Wednesday, December 31, 2008

"Dinner for One" -- the same procedure as every year

Dinner for One” is an old skit performed since the 1920’s on stage and made famous by its television production in 1963 starring Freddie Frinton and May Warden.

The sketch presents the 90th birthday of elderly upper-class Englishwoman Miss Sophie, who hosts a dinner every year for Mr Pommeroy, Mr Winterbottom, Sir Toby, and Admiral von Schneider – dear friends she has outlived. Her butler, James, makes his way around the table impersonating each guest. Miss Sophie decides on a variety of drinks to consume with the meal. James then drinks a toast to Miss Sophie on behalf of each guest and become a bit smashed as the evening progresses.

The crucial exchange during every course is:
James: The same procedure as last year, Miss Sophie?

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

After the dinner, Miss Sophie indicates to a very drunk James that she wishes to retire to bed, to which James responds:

James: By the way, the same procedure as last year, Miss Sophie?

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

James: Well, I'll do my very best!
Interestingly, while the skit and television production are little known in the U.S. and U.K., it has become something of a cult classic in Germany where it is played every New Year’s Eve and is the inspiration of numerous drinking games. Playing the video has become a tradition – the same procedure as every year.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for making this available again after many years. It brought back a lot of memories.

A happy new year to you.