Mr. Bean doesn't need to utter a single word to make the world laugh and his special performance at the 2012 Olympics proved this.
There are not many people out there who are not familiar with the iconic comedic character of Mr. Bean. The bumbling simpleton who lives a humble life, drives a green car and makes people laugh with his wordless antics was immortalized by British actor Roman Atkinson. Atkinson might have garnered a lot of accolades as Mr. Bean, but no one can forget his guest appearance at the 2012 Olympic Games where he appeared during the opening ceremony, acting like the beloved character.
Even though it was believed that Atkinson had retired from playing the lovable character after his 2007 film "Mr. Bean's Holiday," he proved everyone wrong by surprising the Olympic audience and participants with his glorious and hilarious return at the event. As the cameras at the stadium panned over to give the audience a proper view of the orchestral team who were about to perform at the ceremony, people caught sight of a familiar figure.
The broadcasters introduced Sir Simon Rattle and his London Symphony Orchestra to the event's audience as everybody looked forward to the musical crew performing "Chariots of Fire" by Vangelis. But the audience was in for an unusual surprise as the camera panned towards the pianist in the orchestra and it was revealed to be none other than Atkinson himself. His mannerisms and body language made it clear that he was in his Mr. Bean persona.
The audience began to cheer and snicker as Atkinson was tasked with tapping a single note on the synthesizer. But Mr. Bean looked bored and weary with his responsibility as he kept tapping on the single key. He checked his watch and switched to playing the note with his other finger. Then he tried to grab a tissue from a backpack that was kept at a distance, but he was confused about bridging the gap between himself and the bag while continuing to play the note.
As usual, Mr. Bean comes up with an unconventional idea and fishes out an umbrella from underneath the musical instrument. He used the umbrella to continue tapping the key as he reached into the backpack and grabbed a tissue to wipe his nose. Then all of a sudden, he finds himself lost in an imagination where he is jogging on the beach with a bunch of other men and all of a sudden they surpass him and Mr. Bean can be seen running out of breath. But he is not the one to ever give up and continues to run, eventually turning the jogging session into a contest in his imagination.
When he finally beats everyone in the race, he triumphs over his victory. Back to reality, Mr. Bean is still tapping on the synthesizer key, but the orchestral performance is already over and the conductor stares at him in mock disbelief. As Mr. Bean snaps back to reality, the conductor tells him to turn the pages and play the finishing notes, which he does and the hilariously epic performance concludes. Six years later, after the event, Atkinson appeared on Classic FM and told "More Music Breakfast's" host Tim Lihoreau about the memorable event.
“The only thing we could do was to prerecord the whole thing, so Simon Rattle was waving his arms about just as I was, miming to the music,” Atkinson revealed to the host, “Music and comedy sit extremely well together, but they have to blend. They can’t fight each other; it is a dance. Music is many ways in the straight man to the comedy, that essential support mechanism against which you can play.” Nevertheless, every time someone revisits the video of the opening ceremony featuring Atkinson, it never fails to make them laugh.