Mr. Bean is a British comedy television series starring Rowan Atkinson, a famous British comedian. The programme was produced by Tiger Television, later renamed Tiger Aspect productions (a company in which Atkinson has a stake), for Thames Television and originally shown on ITV. The show in America was broadcast on PBS intermittently over the past few years.
In the show, Atkinson plays a selfish, sometimes ingenious buffoon who frequently gets into hilarious situations due to his various schemes and contrivances.
The humor of the show is very physical (as opposed to verbal), and the main character speaks very little, if at all, during most shows. It features Mr. Bean trying to undertake 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 a total disregard for others when solving them.
Mr. Bean is the star of the show, and doesn't share the spotlight with anyone else. Other characters exist simply to provide victims for his various antics, and besides the star, there are is only one recurring character, his sometime "girlfriend" Irma Gobb.
The show's title sequence (used from the second episode onward) depicts Mr. Bean falling from the sky in a beam of light. It is not clear whether this is meant as a literal depiction of the character's origins, but it might as well be: he is alone in the world, is frequently childlike, and often seems unaware of basic aspects of the way the world works.
The words sung by the choir that occurs in the series are:
- Ecce homo qui est faba (Behold the man who is a bean) Sung at beginning
- Finis partis primae (End of part one) Sung at before the break
- Vale homo qui est faba (Farewell, man who is a bean) Sung at end
The character was revived again in the 2002 animated series, Mr Bean. Some people have questioned the point of an animated Mr. Bean - although he is now capable of far stranger adventures (and facial expressions), they lack the interest generated when it was an actual person doing it.