What is it about Mr Bean that appeals to all? The young, the old, the English speaking or not. How is it that this gangly Englishman who doesn’t say much, is understood perfectly by the millions of people around the world?
When I first arrived in the UK as an undergraduate, my friend and I were placed in a Scottish home as part of an integration effort by our Malaysian government. We were given a cosy twin sharing room that came with a small TV. Sometimes, we would join our hosts to watch some programmes in their living room but we'd definitely be in the comforts of our room when it was “Bean-nite”.
I distinctly remember my first experience of watching Mr Bean back in 1990. I have to say I’ve never laughed so much that my jaws hurt. In fact, my roommate D, who I was just getting to know at that time, laughed so much that at one point she was just shaking uncontrollably, in utter silence, as tears trickled down the sides of her face. I recall thinking she was sick or something as she wasn’t able to speak to me for a good couple of minutes. Aaah! Such is the unique effect Mr Bean has on us.
Well 17 years down the road, my kids are now watching Mr Bean. Though the younger ones don’t understand English that well, that hasn’t stopped them from enjoying the show. A couple of days ago, my sis came home with Mr Bean’s latest movie. The kids were so excited that they insisted we watch it immediately. And they have been watching it everyday since. Just this morning, my husband tuned in to CNN for his usual morning dose of news and my 3 year old pleaded with him to put Mr Bean on instead. To this I replied, “Let ayah watch CNN first. Bila ayah dah pergi, baru kita tengok ok”. Upon hearing this, my girl who is 1 yr 8 mths , quickly turned to her daddy and said “Ayah, work …keje..(waving hand)..bye!”.
After ayah leaves for work, kids go on a holiday with Mr Bean
To end this piece, let me leave you with a question. Who would you consider to be our very own Mr Bean? For me one name comes to mind...the funnyman himself..Mat Sentul!