The Christmas special which might have been
August 24, 2008 12:27 AM   Subscribe

NameThatMovieFilter: I need help remembering the name of an old black-and-white Christmas special from the BBC. Problem: it may not have been a Christmas special, or from the BBC!

A few years back I watched what I remember to be an old black-and-white BBC Christmas special. It is somewhat famous, but I remember so little of it that my Googling has turned up nothing.

Here's what I remember:

-It was British, probably from the BBC, in black and white.
-There was a butler/butlers serving dinner to an elderly woman or women.
-Alcohol featured prominently - everyone ended up drunk.
-Relied heavily on slapstick comedy, but was funny nonetheless.
-It was Christmas.
-The entire movie was shot with one set, a dining room.
-There was a twist ending.
-It was short. (Half-hour maybe.)

The thing is that I have a really bad memory and thus any or all of the above could be wrong. In fact, the more I think about it, the more I'm convinced that the entire thing is just a figment of my imagination. I remember it being introduced to me as pretty famous and as one of the better-known Christmas specials, so - if it does exist - I'm hoping a fellow MeFite has heard of it. Any help would be greatly appreciated - this is driving me insane!
posted by wsp to Media & Arts (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Dinner For One?


posted by roger ackroyd at 12:44 AM on August 24, 2008

Was coming in to suggest the same thing. Hugely popular at New Years in Sweden for some reason.
posted by Iteki at 1:01 AM on August 24, 2008

Was definitely Dinner For One.
posted by InsanePenguin at 4:43 AM on August 24, 2008

It's been hugely popular in Germany since the 1960s and is broadcast repeatedly around New Year's, and its popularity has spread to a lot of nearby countries. I know a lot of Germans who can recite much of it verbatim, although it is relatively unknown in the UK. It has all the ingredients for Continental non-native-English-speaker hilarity: physical comedy, phrase repetition, a sexual joke, a drinking joke, and upper-class English stereotypes.
posted by Your Time Machine Sucks at 5:51 AM on August 24, 2008

yea, Dinner for One. I can probably recite it verbatim too. Growing up it was a total tradition to watch it on New Years Eve and then quote it for days afterward.
posted by gemmy at 9:03 AM on August 24, 2008

I've been thinking about this a bit more and I think maybe the reason it's popular in Scandyland etc is that slapstick and corny humour is still very popular, at least in Sweden.
posted by Iteki at 10:58 AM on August 24, 2008

> it is relatively unknown in the UK.

Like the article you linked says, it is really is UNKNOWN in the UK, not relatively unknown. I knew of it only through articles like that one and a German night-school teacher who told us about it.
posted by galaksit at 1:39 PM on August 24, 2008

Eh, I've met a number of people from the UK who knew of it, but always as a continental phenomenon.
posted by Your Time Machine Sucks at 2:34 PM on August 24, 2008

> it is relatively unknown in the UK

A few Christmases ago one of the news programs, possibly Newsnight, did a feature on it... and I think I remember it being mentioned on something before that, but I've never seen the whole thing broadcast in the UK
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 10:03 AM on August 25, 2008

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