There could be at least one less emotional version, you are right.
But I love all the expression heads, just let the creativity kick in.
Covering up portions of the face is making a lot of those heads more universally useful. Imagine him wearing a ski mask/balaclava only showing his intense eyes whitout the smirk. Use your hands in front of the screen to cover everything except the eyes. Or just cover up the smiling bit of his lips, this is the part that transports most 'funniness'. In hand this could be done by a head micro or his own hands or something. Maybe but a thick beard over it.