Sunday, December 31, 2006

New Year's Eve Trivia: Dinner for One

People watch "Ivanhoe" in Sweden and eat grapes in Mexico, but what is a traditional part of New Year’s Eve in Germany?

Watching “Dinner for One.”

The short 1963 comedy sketch, starring the late British comedian Freddie Frinton, a music-hall staple in the 1950s and 1960s, is screened on most major German television channels every December 31, and has been since 1972. Incredibly, it has entered the record books as the world's most repeated television show (230 airings and counting).

Almost always broadcast with its original English soundtrack, it is quite brilliant in its simplicity: Miss Sophie, celebrating her 90th birthday, sits down to dinner with four friends and is served by her faithful butler, James (Frinton).

But there's a catch. None of the old maid's guests — Sir Toby, Admiral Von Schneider, Mr Pommeroy and Mr Winterbottom — is actually in attendance because all of them presumably have long since expired. So it's down to James to hop from chair to chair and fill in for Miss Sophie's enigmatic erstwhile suitors.

Before every course and its accompanying splash of booze, the rapidly declining butler slurs: "The same procedure as last year, Miss Sophie?" And his aged employer replies: "The same procedure as every year, James."

Read the rest of The Telegraph article and its link to the film by clicking here.

No comments: