The Continental
The Continental
Portrayer(s): Christopher Walken

"The Continental" is a recurring sketch starring Christopher Walken. It is a parody of Renzo Cesana and the 1952-1953 CBS series of the same name. The series used a subjective camera, and Cesana spoke directly to women in the viewing audience. Cesana's show was subjected to many parodies, including Mad magazine's "The Countynental", which was also the name used in a parody by Ernie Kovacs, and Red Skelton's "The Transcontinental".


Phil Hartman provided the voice-over at the beginning of the sketch. This recording has been used three times since his death in 1998.


Walken's character is a "suave ladies' man" who in reality can't say or do anything to keep women from giving him the cold shoulder. This is due to his perverse actions that often border on sexual predation. For instance, he invites a woman to wash up in his bathroom. Once she is inside, it becomes obvious that the bathroom mirror is a two-way mirror when the Continental is seen lighting up a cigarette.

The Continental has both a periscope with which to “spy” on his female neighbors and a collection of “erotic” Hummel figurines he acquired through eBay. These skits are always shot from the woman's point of view, so we never see her face, just her gloved arms as she pushes him out of her way. Whenever he offers her a glass of champagne or, as he calls it, champagna [ʃɑmˈpɑnjʌ], she invariably ends up throwing it in his face. The character also has the catchphrase of "Wow! Wowie-wow-wow-wow!" which is usually said at some point when the woman has physically shown she has no interest in him. He reacts by getting even more aroused by her "tempestuousness".

In 2002, Walken was quoted as saying that he would like to do a Continental movie.

"The problem with the Continental is that he never leaves his house. But it might be interesting to see the Continental go out and nothing works. He's a social catastrophe. I think that would be interesting."
— Christopher Walken[citation needed]
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