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Happy Birthday, Mr. Bean Celebrating 30 Years of a Major Comedy Character

January 1, 1990, saw Mr. Bean debut on ITV to an audience totaling 13.45 million. Rowan Atkinson, Richard Curtis, and Richard Curtis created the pilot episode that marked the birth of a major comic character. Bean is so well-known, and so easily incorporated into our pop culture tapestry that it's hard to overlook how striking his creation is. Atkinson was most well-known for his four Blackadder incarnations. Blackadder's second iteration was a bit slapsticky. Atkinson's ability to deliver it and acidic dialogue were key ingredients. Even the laxest line delivery ("To Baldrick, The Renaissance was just a thing that happened to other people") could...