Skip

The same procedure as last year
January 1, 2006 12:53 AM   Subscribe

A German New Year's ritual entirely in Enligsh. Enlighs. English.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen (32 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
Warum nur kennt im angeblichen Heimatland des Humors kein Mensch die Kultsendung "Dinner for One"? Die BBC weigert sich auch zum 40. Jubiläum des TV-Sketchs, die erfolgreichste Fernsehsendung Deutschlands zu übernehmen. Überraschende Begründung: "Wir kennen diese Sendung gar nicht." Das kann so nicht stimmen.

Why doesn't a single person in the ostensible homeland of humour know the cult show Dinner for One? Even on the 40th anniversary of the TV sketch the BBC refuses to acknoweldge the most successful television broadcast in Germany. The surprising reason: "We know nothing of this programme." That can't be.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 12:57 AM on January 1, 2006


They acknowledged it in 1997
posted by fullerine at 1:11 AM on January 1, 2006


I've never seen it before, but am downloading the video to check it out. If it really has the butler playing a Swedish character, I'll be tickled :)

Skål!
posted by starscream at 1:11 AM on January 1, 2006


Okay I found it mildly funny & I can see how repetition would make it hilarious.
posted by riffola at 1:17 AM on January 1, 2006


I was just quoting Der Spiegel (linked off the posted link). Obviously in Germany 1962 + 40 < 1997. Make of that what you will.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 1:46 AM on January 1, 2006


This skit is also popular as a traditional piece of new year's entertainment in Scandinavia, where it is know as "Grevinnen og hovmesteren" (norwegian) or "Grevinnan och betjänten" (swedish) (= "the countess and the butler").

In Norway it is for some reason traditionally broadcast on the day before christmas eve.

Scandinavian language geek
posted by spazzm at 1:54 AM on January 1, 2006


Fascinating article! Thanks for this! And a pleasant way to spend 10 minutes and 50 seconds of a New Year, for sure.
posted by jennanemone at 1:59 AM on January 1, 2006 [1 favorite]


I just couldn't do it again this year. Entschuldigung, etc., but it's a Blackpool comedy turn from 1963 (at least that's when it was recorded for German TV), and, you know.
posted by Wolof at 2:18 AM on January 1, 2006


Bored Feature Writer : The same procedure as last year?

Drunk Editor : The same procedure as every year!

I'm in work and the whole world sucks = snark snark snark
posted by fullerine at 2:33 AM on January 1, 2006


Script and screen shots.
posted by pracowity at 3:14 AM on January 1, 2006


Freddy Frinton!
In 1989 I met some germans who could not believe that the comedy genius Freddy Frinton was unknown in the UK being as he was an institution in germany.
They proceeded to recount the entire sketch to bemused silence.
Then we all got very drunk and forgot about it and took the piss out of the Swiss.
Good times!
Shown this year in Australia, an English speaking country. But then so is Inspector Rex.
posted by asok at 3:31 AM on January 1, 2006


Wow. The comedy equivalent of Schlagermusik.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 3:32 AM on January 1, 2006


[...] Australia, an English speaking country.

I know several Aussies that would take offence at that sentence.
posted by spazzm at 3:44 AM on January 1, 2006


You should have posted this yesterday! If I had heard about it in time, I would have tried to get people at the New Year's party I was just at to watch it and spread it to Canada.
posted by painquale at 3:53 AM on January 1, 2006


...offence at that sentence
Take it to the beach!
j/k
posted by asok at 4:01 AM on January 1, 2006


Woot! We did indeed watch this every year in Germany - since then my father has found the DVD, and we continue the tradition here in the States.. We were just talking about it the other day, wondering why it was never shown here, and how to change that. This helps, thanks!
posted by hypersloth at 4:16 AM on January 1, 2006


I'm completely mystified by the popularity of this.
posted by crunchland at 7:58 AM on January 1, 2006


Well, people need and like rituals. You can see this in the behaviour of the lady in the skit, as well as in the viewers' tradition.

For the record, I'm Dutch and I never heard of the skit before.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 8:06 AM on January 1, 2006


We started the New Year here watching The Fast Show. Is that close enough?
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 8:34 AM on January 1, 2006


I can see how repetition would make it hilarious.

That's got to be it. I have to say found it sort of disappointing - no, I found it not very funny at all - after the buildup of the Slate article.

I think the only way to account for its beloved status is to cite repetition and perhaps the world's consistent enjoyment of watching English people act stupid. There is also an interesting subtext to the video which makes it very appropriate to a holiday viewing: that at the holidays, we re-enact any number of rituals which are predictable, eccentric and somewhat foolish. The parallels between Miss Sophie's celebration and our own are pretty clear.
posted by Miko at 9:21 AM on January 1, 2006


I'm Dutch (42) and when I was young, this was on every Christmas and the butler was played by the recently deceased Dutch actor Joop Doderer.
posted by prolific at 9:32 AM on January 1, 2006


I found it hilarious. Great physical comedy.
posted by WolfDaddy at 9:42 AM on January 1, 2006


never heard of this before ... it's a classic ... funny how it hasn't seemed to have caught on in the usa
posted by pyramid termite at 10:12 AM on January 1, 2006


Excellent!
posted by arcticwoman at 10:15 AM on January 1, 2006


Warum nur kennt im angeblichen Heimatland des Humors kein Mensch die Kultsendung "Dinner for One"?

Why doesn't a single person in the ostensible homeland of humour know the cult show Dinner for One?


Probably for similar reasons that David Hasselhoff isn't fêted as a singing star there...
posted by i_cola at 12:05 PM on January 1, 2006


Interesting. Didn't know that although I've seen my bit of german television when living near the german border.

But it's low to drag Hasselhoff into this i_cola. It's farce and thus not really funny. Like the carry on movies. Those do not export very well either.
posted by jouke at 12:39 PM on January 1, 2006


Since it's unknown in the US in Britain, does that mean they don't have to pay ASCAP every time it's shown?
posted by George_Spiggott at 2:21 PM on January 1, 2006


...US and Britain...
posted by George_Spiggott at 2:22 PM on January 1, 2006


Did it bother anyone else that the article says that the Butler's repeated like is "The same procedure as last year, madam?" when the actual line is "The same procedure as last year, Miss Sophie?"

You'd think the writer would pay enough attention to get that detail right.
posted by papakwanz at 3:43 PM on January 1, 2006


*repeated line
posted by papakwanz at 3:45 PM on January 1, 2006


Thanks for the Google video link...I didn't find that last night while searching for a download of this bit (I did find a somewhat higher-quality capture, but it's a huge file and has Dutch subtitles). I saw this in Germany (on NYE, of course) several years ago and really enjoyed it -- and *did* find it strange that an English-language skit I'd never heard of would be so popular there (as I recall it was being shown practically twice an hour on several channels for much of the evening -- I can well believe it's the most frequently repeated TV spot ever). I'd love to see the tradition spread to America, or at least the BBC.
Oh and, papakwanz -- I believe the actual line is more like "sa'e 'ceejer 's lass year, mizophy?" ;)
posted by uosuaq at 4:17 PM on January 1, 2006


On review (of the Google video): I think this is actually a different version than what's typically shown on TV in Europe, although it's quite similar, of course, and it's nice to have different "takes" to compare.
posted by uosuaq at 4:36 PM on January 1, 2006


« Older Stunning Animal Photography   |   Authorities in Malaysia... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post