Dinner for One

It’s New Years Eve and living in England there is one German tradition that I miss out on year after year. In fact it’s as essential to Germany at New Year’s Eve as the Queen’s speech is to England at Christmas.

Also called ‘The 90th Birthday’, Dinner for One is a sketch by the British author and performed by Freddie Frinton and May Warden. Whilst it is completely in English it’s never been broadcast on British TV, yet is immensely popular in Germany, other European countries and even found fame in South Africa. Just this year it’s scheduled to twelve times with nine more broadcasts with German dialects or documentaries about the show or the phenomenon that goes with it.

  • 13:35 Uhr, Dinner for One – up Platt, NDR
  • 14 Uhr, Dinner for One auf Hessisch, HR
  • 14:05 Uhr, Dinner for One – das Dinner, NDR
  • 16:05 Uhr, Dinner for One, NDR
  • 16:30 Uhr, Dinner for Wan(ne), WDR
  • 16:35 Uhr, Dinner for One auf Hessisch, NDR
  • 17:25 Uhr, Dinner for One – die Dokumentation, NDR
  • 17:55 Uhr, Dinner for One, NDR
  • 18:50 Uhr, Dinner for One, WDR
  • 19 Uhr, Dinner for One, BR
  • 19 Uhr, Dinner for One, MDR
  • 19:05 Uhr, Dinner for One, RBB
  • 19:10 Uhr, Dinner for One, HR
  • 19:30 Uhr, Dinner for One – up Platt, EinsLive
  • 19:40 Uhr, Dinner for One, NDR
  • 22:35 Uhr, Dinner for One, HR
  • 23:40 Uhr, Dinner for One, NDR
  • 00:02 Uhr, Dinner for One, BR
  • 00:50 Uhr, Dinner for One auf Hessisch, HR
  • 04:15 Uhr, Dinner for One – up Platt, EinsLive
  • 04:30 Uhr, Dinner for One – die Dokumentation, NDR

Nod to Frederic Schneider who compiled the above on his blog.

The story initself is simple:

It’s Miss Sophie’s 90th birthday and the butler James busily prepares the birthday dinner consisting of Mulligatawny soup, fish, chicken and fruit for dessert. The table is laid for Miss Sophie and her four friends Mr Winterbottom, Mr Pommeroy, Admiral von Schneider and Sir Toby. However they’ve passed away long ago so it’s up to the butler to toast her by impersonating them. Each course has it’s own drink starting with sherry, then white wine, champagne and port. James gets drunker with every course to the point where he is almost unable to carry on walking. It ends with James escorting Miss Sophie upstairs.

There isn’t much dialogue, however there is one repeated exchange that is arguably what makes Dinner for One so great. After every serving and prior to pouring the drinks:

James: The same procedure as last year, Miss Sophie?
Miss Sophie: The same procedure as every year, James!

Slapstick is provided in the form of a tiger skin which is placed between dinner table and the serving buffet causing James to fall over it many times and interact with it the more he’s had to drink.

A shortened version of it can be found here:

Happy New Year everyone and may you stumble over to my blog many more times!

Cat

The full dialogue is after the break:

James: Good evening, Miss Sophie, good evening.
Miss Sophie: Good evening, James.
James: You are looking very well this evening, Miss Sophie.
Miss Sophie: Well, I am feeling very much better, thank you, James.
James: Good, good…
Miss Sophie: Well, I must say that everything looks nice.
James: Thank you very much, Miss Sophie, thank you.
Miss Sophie: Is everybody here?
James: Indeed, they are, yeah. Yes… They are all here for your anniversary, Miss Sophie.
Miss Sophie: All five places are laid out?
James: All laid out as usual.
Miss Sophie: Sir Toby?
James: Sir Toby, yes, he’s sitting here this year, Miss Sophie.
Miss Sophie: Admiral von Schneider?
James: Admiral von Schneider is sitting here, Miss Sophie.
Miss Sophie: Mr. Pommeroy?
James: Mr. Pommeroy I put round here for you.
Miss Sophie: And my very dear friend, Mr. Winterbottom?
James: On your right, as you requested, Miss Sophie!
Miss Sophie: Thank you, James. You may now serve the soup.
James: The soup, thank you very much, Miss Sophie, thank you. They are all waiting for you. Little drop of mulligatawny soup, Miss Sophie?
Miss Sophie: I am particularly fond of mulligatawny soup, James.
James: Yes, I know you are.
Miss Sophie: I think we’ll have sherry with the soup.
James: Sherry with the soup, yes… Oh, by the way, the same procedure as last year, Miss Sophie?
Miss Sophie: Same procedure as every year, James.
James: Same procedure as every year, James…
Miss Sophie: Is that a dry sherry, James?
James: Yes, a very dry sherry, Miss Sophie… very dry. Straight out of the cellar, this morning, Miss Sophie.
Miss Sophie: Sir Toby!
James: Cheerio, Miss Sophie!
Miss Sophie: Admiral von Schneider!
James: Ad… Must I say it this year, Miss Sophie?
Miss Sophie: Just to please me, James.
James: Just to please you. Very good, yes, yes… Skol!
Miss Sophie: Mr. Pommeroy!
James: Happy New Year, Sophie!
Miss Sophie: And dear Mr. Winterbottom!
James: Well, here we are again, old lovely…
Miss Sophie: You may now serve the fish.
James: Fish. Very good, Miss Sophie. Did you enjoy the soup?
Miss Sophie: Delicious, James.
James: Thank you, Miss Sophie, glad you enjoyed it. Little bit of North Sea haddock, Miss Sophie.
Miss Sophie: I think we’ll have white wine with the fish.
James: White wine with the fish? The same procedure as last year, Miss Sophie?
Miss Sophie: The same procedure as every year, James!
James: Yeah…
Miss Sophie: Sir Toby!
James: Cheerio, Miss Sophie, me gal…
Miss Sophie: Admiral von Schneider!
James: Oh, must I, Miss Sophie?
Miss Sophie: James, please, please…
James: Skol!
Miss Sophie: Mr. Pommeroy!
James: Happy New Year, Sophie gal!
Miss Sophie: Mr. Winterbottom!
James: You look younger than ever, love! Younger than ever! Ha, ha, ha…
Miss Sophie: Please serve the chicken!
James: Ya …
Miss Sophie: That looks a very fine bird!
James: That’s a lovely chu … chuk … chicken, that I’ll tell you, a lovely …
Miss Sophie: I think we’ll have champagne with the bird!
James: Champagne, ya… Sssssame, same procedure as last year, Miss Sophie?
Miss Sophie: The same procedure as every year, James!
James: Sophie, me gal …
Miss Sophie: Admiral von Schneider!
James: Must I, Miss Sophie?
Miss Sophie: James!
James: Schkolll!
Miss Sophie: Mr. Pommeroy!
James: Happy New Year, Sophie, gal…
Miss Sophie: Mr. Winterbottom!
James: It’s one of the nicest little woman… hic… one of the nicest little woman, that’s ever breathed, that’s ever breathed…
I now declare this bazaar open! Would you like some fruit?
Miss Sophie: I think we’ll have port with the fruit!
James: Oh, … no! Shh…ame procedure as last…
Miss Sophie: Yes, the same procedure as last year, James!
James: …………………………!!!
Miss Sophie: Sir Toby!
James: Sugar in the morning, sugar…
Miss Sophie: Admiral von Schneider!
James: Schkolll!
Miss Sophie: Mr. Pommoroy!
James: I’m sorry, Madam, sorry.
Miss Sophie: Mr. Winterbottom!
James: Huuuhhh, I’ll kill that cat!
Miss Sophie: Well, James, it’s been a wonderful party!
James: Well, it’s been most enjoyable.
Miss Sophie: I think I’ll retire.
James: You’re going to bed?
Miss Sophie: Yes.
James: Sit down, I’ll give you a hand up, Madam.
Miss Sophie: As I was saying, I’ll retire…
James: Ya… ya. By the way, the same procedure as last year, Miss Sophie?
Miss Sophie: The same procedure as every year James!
James: Well, I’ll do my very best!

