May 29, 2022

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Countess and Butler - Here you see "The Countess and Butler" on Christmas Eve

Countess and Butler – Here you see “The Countess and Butler” on Christmas Eve

It’s Advent and Christmas time, and it’s a time of tradition. Some traditions vary regionally – some eat pork, others eat ribs – but there is one tradition common in Norway across both the fjords and the mountains:

When the little Christmas Eve comes and the time approaches 21:00, we sit down in front of the TV, and turn on the NRK, for it is immediately ready for the “Countess and Butler”. The sketch is so popular with Norwegians that when it was accidentally broadcast fifteen minutes early in 1992, we protested so badly that NRK had to air it repeatedly The same evening.

100 years of history

“The Countess and the Butler” first appeared in a movie in Germany in 1963 with the title «Der 90. Geburtsdag», which translated into Norwegian means «90 årsdagen».

At that time, protagonist Freddy Frenton had been gradually treating the drunk butler since 1945. The sketch was initially a play called “Dinner for One” written by the British author and actor Laurie Willie A little over 100 years ago, in the year 1920.

Eventually, painting became an annual television tradition in Germany, and over time, this tradition spread to more than twenty other countries. Today, “The Countess and the Butler” is broadcast annually in Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Australia and South Africa.

Unknown Abstainer

Despite Freddy Frenton’s schematic diagram and immense popularity internationally, they have remained mostly unknown in Frenton’s homeland of Great Britain. In fact, it was 1st in 2018, 55 years after its premiere, “The Countess and the Butler” was fully screened on British soil.

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Another fascinating aspect of the drawing is Freddy Frenton’s highly convincing depiction of alcoholism. Frenton was the same for life abstaining, and based his portrayal only on the observation of drunks.

Do things a little differently

In most countries where the countess and servant is a tradition, the German version appears, while here at home, there Swiss The registry we relate to.

Another thing that distinguishes the Norwegian “countess and butler” tradition from most other countries is the dispatch time. While it is shown here at home on Christmas Eve, in most other countries it is a New Year’s tradition.