Fawlty Towers: Season 2, Episode 3

Waldorf Salad (5 Mar. 1979)

TV Episode  |  TV-PG  |   |  Comedy
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Ratings: 8.8/10 from 690 users  
Reviews: 7 user | 1 critic

Customer dissatisfaction with the Fawlty Towers dining experience comes to a head when an insistent American comes for a stay.



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Title: Waldorf Salad (05 Mar 1979)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Bruce Boa ...
Mr. Harry Hamilton
Claire Nielson ...
Mrs. Hamilton
Norman Bird ...
Mr. Arrad
Stella Tanner ...
Mrs. Arrad
Terence Conoley ...
Mr. Johnston
June Ellis ...
Mrs. Johnston
Anthony Dawes ...
Mr. Libson
Ballard Berkeley ...
Gilly Flower ...
Renee Roberts ...


An American couple arrives at the hotel late at night expecting to be served a hot dinner. But with the chef off for the night, Basil is forced to make the dinner himself. Things get even more complicated when the two Americans begin ordering meals that Basil has never heard of. Written by Nadia Nassar

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Release Date:

5 March 1979 (UK)  »

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Did You Know?


John Cleese said that he based Fawlty Towers on a real hotel that he and his fellow Pythons once stayed at. The owner said that Terry Gilliam was "too American" because he ate with his fork in the wrong hand. This may have inspired Basil's treatment of the American guest in this episode. See more »


When Basil is checking in the Hamiltons, the boom mic appears several times at the top of the frame. See more »


Basil Fawlty: [quietly] This is typical. Absolutely typical... of the kind of...
Basil Fawlty: [shouting] ARSE I have to put up with from you people! You ponce in here expecting to be hand... waited on hand and foot, while I'm trying to run a hotel here! Have you any idea of how much there is to do? Do you ever think of that? Of course not! You're all too busy sticking your noses into every corner, poking about for things to complain about, aren't you? Well let me tell you something - this is exactly how Nazi Germany ...
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Referenced in The John Cleese Interview (1998) See more »

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User Reviews

Those Mickey Mouse Americans and their Mickey Mouse Money
14 May 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Waldorf Salad" is funny, like the rest of them, but it's just a bit too uptight on the whole. The character of Mr. Hamilton (played acidly by Bruce Boa) is just too much of a jackass and even though Basil, at long last, gets a wake-up call when dressed down in front of a room full of guests, Hamilton doesn't ever get what HE deserves. It's obvious from the beginning that Basil isn't going to beat The Hamiltons with the hotel's usual low standards - they want their screwdrivers made with FRESH orange juice, they want their steak done rare...and they want their Waldorf salad. The usual quota of humorous lines is there (Basil: "What is a Waldorf, anyway? A walnut that's gone off?!") The bit where Basil rifles through a box of potatoes and other vegetables in order to find the right ingredients is quite a hoot. In short, it seems like "Waldorf Salad" underscores what was patently obvious about the hotel from the beginning...that it's a house of problems!

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