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 637 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
Brian Hall ...
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 »


In "The Waldorf Salad", during the conversation between Mr. Hamilton and Sybil after "Is your husband all right?" she takes out a pack of cigarettes, and one second later, after a shot of Mr. Hamilton, it's smoking in her hand. See more »


Mr. Hamilton: You're the manager, aren't you? You're responsible. So, what're you gonna do about it, huh?
Basil Fawlty: [Pausing] I'll have a word with him.
Mr. Hamilton: Have a WORD with him? Man, you've got to TELL 'im. "Lay it on the line!"
Basil Fawlty: "Lay it on the line."
Mr. Hamilton: Tell 'im if he doesn't get on the ball, your gonna bust his ass!
Basil Fawlty: [confused] Bust his...?
Mr. Hamilton: [impatient] I'll tell 'im!
Basil Fawlty: No, no, no! I'll tell 'im! Leave it to me! I've got it. I've got it. I've got it. I've got it. I've got it! Bust his...?
Mr. Hamilton: ASS!
Basil Fawlty: Oh, that! Right. And, uh, two green ...
See more »


Referenced in The John Cleese Interview (1998) See more »

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User Reviews

typical!!!! it's all bottoms with you isn't it??
12 January 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

For anyone who has ever wondered how the world sees Americans, this episode should answer that question. Brilliant, biting and with writing as crisp as a well tied bow tie, this is one of the true classics of this classic series.

Perfectly captured that all-American trait of humility---no wait, I mean hubris---and the all-British trait of 'go along to get along.' The casting, as always, is immaculate and John Cleese illustrates why he is one of the true comedic geniuses of his time--combining the physicality of Chaplin with the scorching wit of Groucho.

In all honesty, I have held off my entire life from having a Waldorf Salad until such time as I visit the UK--with the express desire to see the reaction when I order it.

I am sure it will be---as Basil might say---"TYPICAL". And I will make a point to bring some extra 'Mickey Mouse money' so I don't have to bust "an ass" to get it.


5 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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