Mr. Bean

Fall in love with British humour with Mr Bean

Hi there! After the last post, I thought I would write another post about something funny. By the end of this post, you will fall in love with British humour. Let’s have a look at what is in the post:

  1. Who is this man?
  2. Why is he funny?
  3. How can I fall in love with British humour?

Who is this man?

Mr Bean is actually a very normal can called Rowan Atkinson. He was in 1955 to a working-class family. After a short spell on BBC Radio 3, Atkinson moved to TV, where he created the TV show ‘Not The Nine O’Clock News’. Already in this program, his talent for comedy could be seen by many. Here is a video from one of his sketches:

Here, we can see Atkinson’s acting skills, but also his immense skill in creating humour out of something which, at the time of broadcast (1980), was a serious problem in British society. At the beginning of the 1980s, British police were considered to be racist. Nevertheless, Atkinson created something which lightened the mood.


Later, Atkinson took the lead role in the series Blackadder. It followed a man (Edmund Blackadder) through different parts of British history. Here is a short video of his time as the lead character:

This sketch is about the famous Shakespeare play ‘Macbeth’. As we can Atkinson made a very simple word into something very funny. Atkinson, as we can also see in this sketch, always has a mischievous smile when he uses the word ‘Macbeth’. He knows that the other characters don’t want him to say it.

Mr Bean

Atkinson created the character Mr Bean in 1990. The character always has problems with things as you will see in this following clip from the chemistry lab:

Atkinson said of this character that he wanted all people to find the episodes funny, without the need for translation. The only thing Mr Bean does is act as if he is stupid. In many of the episodes of Mr Bean, we see him as being inept and poorly equipped for the real world.

The final appearance of Mr Bean was in 2012 at the opening ceremony, in which he showed his typical traits: ineptitude, boredom and being silly:

Why is Mr Bean funny?

Mr Bean is seen as funny by British people for many reasons. Here are a few:

  • Ineptitude. He is unable to do anything properly. There are always problems
  • Simplicity. As we can see from the above sketches in lab and the Olympic ceremony, Atkinson knows exactly how to make a joke of these things
  • Buffoon. Mr Bean always buffoons around (jokes around). He takes everything light-heartedly, which makes it that much funnier.

How can I fall in love with British humour?

The most simple way to fall in love with British humour is to embrace the funny side of all the jokes.

The best ways to fall in love with British humour with Mr Bean are the following:

  • Interpret the sketches in your own way
  • Watch the sketches more than once, so you can understand in them
  • Act out the sketches with friends and family. This way you can all see how the sketches were created and made funny
  • Put lines to the sketches. This way you can improve your vocabulary. This can be done with learners of all ages: from kids to adults

Would you like another way to identify British humour, then look at this previous post.

Sound Like A Rowan Atkinson!

If you would like to sound more Rowan Atkinson and other Brits, then sign up to my freebie and newsletter below

Comment below and tell us whether you could fall in love with British humour with the help of Mr Bean.

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