What’s On TV – Dinner For One

List Item:  Watch half of the 1001 TV Series You Must Watch Before You Die
Progress: 164/501
Title: Dinner For One (Der 90. Geburtstag)
Episodes Aired: 1
Episodes Watched:
Year(s): 1963
Country: Germany

Nearly a month later and here we are at the first ticking off from the television list – and it is an 18 minute long comedy sketch. It doesn’t help that I am making the hub (he apparently prefers ‘hub’ to ‘hubby’, so I’m going to try this on for size) watch Gilmore Girls for his own completion of the book.

The sketch itself, in which a butler gets drunker and drunker whilst taking the places of deceased guests at his mistress’ birthday party… didn’t hit me at all. As in the butler’s repeatedly tripping over the head of a tiger-skin didn’t exactly tickle me the way it did the audience. Or Europe apparently.

Dinner For One is not on this list because it is an amazing or innovative programme. Also, it is not on there as it is an exemplar of sketch comedy. It is on this list because, in many areas of the world, it is a yearly tradition to show this on New Year’s Eve or thereabouts. This makes Dinner for One the most repeated TV programme ever.

It is therefore weird that it is a German bankrolled production featuring UK actors speaking English that is not really known in the UK. However, in the likes of Germany, Denmark, Norway and South Africa this 18 minute programme is incredibly well known.

Do I feel that I understand my neighbours a bit more having watched something that is so traditional? No. It does, however, make for an interesting cultural touchstone.


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