7.6/10
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9 user 1 critic

The Absent-Minded Waiter (1977)

Bernie Cates requests the services of the most absent-minded waiter he's ever seen, who pours water before setting the glasses, endlessly repeats questions, brings wrong orders, and ruins everything- but the bill.

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Bernie Cates
...
Susan Cates
Ivor Barry ...
Carl
...
Naomi
Peter Elbling ...
Cook #1
Kurt Taylor ...
Cook
Beans Morocco ...
Cook (as Dan Barrows)
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Storyline

Steven, a clumsy man with the memory of a goldfish, works as a waiter at a fancy restaurant downtown. When the happily-married couple of Bernie and Susan arrive for dinner, the most absent-minded waiter in the world will do everything in his power to offer an unforgettable and profoundly gratifying experience. Written by Nick Riganas

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Genres:

Comedy | Short

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Release Date:

20 June 1980 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Den fjollede tjener  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Steve Martin reprises the waiter role in The Muppet Movie (1979). See more »

Quotes

Steven, The Waiter: All right, here's your drink order. One-two-three-four-five-six martinis, and your lard omelet.
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Connections

Edited into Homage to Steve (1986) See more »

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User Reviews

 
or is that The Nutty Waiter??
28 March 2002 | by (Jacksonville Beach, Florida) – See all my reviews

Early on in his fame, Steve Martin gave massive credit to Jerry Lewis' style of zaniness. The Absent-Minded Waiter is an obvious homage to Lewis' wacko style, and a superb one at that.

Pundits will say it's little more than an extended early-"Saturday Night Live" sketch--"SNL" vet Buck Henry even has a major role--but for sheerly silly laughs, it can't be beat. Martin plays the most moronic waiter ever hired for a restaurant. Henry plays a war-veteran of AMW's shenanigans who brings his wife (Garr) to the restaurant for a crash course. It's no-hold-barred craziness, and since it lasts only seven minutes, it's just long enough to be hilarious and not unbearable.

Martin and fellow writer Carl Gottlieb obviously hit pay dirt a couple of years later with The Jerk, but this is an extremely funny warm-up for that feature. (In fact, Martin used it as a prologue for his live stand-up act for years.) It's been released on video, so search hard for it--it's worth the while.


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