Merkel and Sarkozy in reworking of sketch Dinner For One
- 1 January 2012
- From the section Europe
A 1963 British comedy sketch which is cult New Year's Eve viewing in Germany has inspired a YouTube hit featuring Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy.
The heads of the German Chancellor and the French President have been superimposed on to the two characters in the 18-minute sketch Dinner For One.
Ms Merkel "plays" 90-year-old Miss Sophie whose butler, "Mr Sarkozy", impersonates her imaginary friends.
The original is hugely popular in Germany but is little known in Britain.
It is traditionally broadcast by several different German TV stations on New Year's Eve, and its popularity in both Germany and Scandinavia has made it one of the world's most repeated television shows.
During the routine, British comedienne May Warden plays upper-class Miss Sophie who is hosting a dinner for her four close friends to mark her birthday.
But because she has outlived them all, her butler James - played by Freddie Frinton - impersonates each guest, getting more drunk with each toast.
In the YouTube version, Angela Merkel's "guests" include former Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou, former Spanish PM Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero and British PM David Cameron - all impersonated by "Nicolas Sarkozy".
"Mr Sarkozy", pretending to be Mr Cameron, tells "Mrs Merkel" in English, "You are looking younger than ever", before switching to German and saying, "You look richer than ever".
"Mrs Merkel" tells "Mr Cameron" during a toast: "Don't forget we speak German in Europe".
As "Mr Sarkozy" scurries around the table in an ever more drunken way, the narrator says: "This is what happens every euro rescue summit, whether or not anyone else is there, it is just these two doing everything themselves".
The parody ends - like the original - with the butler taking the old lady up to her bedroom. In the original, James asks Miss Sophie whether it will be the "same procedure as last year" then promises to do "his very best".
In the YouTube version, "Mr Sarkozy" tells "Mrs Merkel" he will give her his "triple A".
The sketch, made for German broadcaster ARD and entitled "The 90th euro rescue summit or euros for no-one", has been viewed on YouTube more than 200,000 times in the last week.