Merry Christmas, Mr. Bean
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|"Merry Christmas Mr. Bean"|
|Mr. Bean episode|
|Episode no.||Episode 7|
|Directed by||John Birkin|
|Written by||Robin Driscoll
|Produced by||Sue Vertue|
|Original air date||29 December 1992|
|Awards||CableACE Award Best Comedy Special|
"Merry Christmas Mr. Bean" is the seventh episode of the television series Mr. Bean, produced by Tiger Television for Thames Television. It was first broadcast on ITV on Tuesday 29 December 1992 and watched by 18.48 million viewers on its original transmission.
This was the last episode to be co-written by Richard Curtis and the last to be broadcast by Thames Television on behalf of the ITV network. It also marks the last appearance of Mr. Bean's girlfriend, Irma Gobb (Matilda Ziegler).
Act 1: Christmas Shopping
Seeking to prepare for the big day, Mr. Bean ventures into town on Christmas Eve and visits Harrods to look for some Christmas decorations, harassing a man dressed as Father Christmas on the way in by pulling on his false beard. Inside the shop, he proceeds to test two different types of baubles, going with one that bounces off the ground after the other one simply smashes on the floor. He then looks to test out some Christmas lights, and managing to get into a storeroom while an employee is busy dealing with a customer, tries it out on a socket being used for the store's exterior lights, plunging the exterior into darkness for a short while. As the employee sorts out his purchases, Bean spots the shop's Nativity scene display and performs a creative but inaccurate story by playing around with it and some nearby toys, first by making some of the figurines shush anything that could wake the baby Jesus, having a shepherd figurine round up some toy sheep, and then having two toy tanks and a toy Dalek battle with a toy T-rex, eventually having the little baby Jesus figurine airlifted by an angel attached to a magnet hanging down from a toy helicopter to the bedroom of a doll house alongside his parent's figurines. His fun is soon disrupted by the store manager - introducing a toy policeman into the Nativity scene to halt proceedings - who hands him his purchases and makes him leave the shop.
Following his fun, Bean soon meets up with his girlfriend, Irma Gobb, in the town's Christmas market and is dragged to the shop window of a jeweller's, whereupon she tries to give him the message that she wants a sparkly ring in the display by pointing to a portrait of a couple getting engaged. Bean nods to her, and heads into the shop, delighting Irma. After buying something from the jeweller, Bean spots another man dressed as Father Christmas, and tugs on his beard, only to find it was a real one, and quickly disappears into the crowds. Coming across a Salvation Army brass band performing "God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen" at the market, he offers to help the conductor collect money in his bucket, coming across a young pickpocket with a wallet in his hand, thinking he wishes to make a donation, thus forcing him to surrender all the items he stole, include cash and jewellery. Bringing these to the conductor, who decides to check out what he brought back, Bean finds himself conducting the band, and has some fun with them, before having them conduct the same song with an upbeat, jazzy feel to it, earning a big round of applause from the crowd. With the conductor back, Bean attempts to buy a Christmas tree from a stand, only to watch the last two trees being bought up. Wanting a tree, he cuts down the market's large tree and attaches it to the roof of his Mini, driving home with it, with everybody at the market oblivious to the theft.
Act 2: Christmas Eve
Later that night, having set up his stolen Christmas tree with his new lights and his bauble, Bean leans out his window and pushes the rest away, letting it crash onto the street below. He then sets up three stockings in the room – one for Teddy, one for himself, and one for a tiny mouse living in a hole behind some furniture – before writing a few cards and sealing them in envelopes, then stepping outside and posting them to himself. Satisfied with his decoration, Bean searches a cupboard for some Christmas crackers, but is underwhelmed by the lack of a loud pop from one, and so decides to take out the fuses of the other crackers and stuff them all into one to make a "super cracker". Warming up his flat with a fire, enjoying a box of chocolates and drinking a glass of sherry, Bean tries to find something good to watch on TV, only to find nothing interesting. As he turns his TV off, he hears muffled singing coming from his door, whereupon opening it he finds a small group of young carol singers performing "Away in a Manger". Deciding to watch them perform from his seat as if he was watching TV, Bean soon becomes bored, and rudely shuts the door on them just as they finish the song, before heading for bed.
Act 3: Christmas Day
The following morning, Bean wakes up excited to the fact it is Christmas morning, and proceeds to check the stockings – his turns out to be a sock of his filled with the other; Teddy's turns out to contain a tin that holds a pair of button eyes within; the mouse's turns out to have a piece of cheese that Bean immediately places onto a mousetrap. That afternoon, Bean gets to work in the kitchen on preparing the large turkey he won at the market, but while stuffing it, his watch comes off and gets lost inside. Unable to find it, Bean sticks his head into the turkey, whereupon he finds himself unable to pull it off just as Irma arrives. After attempting to cover up his predicament from his girlfriend, Irma eventually helps him to remove it, allowing Bean to recover his watch, but the turkey is lost out of the window.
With not much left for a dinner, the pair proceed to have sandwiches consisting of cranberry sauce along with carrot slices, whereupon Irma refuses to give Bean his present until she gets a Christmas kiss, only for him to outsmart her and cruelly snatch it, ignoring her anger as he finds it to be a model ship. Realising he is being forgetful, Bean produces Irma with her present, only for her excitement to turn into confusion and disappointment when he reveals that he bought her the portrait in the jeweller's display, misunderstanding what she really wanted. Seeing her crying, he recalls he forgot something else for her, and produces a ring box, which she finds to contain a picture hook for the portrait. Irma, upset and angry, storms out of the flat, leaving Bean puzzled, and assumingly dumps him. Realising that she cannot pull his super cracker with him, he decides to do it himself, saying "Merry Christmas Mr Bean" to himself as he does so.
The episodes then ends with a view from the street, along with a banging sound and a sudden white flash from his window.
A scene for this episode was cut out for transmission, but retained in the retail version, and took place between Bean purchasing a present for Irma and then encountering the second Father Christmas. In the scene, Bean participates in a "guess the weight" competition, with the large turkey from the episode, being the prize, and cheats to win it by using a hidden set of scales below the counter for the competition, alongside a calculator, whereupon the turkey is thrown into the boot of his Mini once he wins it. For unknown reasons, the A&E DVD release (distributed in the US by New Video) does not contain this scene.
- Rowan Atkinson – Mr. Bean
- Owen Brenman – store clerk
- Matilda Ziegler – Irma Gobb
- John Warner
- Jonathan Stratt
- C.J. Allen
- Lee Barrett
- Chris Sanders
A number of elements were used as inspiration for other programmes. The 'lights on a well known building being accidentally switched off' gag is used by comedian Peter Kay at the end of his Live at the Top of the Tower DVD, while the turkey scene is considered to have been inspiration for a scene in an episode of Friends entitled "The One with All the Thanksgivings", and later led to an adaptation for the film Bean, though it was cut out of the international release (outside North America) and reserved for a special feature section entitled "Bean Scenes Unseen". Another turkey gag was used in Mr. Bean, The Animated Series episode "Dinner for Two".
The scene where Mr Bean buys the turkey was removed from broadcasts on some children's channels. The scene where Irma Gobb helps Mr. Bean to get the turkey off was also edited out when broadcast on Nickelodeon UK.
- "HBO Takes Bulk of Prizes at the CableACE Awards". Los Angeles Times. 16 January 1995. Retrieved 28 February 2013.
- "Awards". tigeraspect. Retrieved 28 February 2013.
- "Timeline". mrbean.co.uk. Archived from the original on 15 January 2013. Retrieved 27 February 2013.
- Chris Perry (3 February 2016). The Kaleidoscope British Christmas Television Guide 1937-2013. pp. 386–. ISBN 978-1-900203-60-9.
- "Timeline". mrbean.co.uk. Archived from the original on 22 September 2013. Retrieved 4 January 2014.
- Stephen Greenfield (22 November 2008). We Wish You a Retro Christmas. pp. 49–. ISBN 978-1-4092-4675-6.
Merry Christmas Mr. Bean The bumbling but lovable creation of Rowan Atkinson first appeared in 1990. Merry Christmas Mr. Bean first aired on the 29th ofDecember 1992. This festive episode starts with Mr. Bean visiting Harrods to purchase ...
- "Bean Scenes Unseen". You Tube. Retrieved 24 January 2018.