Mr. Bean utilizes various types of non-verbal communication styles to entice laughter from his audience. After reviewing the video “The Exam”, the two most important types of non-verbal communication that Mr. Bean elicits is the use of a variety of Kinesics and Proxemics.Although Mr. Bean did not speak throughout the majority of the episode. The audience could tell exactly what he was trying to communicate because of his use of Kinesics. He utilizes different facial expressions so that the viewers understand his emotions physically. For example, in the video, Mr. Bean begins the exam with a facial expression filled with confidence and eagerness to write the exam. However, upon opening the envelope to reveal the exam questions, his smug expression quickly changes to a look of concern and state of panic.
Realizing that the exam questions were not what he studied for, he maintains a worried facial expression of not knowing what to do (Ritchie, 2008, 4:19). Body movements and gestures were also very prominent in this episode. For example, in the video, after realizing he did not know any of the exam questions, Mr. Bean attempted to copy his neighbors’ answers. After Mr. Bean catches a glance at his neighbors’ paper he gives the man a thumbs up and everyone else in a room a thumbs up establishing that he has the answers and that everything is going to be okay (Ritchie, 2008, 5:58). Also, he uses overexaggerated gestures such as pulling his hair in frustration, rustling his papers, and crawling on the floor, to elicit his desperation to copy the answers. The man sitting next to him also uses body movements and gestures. He covers and moves his paper out of Mr. Bean’s view, and furthermore slams his paper to show his annoyance and frustration of Mr. Bean trying to copy his test.
There was obvious communication between Mr. Bean and the man using Kinesics even though verbal communication did not exist between the two.Mr. Bean uses proxemics to evoke laughter in his comedies as well. In the video, he is constantly invading the private space of the man sitting beside him without ever touching him physically. At one point, he slides right beside the man to attempt to copy his test answers. By doing this, Mr. Bean adds comedy and exaggeration to the scene, because not only is he invading the man’s body territory but his actions during the exam in normal society would not acceptable.Mr. Bean’s actions effectively tell the audience a lot about the kind of person he is and the context of the comedy, even if you’ve never seen a Mr. Bean video before. His comedies show us how much can be communicated by using non-verbal communication.
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