Monday, January 24, 2011

Best of Mr. Bean

 Best of Mr. Bean

The Best of Mr. Bean (also titled The Best Bits of Mr. Bean) is a feature length episode broadcast in 1997 which involves clips from some of the episodes from the series in the early '90s.


Mr. Bean and Teddy go into the loft in search of an umbrella. Whilst looking, Bean uncovers a piece of paper with a smile showing teeth and 9.00 written under it (from the episode "The Trouble With Mr. Bean"). After a flashback, Bean opens a basket, takes out a boomerang and throws it away, but it comes back and lands back in the basket. Bean takes out two baubles and remembers "Merry Christmas, Mr. Bean".
After another flashback, Bean tries to introduce Teddy to "Mr. Spider", a rubber figure on a fake web in the loft. However, Bean ends up accidentally throwing Teddy through the hatch and out of the loft. As Bean retrieves it, he has a flashback of "The Curse of Mr. Bean". Mr. Bean then brings Teddy back into the loft using a vacuum cleaner and closes the hatch. Bean looks at the window and sees that it's still raining, and as he turns around, he nearly trips over a brush and a mop tied together. He examines them, and remembers what he used it for in "Do-It-Yourself Mr. Bean".
Bean then notices a cable running across the loft's floor. He pulls the wire out the floor, with the sound of a television coming closer. He then looks behind him and gets a scare when he sees the television (loft) aerial, therefore noticing he is actually pulling up his television, and drops it in scare, smashing the screen on the floor below.
After a few more flashbacks, Bean goes over to another part of the loft, and sees a white sheet with flowers on it. Thunder and lightning flash outside and Bean remembers his Mini being crushed by a tank in "Back to School, Mr. Bean". After the flashback, Bean views the undamaged parts of the Mini, which have been neatly arranged in the loft. Bean respectfully covers it again with the white sheet and the flowers, then steps back, salutes it and bows. Bean then finds his umbrella, but the rain stops and the sun comes out. Disappointed, Bean walks away from the window. After he does, the boomerang comes back and stops by the window.

Director's cut sketches

Also unseen on television were a number of short sketches. "The Library" and "The Bus Stop" were presumably intended for inclusion in earlier episodes, but ultimately cut and later included on the VHS and DVD releases.

The Bus Stop
Mr. Bean waits at a bus stop behind a man; when the bus arrives, the man gets on, but the driver turns Bean away, as there are no more seats. Determined to be the first in line for the next bus, Bean tries to cut ahead of a woman (Matilda Ziegler) with a baby carriage (who gets in line ahead of Bean when he steps away for a moment), and a blind man (Robin Driscoll). Bean tries everything to make sure he is at the front of the line, including pushing the baby carriage away and imitating the bus so the blind man will leave the queue (which nearly results in the man getting run over). Bean succeeds in getting to the front and several people join the end of the line just as the bus arrives. However, it turns out Bean's efforts have been in vain, as the bus driver, somehow aware of Bean's desperation, deliberately stops the bus a little further down, thus making the end of the line into the front. As expected, the driver spitefully pushes Bean off the bus, and Bean is forced to wait for another one.
Judging by the location and setting, this adventure appears to have originally been part of Mr. Bean Rides Again, in which Mr. Bean does attempt to board a bus, but perhaps cut for time. This episode contains no laughter track, as it was not shown to a live audience.

The Library

Mr. Bean visits a rare book library (possibly the British Library), where he reads a rare tome that must be handled with gloves. Soon after he uses a pencil and a crayon to copy a page of the book by shading on a piece of tracing paper, he sneezes, and the tracing paper slips away. He doesn't notice this, and continues to use a crayon for shading, but on the book instead of the tracing paper. When he notices this, he attempts to remove the crayon marks — first by erasing, and then by using correction fluid, but eventually ends up tearing out the pages he has defiled. To neaten up the stubs of the pages he has torn out, he uses a boxcutter knife, but doesn't notice that while doing so, he cuts other pages. His final solution is to swap his book with that of someone else at his table; this plan is working - Bean leaves, and the librarian discovers that the book the other visitor has is damaged - but then Bean returns to retrieve his Dennis the Menace and Gnasher bookmark from his original book and is subsequently caught red-handed.
A similar scene was later included in the film adaptation: Bean, when after sneezing on a priceless portrait his attempts to clean it escalate into destroying the painting.

 The Chair

A sketch cut from Do-It-Yourself Mr. Bean that shows him inside the department store attempting to stop an elderly couple purchasing a chair. This scene is a continuation from the January Sales queue and features the elderly couple he pushed in front of then leads up to him getting the seat on the top of his car. Upon finding the reclining chair, he discovers that a sales assistant is already demonstrating its features to somebody else. In an attempt to fool them into thinking it's broken, he unplugs it, which is almost immediately noticed by the assistant. Bean then sneaks up to a control panel on the chair's arm and fiddles about with a screwdriver. As the elderly woman tries out the reclining feature this time, it folds over, sandwiching her in the middle, unheard by her hearing-impaired husband only a couple of metres away.

Comic Relief sketches

A number of short sketches for the Comic Relief telethon have also been produced and later included on the VHS and DVD releases.

Mr. Bean's Red Nose Day

This was a six-minute skit from 14 March 1997 shown during the Comic Relief telethon. Both this sketch and the "(I want to be) Elected" music video were issued in 1998 on VHS (no. 084 990 3) by Comic Relief, but have not been re-issued.
In the sketch, Mr. Bean is in a police station because his car has been broken into. He wears a red nose and has other red nose items including a mug and a codpiece. He reveals to the policewoman, through the use of written signs, that he is doing a sponsored silence, sponsored tea drinking, sponsored codpiece wearing, and sponsored Madonna impression - presumably to raise money for Red Nose Day charities. When the policewoman is out of the room, Bean answers the phone but the caller hangs up since Bean does not speak. Bean then dons a blonde wig and, upon the policewoman's return, reveals his sponsored Madonna impression. The policewoman proceeds to interview Bean about the robbery, which he answers in mime. The policewoman appears to enjoy herself as if playing a game of charades. After the interview, the policewoman asks until when Bean must stay silent. He has only two minutes remaining. She offers to sponsor him twenty pounds if he makes it through. The generous offer prompts him to respond with an excited, "Oh, thank you!" This causes him to have effectively failed at his silence attempt.

Blind Date

This sketch was a 14-minute spoof of the popular series Blind Date. Posing as an eligible bachelor, Mr. Bean answers the questions posed by a potential date with utter, and ridiculous, honesty, then makes a shambles of a romantic getaway in an English countryside hotel (the prize for winning). A young Alan Cumming can be seen as Bachelor #2.

Torvill and Bean

Mr. Bean wreaks his usual havoc when he attends a performance of "Show on Ice." The title is a play on Torvill and Dean, the famous British ice-skating team.

 Mr. Bean's Wedding

Mr. Bean causes havoc at a wedding by repeating the vows after the priest instead of the groom, resulting in a fight, the bride being struck, and by his alarm clock sounding during the ceremony. Then he runs off. This was specially made in 2007 for The Big One Comic Relief telethon and also starred Michelle Ryan and Matthew Macfadyen and reunited Rowan Atkinson with his former The Thin Blue Line co-star David Haig.


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