of the other shows featuring Rowan Atkinson called “Not The 9 O’clock News.” In this sketch, Atkinson uses the voice he sometimes uses when Mr. Bean actually mumbles some words.
16. Is Mr. Bean an alien?
His weird entrance in the TV shows’ episodes (starting in episode 2), as if he is falling from the sky out of a spaceship, has fueled the theory that Mr. bean is actually an alien.
At the end of episodes 3 and 6 he is actually sucked back into the sky as if E.T himself is being phoned home.
In the animated Mr. Bean series’ episode “Double Trouble” he actually visits a spaceship with aliens that look exactly like him.
So is Mr. Bean an alien?
Rowan Atkinson briefly mentioned that “Mr. bean has something alien to him,” but didn’t go any deeper to answer the question. So whether or not he’s an alien remains undisclosed by the creators of the show, which is probably a smart thing to do.
What we do know is that the creators originally intended this peculiar intro to “represent an ordinary man that is being thrown into the spotlight.”
Or is Mr. Bean an alien anyways?
17. Where does Mr. Bean live?
He lives in Flat 2, 12 Arbour Road, Highbury, London, England. But that’s surely only a temporary address!
If you watch the episodes of Mr. Bean closely, you’ll notice that he lives in a new apartment every time it appears. We can only assume that he gets kicked out frequently because of his shenanigans.
18. It’s a real road.
Arbour Road isn’t located in Highbury, but it is a real road in the borough of Enfield in North London. Remember this place? That’s where Mr. Bean was born according to his passport.
19. Rowan Atkinson used to stutter.
Mr. Bean doesn’t speak a lot, but when he does it’s beyond weird. Rowan Atkinson actually had a stuttering problem when he was young (which he luckily overcame) but this problem has inspired the voice and speech of his fictional creation.
An interesting fact about Mr. Bean’s speech is how he articulates the letter “B,” which he uses to mention his name (he refers himself to others as “Bean”). This came about due to Atkinson’s similar problem to pronounce the letter “B” as a kid.
20. Is Mr. Bean an anarchist?
Rowan Atkinson certainly thinks so!
He refers to Mr. Bean as a “self-contained and selfish person who completely disregards others to reach his particular goals.”
We certainly agree with this. It’s the result of this competitive nature the character has which is grounded in a very self-centered mindset that makes him a true anarchist.
21. Who is Mr. Bean’s girlfriend?
Surprisingly enough, this weird character actually has a girlfriend and her name is “Irma Gobb” played by English actress Matilda Ziegler. She appears in the following 3 episodes:
- The Curse of Mr. Bean
- Mr. Bean goes to town
- Merry Christmas Mr. Bean
In the Christmas episode, she actually tries to have Mr. Bean propose to her on Christmas day.
22. Mr. Bean’s best friend was sold.
he only had one friend in the series, a teddy bear he called “Teddy.” The original teddy bear was initially donated by Atkinson to Gyles Brandreth’s Teddy bear museum in Stratford-upon-Avon, but the museum closed its doors back in 2008.
Because of this, Teddy was auctioned the same year and eventually sold for £180, which is according to us a surprisingly low amount for a leading character in the show.
23. What is Mr. Bean’s theme song?
The theme song we can hear at the beginning, end, and around the commercial breaks are sung in Latin, originally by the choir of the Cathedral of Southwark (which is located near London Bridge and The Shard).
The lyrics are as follows:
- “Ecce homo qui est faba” – “Behold the man who is a bean” (beginning)
- “Finis partis primae” – “End of part one” (before the commercial break)
- “Pars secunda” – “Part two” (after the commercial break)
- “Vale homo qui est faba” – “Farewell, man who is a bean” (at the end)
The music was created by English composer Howard Goodall.
24. Can Rowan Atkinson wiggle his ears?
In times of scenes being manipulated to dead, there is one thing that Atkinson couldn’t fake, and that is Mr. Bean’s famous ear wiggle. When asked by ABC if he could actually pull it off he simply replied, “Yes I can.”
25. Mr. Bean was instantly very popular.
It didn’t take long to turn Mr. Bean into one of the most-watched television programs in the UK. Just 2 years after the initial episode, the fifth episode that aired on January 1, 1992, named “The Trouble With Mr. Bean” attracted a staggering 18.74 million viewers.
26. Only 14 episodes were ever made.
If you do something, you better do it good. This seemed to have been the main motto when it came to creating new episodes. There weren’t just long periods of time between them, only 14 have ever been made!
This reminds us of another epic comedy show called “Fawlty Towers,” which also had 2 seasons with 4 years in between them and only had 12 episodes made.
The reasoning of John Cleese and his gang?
Creating more episodes would have made the quality of all episodes deteriorate, hence it’s better to stop when you’re ahead!
27. Mr. Bean retired in 2012.
According to an article in The Telegraph, Atkinson felt like it was becoming more and more difficult to get into the character of Mr. Bean in his fifties. “Playing a child-like figure at that age becomes a bit sad,” he claimed. So he decided to retire Mr. Bean at that time.
28. But he returned for one final episode.
Feeling he had it in himself to feature one final time as Mr. bean, Rowan Atkinson agreed to do one final sketch for comic relief called “The Funeral” in 2015.
At the same time, it was a celebration of 25 years Mr. Bean, and this “funeral, ” marked the real end of the character.
This also means there were actually 15 episodes in total ever made, not 14. Just to get the facts straight.
29. Mr. Bean’s first movie was a massive success.
Following the massively successful series came an equally successful movie. The movie grossed USD 256 million worldwide on an $18 million budget, making it one of the most successful British movies ever made.
30. Mr. Bean’s second movie features his daughter.
Rowan Atkinson’s daughter Lily appeared in the second Bean movie, “Mr. Bean’s Holiday” in a brief cameo. Did you miss that?
31. What car does Mr. Bean drive?
A lot of the scenes involve Mr. Bean’s car, the citron-green, 1977 British Leyland Mini 1000, Mark 4. In all episodes, the registration on the plate is the same, namely STE 952R.
Want to see it? It’s currently on display in the National Motor Museum and Collections Centre in Beaulieu, Hampshire in between Bournemouth and Southampton.
32. Mr. Bean helped opening up the 2012 Olympics.
Mr. Bean out on a little show before the 2012 Olympics in London. This is how you make the whole world laugh without saying a single word. Pretty impressive, isn’t it?
33. Mr. Bean remains popular as ever.
Mr. Bean’s Youtube channel has a staggering 18 million subscribers and an astounding 6 billion views at the time of writing this post in early 2020. This just tells us one thing: Mr. Bean will never die!
34. Mr. Bean won a lot internationally.
But he didn’t seem to be acknowledged for his character as much in the UK. Internationally he has won a lot though, including the International Emmy in Popular Art Category, the Golden Rose of Montreaux, the Cable Ace Award, and the BANFF World Media Festival Award.
This only represents the critics though, not the viewing public in the UK who eagerly waited by the millions for the next episode to be broadcasted.
35. A Mr. Bean statue appears in China.
Because of the huge success of Madame Tussauds, copycat museums are bound to pop up. In Guangzhou, China, you can see a wax statue of Mr. Bean.
The statues are so bad though that you’ll have a hard time recognizing the superstars that Chinese “artists” sculpted.
36. Our favorite clip of Mr. Bean.
We want to share with you our favorite clip of Mr. bean, it’s one that nearly makes you fall out of your chair with laughter, even if you have seen it a dozen times before.
So here you, go, enjoy: