Mr. Bean in Pakistan

Posted on April 30, 2011
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Humor, TV, Movies & Theatre
Total Views: 141183

Adil Najam

When I first saw the Habib Bank Ads with Mr. Bean, for a minute I actually thought they had inserted old (and original) Mr. Bean clippings into their Ads. I later realized that this was a Pakistan look-alike for the original Mr. Bean, Rowan Atkinson.

Right there this was a sign that it was a good impersonation. Actually, too good. Because in many cases the impersonation leaves no room for originality. But, frankly, I found the Ads funny. Funny enough that I dug deeper and realized that there is a mini “Mr. Bean in Pakistan” franchise beginning to flourish.

So, who is this Mr. Bean in Pakistan and what is his story?

Seems like the Pakistani Mr. Bean first appeared in this home video from Kharadar, Karachi, which was not really an ‘act’ but simply the fact that he looked like Rowan Atkinson.

Soon, however, he had developed an act.

From what I can gather his name is (Muhammad) Asif and he is (was) a resident of Kharadar. Someone figured he looked really like Mr. Bean. Someone else (maybe he himself) figured he should start impersonating Mr. Bean. And that is how ‘Mr. Bean in Pakistan’ was born.

Now he is all over HBL Ads and also on a mini-show of his own on Geo TV’s Aag channel. And because he is now everywhere and pushed to do more and more, the quality varies – from good to quite appalling. He seems to have begun as a parody but is already turning into no more than a prop for sophmorish pranks:

Are there any intellectual property implications to all this? Probably.

But right now everyone is just smiling at his antics. But for that to continue he will have to up the ante pretty soon – otherwise he becomes merely a Rowan Atkinson look-alike without either originality or any of Rowan Atkinson’s immaculate timing and attention to detail. I hope he stops listening to the producers of his shows and takes this opportunity by the horns to develop a comedic persona of his own. Good Luck, Mr. Bean!

13 responses to “Mr. Bean in Pakistan”

  1. 7updude says:

    Since Pakistan has poor record in IP, I shouldn’t probably feel too alarmed at people’s lack of some basic understanding of how this works.

    Here is an actual shit that happened not so long ago:

    Geo got rights to air ICC WC2011 on TV (let me repeat if someone missed, TV) and they did stream live on webtv as well but only to Pakistan-based audience. They were strictly and specifically NOT allowed to broadcast their stuff to outside Pakistan.

    So, here’s my theory:
    HBL got the rights of TVCs FOR THE TV ALONE and not putting it online or whatever. This could be as complex as quantum mechanics for some, but there is nothing more to such a basic settlement. Get over it.

  2. 7updude says:

    hey Asad, thanks for being a good guy and investigating on your end. Since most people don’t bother, I appreciate your taking time out to find the truth. Do keep us posted with your findings.
    Also, I find it little disturbing that just because something is not available online somehow, in your understanding, equates to false or non-evidence. I find that really disturbing esp. for someone who doesn’t take someone’s words for granted.

    Oh and there is no need to get ideas. You obviously lack understanding of how corporations work despite possible linkages/association with some. I am not paid or asked by any majha gama bank or onga bonga tv station so you should rely more on your fact-finding missions than your gut-feelings :)

  3. ASAD says:

    Just to be fair on HBL, maybe there was a deal but I did not find any evidence of it. So, I am just now sending emails to Rowan Atkinson’s agent and to BBC which produced his shows and has rights to them to make sure there was a legal deal. Will let you know if I hear anything.
    Pakistan has enough bad press anyhow, hope this does not become one more case of theft by Pakistanis!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *