New Year's Day 2013: 10 Bizarre New Year's Celebrations

6. Dinner For One - Germany

Trust the Germans to come up with one of the more bizarre and seemingly inconsequential New Year's Eve traditions on the list. Dinner for One is a British comedy sketch originally composed in the 1920s, and a German TV station recorded a performance of it in 1963, spoken entirely in English. The 18-minute sequence features British comedians Freddie Frinton and May Warden and has become a mainstay of German year-end television, even entering into the Guinness Book of World Records as the most repeated TV show of all time. In fact, so culturally relevant is the piece that it has become popular in other countries, and a documentary about the sketch was even made in 2003, which ended up being nominated for the prestigious Rose d'Or award. Much of the irony that reportedly half the German population watch the sketch every year is that it remains totally obscure in the UK, where the vast majority of Brits have not even heard of it. The true charm of this tradition is that despite being shown largely in English and without subtitles, many non-English speakers are able to recite the dialogue and even understand the humour, which is rooted in some pretty rudimentary archetypes and is therefore easily digestible in the same way that an animated film might be.
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Frequently sleep-deprived film addict and video game obsessive who spends more time than is healthy in darkened London screening rooms. Follow his twitter on @ShaunMunroFilm or e-mail him at shaneo632 [at]