Saturday, December 30, 2006

'Dinner for One'

Maybe the strangest New Year's Eve custom in Germany revolves around an old English music hall skit originally aired on the BBC more than forty years ago. Dinner for One airs repeatedly on German TV on the last night of the year, drawing family and friends around their sets before they begin their celebrations.

Dinner for One
is in English and it's in black and white. Frankly, it's not that funny. You'd think that those three things would guarantee that nobody in the post-modern world--especially the post-modern world of continental Europe--would care about it. But in 2001, when my daughter and I viewed the program with German friends and their neighbors as we prepared to welcome a new year with them, we noticed that they all knew every line by heart...and still delighted in them.

For the Germans in 2006, it's apparently "the same procedure as last year...same procedure as every year."

Hermann the German, one of the best observers of everyday German life, presented the skit on his site here, if you're interested.

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