Remakes and Spoofs


With the popularity of Fawlty Towers recognised all over the UK and the world, it is no surprise that the series has spawned a few off-spring.

Some more legitimate than others…


AMERICAN REMAKE 1: “Snavely” a.k.a. “Chateau Snavely”  Year 1978


The first American attempt to remake Fawlty Towers was in 1978. According to IMDB it starred Betty White (later of Golden Girls fame) as Gladys Snavely, Harvey Korman as Henry Snavely, Frank LaLoggia as Petro and Deborah Zon as Connie. It was produced by Viacom Productions for ABC.


This was a pilot episode, which aired on 24th June 1978. The series was not commissioned.


For more information on this remake click HERE


AMERICAN REMAKE 2: “Amanda’s” a.k.a “Amanda’s By The Sea”  Year 1983


Anyone that knows anything about Fawlty Towers is aware that the Americans once tried to make a version that didn’t feature Basil! Instead, the central character was played by Bea Arthur (also of Golden Girls fame). 13 episodes were produced. 3 were unaired. For more information on this remake click HERE.


Several episodes of this version are available to watch online…


AMERICAN REMAKE 3: “Payne”  Year 1999


It starred American actor John Larroquette as Royal Payne. The pilot episode, "Pacific Ocean Duck" (which actually aired fifth in sequence) was a remake of “Gourmet Night” with a smattering of scenes from other episodes. It ran for one series of  9 episodes. 1 one was not originally aired. For more information click HERE.


Several episodes of this version are available to watch online…


GERMAN REMAKE: “Hotel Zum letzten Kliff“ – The hotel on the cliff  - Year 2001



A German version of the series made it to the pilot stage – It featured a remarkably accurate version of the set and boasted the creative input of John Cleese! The video we have seen shows the episode to be a remake of “A Touch of Class” – even down to exact replica of the camera angles! Basil Fawlty has become Viktor Stein, and his hotel has been transported to the unfashionable end of the North sea island of Sylt. We look at the episode in more detail HERE. There is also information HERE and HERE


A short video of the pilot episode is available to watch online…


SPOOF: Rory Bremner Sketch



Featuring a fantastic recreation of the Fawlty Towers dining room, great impressions of Basil and Manuel – it could almost be the real thing. Except it is “political” comedy and therefore of its time. So not funny now then!


SPOOF: Shooting Stars Sketch



This has it all – a Basil, a Sybil, a Manuel, a Polly and even a Major… oh yes – and another Basil. The set is lovely – but it’s a typical Vic and Bob thing that doesn’t really sit well out of context of the Shooting Stars show.





Although there are ALWAYS productions of Fawlty Towers being performed on stage – this one in particular caught my eye. It is from Sweden, and apparently had the blessing of John Cleese. The attention to detail in the costume, sets and performance is incredible.


For more information on this version click HERE – which is where the photographs came from!

The set was beautiful – and featured all parts of the hotel, interior, exterior and even upstairs rooms! Click HERE for more.





The following list (from Wikipedia HERE) details the names used for the series when it is shown overseas.


Belgium, Flanders – "De zoete inval" ("Open House")

Czech Republic - "Hotýlek" ("Small hotel")

Denmark – "Halløj på badehotellet" ("Fun at the Beach Hotel")

Finland – "Pitkän Jussin majatalo" ("Long John's guest house")

France – "L'Hôtel en folie" ("Hotel gone mad")

Germany Original title and "Fawltys Hotel, Zimmer frei, Ein verrücktes Hotel" ("Fawlty's Hotel, room to let, a crazy Hotel") and "Das verrückte Hotel – Fawlty Towers" ("The crazy Hotel – Fawlty Towers")

Hungary – "Waczak Szálló" ("Rubbish Hotel", with English-like spelling for the Hungarian word "vacak")

Netherlands – Original title and "Hotel op stelten" (''Hotel in uproar'')

Norway – "Hotell i særklasse" (Outstanding Hotel)

Sweden – "Pang i bygget" ("Smash in the [building] construction")


GOLD Celebrate 30 years of Fawlty Towers



In 2009, TV Channel GOLD managed to get the whole cast back together to celebrate 30 years of Fawlty Towers. A press event was held at the Navy and Military club, St James' Square, London to unveil two documentaries about the making of the show. It featured a recreation of part of the reception set.