Mr. Bean has a Pakistani replica
TELEVISION | Rowan Atkinson's most renowned character along with Edmund Black-Adder is undoubtedly Mr. Bean - who could be described as a selfish little child trapped in the body of a quiet, scrawny old man. With the 14 half hour episodes of the original series from 1989-1995, "Mr. Bean" became one of the greatest exports in British comedy, with worldwide success. Two feature films followed, plus an animated cartoon series, aimed primarily towards young children.

Some can't get enough of the original Mr. Bean, however. In Pakistan of all places, there's a direct carbon copy of Rowan Atkinson's creation, who goes by the name Mr. Pak Bean (to avoid getting drenched in lawsuit claims, supposedly...):

Mr. Pak Man...Bean goes to the zoo.

What made the original Mr. Bean funny...

Rowan Atkinson as Mr. Bean
The comedic effect in the original series very much lied in the appearance of a dry, well-mannered old British gentleman, with a ridiculously childish, clumsy and careless little rascal kept withing. A big irresponsible child who always appears completely detached from the outside world. Something a lot of adults can relate to everyday, feeling like they're still the same children they used to be deep within, just hoping that no-one will eventually find out.

It requires a great sense of timing, exact and absolute control of all facial muscles to pull off a Mr. Bean skit with success. As you may have noticed from the original series, most of the Bean stuff have quite long, sustained cuts, giving Mr. Atkinson some breathing room to build up for some comic effect, often delivered with very simple means, like uttering some restrained kind of sound instead of a proper sentence, or making a very specific expression using corny facial expressions and body language. The strength of Mr Bean has always been the simple, but carefully balanced and well timed physical comedy.

..."Mr. Pak Bean" unfortunately lacks

Mr. Pak Bean and his teddy. This is likely the only
you'll ever see him wear.
This is where Mr. Pak Bean misconceived the whole idea. With one single facial expression and total lack of comedic timing, this guy does everything he can think of to mimic Atkinson's character, dressing up like Bean with using the whole kit; grey tweed jacket, brown slacks and a teddy bear that seems to be super-glued to his hand. While Mr. Bean had quite a rubber face that was always very entertaining to observe, this version looks like he figured out how to make one expression looking like an exaggerated version of Bean's, then clinging onto that, for queen and country. Not only is he dead quiet - his face never moves at all. It's stuck like a mask, quite literally.

And how often did the live action Bean walk around with his teddy bear, anyway? Apart from when he was travelling, he tended to keep it at home, as far as I'm concerned (aside from the cartoon version, that is).

Also, considering the higher pace and fast cuts of Mr. Pak Bean, you almost get the impression that they drew most their inspiration from the cartoon rather than the real thing.

From what I've seen thus far, the recurring concept of Mr. Pak Been seems to be:
  1. Short footage of some random real life phenomenon, like some animal, as in this clip.
  2. *Inserted canned laugh coming way too early*
  3. Mr. Pak Bean shows up with his strained Bean impersonating grimace, doing some sort of imitating gesture of the phenomenon just seen, which is supposed to be hilarious only to instead fall flat. ...Accompanied by more canned laughter.
  4. Start over at point 1 with another fast cut to a different real life phenomenon...
Does anyone see the humour in this? Anyone?

Until Rowan Atkinson decides to cash in on yet another Bean movie, to cover yet another crashed £600,000 sports car, I'd like to wish Mr. Pak Man better luck next time!

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