The black-and-white British slapstick sketch, totally unknown in the English-speaking world, has become the highest-rated TV show in German history. A butler who gets riotously drunk whilst serving food and drinks to his employer, Miss Sophie, and her guests on her 90th birthday.
Another Version ( In Colour) Introduction in German but the sketch is in English: Part I: Part II:
About The Sketch: It is a phenomenon that has become ritualized into tradition. The Dinner For One sketch was originally performed in the 1920s in the British music halls. This 15-minute TV adaptation is performed by 1950s British TV comedian Freddie Frinton and his longtime on-stage partner May Warden. In the early 1960s, a German television producer had caught the stage act at Blackpool and invited Frinton to fly back to Hamburg with him to tape the sketch for one-time broadcast in 1963.
Plot: A butler who gets riotously drunk whilst serving food and drinks to his employer, Miss Sophie, and her guests on her 90th birthday.
The running joke is that Miss Sophie is sitting all alone at a table because she has outlived all her male guests — who apparently were her former lovers. Butler James assumes the role of each “guest” in order to toast Miss Sophie with champagne, wine, port and so on throughout the meal. Before each toast he asks plaintively: “Same procedure as last year, Miss Sophie?” to which she responds, “The same procedure as EVERY year, James.”
The “same procedure” gag line is repeated one final time after dinner as butler James escorts Miss Sophie upstairs to bed, with Frinton leering knowingly at the audience and affirming, “I’ll do me very best!”
Subscribe to The Iranian newsletter
Sign up for our daily newsletter to get the top news stories delivered to your inbox.