About these ads

20 Comments

  1. dmosbon
    Posted December 31, 2007 at 1:30 am | Permalink

    Woah! This must date back awhile…very strange show.

  2. Posted December 31, 2007 at 2:01 am | Permalink

    Happy New Year everyone and may you stumble over to my blog many more times!

    Definitely! I should have discovered your blog much earlier. :) Happy New Year!

  3. Posted December 31, 2007 at 2:15 am | Permalink

    Yeah, it’s 1950ish I think. And it’s odd, but everyone in Germany watches it. I think it’s quite funny too, even though I know the entire thing!

    Cheers Ruhi and such nice words. :) Happy to year to you!

  4. Posted December 31, 2007 at 7:09 am | Permalink

    I will keep stumbling in here, as I always have and I’ll hope you’ll not disappear again(even though there’s a high probability that I might very soon). But hey, cheers to 2007 and all the good things that happened and also to your wickedly cool new look that has made me think of ways to arrange $15 for a CSS upgrade. And take your time to renovate, I’m not doing any reviews very soon.

  5. Posted December 31, 2007 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    Thank you. :)

    I’ll try and not disappear although as with the previous times it was always due to other reasons and as much as I love blogging it cannot and is not the highest priority in life. Sadly. And since coming back in August I’ve spent $25 on this blog and have a cool look. So I’ll stay!

    Where are you disappearing off to?

  6. Sha
    Posted December 31, 2007 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

    Happy new year!!! Hope it’s a good one :)

  7. Posted December 31, 2007 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    Thanks, I’m hoping so anyway! :)

  8. timethief
    Posted January 1, 2008 at 4:19 am | Permalink

    May your New year be adventurous, fulfilling and fun. ;)

  9. Posted January 1, 2008 at 4:24 am | Permalink

    Happy new year, cat! :)

  10. Posted January 1, 2008 at 6:47 am | Permalink

    I’m gonna be having a series of exams all through January, February, March, April and even half of June. So I might disappear.

  11. Posted January 1, 2008 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    Thanks, Ashish, you too.

    Don’t disappear! It’s not worth it! You can’t leave us…

  12. Posted January 1, 2008 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    Thank you very much Timethief. :)

  13. Posted January 1, 2008 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    Hi Cat,
    Thanks for the comment – I’ll be coming back! I’m glad to know another person who saw that blooper live. ;-)

  14. Posted January 1, 2008 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for stopping by here, Ian!

    And yes, definitely! I really did think I was going crazy!

  15. Posted January 2, 2008 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    I will try my best not to disappear but you never know. Nice new avatar btw..does it have any special significance?

  16. Posted January 2, 2008 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    Only that it’s temporary. Temp. It was time to say goodbye to the cat with the red/white hat and I’m still trying to change the background of my ‘standard’ avatar which is priving a little difficult. I just don’t like blue..

    http://img396.imageshack.us/img396/4031/kittah4gy9.jpg

  17. Posted January 2, 2008 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    I think it’s possible to edit that. I don’t have any editing software because I got my machine reformatted but you can ask Ash, I’m sure he’ll be able to fix it up if you can’t yourself.

  18. Posted January 2, 2008 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    The difficult bit is just that the background is uneven or whatever it’s called, so I can’t just fill the backgound with a colour and leave it at that. One of my photoshop friends should come online soon. I hope!

  19. Posted January 2, 2008 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

    That sort of tv is right up my street! I’ve never heard of this one though – cheers for the heads up.

    Fair dues to you for writing the whole dialogue out!! *bows to your typing skills*

  20. Posted January 3, 2008 at 4:04 am | Permalink

    It’s great and I can’t believe no one in English speaking countries watches it!

    Erm, just how disappointed would you be if I told you I copied and pasted that all…. :)


Post a Comment

Required fields are marked *

*
*

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,892 other followers