Cracking the Comedy Code: Rowan Atkinson’s Attitude Lessons

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Cracking the Comedy Code: Rowan Atkinson’s Attitude Lessons!

It’s time to delve into the comedic brilliance of Rowan Atkinson and have a barrel of laughs while learning a thing or two. Picture this: an unsuspecting man strolling down the street when BAM! He walks right into a tree. Classic slapstick comedy at its finest!


Now, what makes Atkinson truly stand out is his incredible attitude. Sure, he’s a master of physical comedy like Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, and Jacques Tati, but there’s something more. He has the unique ability to use his physicality to convey an attitude, a distinctive personality that brings his characters to life.

When it comes to making us laugh, Atkinson believes in characters that present a sort of truth to us. They may be mad, funny, wacky, or even rude, but there’s an underlying relatability that tickles our funny bones. We see ourselves or someone we’ve encountered in these characters. It’s the truth behind the madness that strikes a chord.

Now, most of you probably know Atkinson as the globally famous Mr. Bean, a character who relies on visual comedy reminiscent of silent films. While his Bean feature films gained international recognition, it’s his original sitcom, with only 15 episodes across six years, where the best Bean work shines. Atkinson doesn’t need fancy cinematography; a simple two-shot is enough for him to work wonders. He’s a performer through and through, not just a director.

But here’s the real gold, my fellow comedians—Atkinson’s stage shows. No frills, just a man and his audience. These shows truly highlight his talents. The skits are undeniably funny, but it’s the attitude in which they’re performed that brings true joy. The character becomes the joke. It’s the way a priest cracks a communion wafer or a schoolmaster does an absurd roll call with deadpan seriousness. And let’s not forget the devil himself, dropping his head to the side with a dash of self-deprecation.

Atkinson’s comedy is all about personality, not just gags. It’s about taking something ordinary and doing it in a hilariously abnormal way. In fact, Atkinson himself explains this in a fantastic video essay on visual comedy (which I highly recommend you watch). He describes how the comedy of personality excites him the most, and it’s where he truly shines.

Now, imagine taking the comedy of personality to the extreme. That’s when you get sketches like Atkinson’s acting lecture, where he portrays different personalities. There’s no actual joke, just a delightful display of characters within characters. It’s a self-serious actor playing various parts, and when things go wrong, we get a glimpse of the character underneath, making it even funnier.

To truly captivate an audience with comedy like this, you need precision and a style that is completely inimitable. These physical comedians find humor in the tiniest gestures, the flick of a wrist, or the pronunciation of a single letter. They can signify a whole nationality with a mere head movement. It’s all about presenting a truth that we can identify with, whether we’ve seen someone like that on a train or we secretly recognize ourselves in those characters.

So, my fellow jesters, let Rowan Atkinson be an inspiration to us all. Embrace your unique comedic style, find humor in the ordinary, and let your characters shine. Remember, it’s not just about doing funny things; it’s about bringing a hilarious truth to the stage. Let Rowan Atkinson’s comedic genius guide us on our laughter-filled journey to comedy greatness!

*This is the documentary the video refers to.


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