13 Days of Xmas 2011 – Day 3: Yes, Virginia, Even More Fun With Cartoons

Christmas Visitor - UPA 1959

It’s time for another cavalcade of Christmas cartoons, since that’s the traditional Day 3 approach to things.

We kick off with the Max Fleischer 1939 classic, “Somewhere in Dreamland.” That’s apparently Mae Questel (Betty Boop) providing the voice of the mother.

Then we have the 1959 Halas-Batchelor classic short, “The Christmas Visitor.” Yes, kids, remember: only Santa can use a cigar to decorate a Christmas tree. I myself have had mishaps with cigars, so just say no, kids.

And lastly, someone’s created a video to accompany a Jiminy Cricket reading of “Twas the Night Before Christmas.” Enjoy.

By | 2017-09-24T22:34:32+00:00 December 15th, 2011|13 Days of Xmas|0 Comments

13 Days of Xmas 2011 – Day 2: The Revenge of XmasFlix

Howdy Doody Christmas

The holiday YouTube channel so often we’ve just turned over an entire day of 13 Days of Xmas to it. It cannot be denied: XmasFlix rocks.

Here are two bits worth sharing: first, an episode of the show Mr. Piper. Never heard of this before, but according to Wikipedia (always right), it was a 1963 Canadian show for kids starring an opera tenor as the Pied Piper. And holy crap, but the theme music along (with him singing, natch) is worth the price of admission.

Then following that, we’ve got “Howdy Doody Christmas” from 1957. Sidebar: Is it just me, or is Clarabell the Clown utterly terrifying? And on one hand, the fact that he’s got a box around his neck with his name on it–that’s weird. But come to think of it, there’s not much difference between that and the lanyard a lot of you are wearing with your picture ID on it at your day job. Just saying.

By | 2017-09-24T22:34:33+00:00 December 14th, 2011|13 Days of Xmas|0 Comments

13 Days of Xmas 2011 Begins Here… With Muppets

Muppets Christmas

I know, I know, it’s traumatic for everybody. But as the intro says, “Buck little camper.” We’re here with our Fifth Year of 13 Days of Xmas to help you slide into the mayhem of the yuletide season. Whether you’re waiting for your vacation to begin or waiting for it to end so you can get away from your family…or perhaps you just need to sneak away and get a laugh while trying to make sense of the nonsensical wish lists that you’ve had thrust upon you…we’re here.

As is tradition with 13 Days, we open with Muppets. First up, we have dancer Rudolf Nureyev appearing with Miss Piggy in a Muppet Show production of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.” If not full-on Christmas, it’s certainly seasonal enough.

And then, we have the Muppets Christmas Carol Blooper Reel. Ignore the Spanish subtitles. Unless you speak Spanish. In that case, enjoy the Spanish subtitles.

By | 2017-09-24T22:34:34+00:00 December 13th, 2011|13 Days of Xmas|0 Comments

13 Days of Xmas 2010, Day 13: The Big Day

Charlie Brown and Linus Christmas

There are some things you can’t get sick of. Every year at Halloween, we close out 32 Days of Halloween with Night of the Living Dead. It’s tradition (the same reason you don’t fall off the roof and be devoured by the zombies below).

Every year with 13 Days of Xmas (the lighter, slightly cheerier cousin to 32 Days), we end with something just as traditional: A Charlie Brown Christmas. Never gets old.

Merry Christmas, everybody. May your deity/rock/tree/terracotta soldier of choice bring you and your family joy and peace. Or if that’s on backorder, then some really excellent scotch instead.

By | 2017-09-24T22:45:05+00:00 December 25th, 2010|13 Days of Xmas|0 Comments

13 Days of Xmas 2010, Day 12: Rich Little’s Christmas Carol

Rich Little: Christmas Carol

At turns amusing, at turns terrifying, it’s the 1978 HBO special Rich Little’s A Christmas Carol. Featuring Little doing a series of his impersonations and placing them in the roles of the Dickens classic, be warned: it’s dated; it’s cheesy; it’s a musical.

And the audio is terrible, but it works. Especially when you consider this comes with the vintage HBO internal ads intact. It takes me back: this is what we had to watch, kids. Deal with it.

And the only other thing I want to say is that no one posted the Paul Lynde Christmas special like I asked, so this is what happens. Enjoy.

P.S. The DVD of the special is available from Amazon.

By | 2017-09-24T22:45:05+00:00 December 24th, 2010|13 Days of Xmas|0 Comments

13 Days of Xmas 2010, Day 11: I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Christmas Clue

I'm Sorry I Haven't a Christmas Clue

For fans of British panel shows, there is the granddaddy of them all: I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue. Originally chaired by Humphrey Lyttelton with original panelists Graeme Garden, Barry Cryer, Tim Brooke-Tyler and Willie Rushton, it’s improvisational and unadulterated joy. Colin Sell provides musical accompaniment and scoring is normally done by the lovely Samantha. Sadly, Rushton and “Humph” are no longer with us, but Jack Dee has taken over and a range of guest panelists have filled in the space.

But back in 2003, they did a combo panel show/Christmas Carol parody. It’s quite possibly one of the best Xmas shows ever. I could not find a complete version of it online…but some kind soul has taken some bits from that and another Christmas episode and come up with a nice sampling. The full Christmas Carol episode can be found on Amazon as a CD or Audible download. It’s worth it.

By | 2017-09-24T22:45:07+00:00 December 23rd, 2010|13 Days of Xmas|6 Comments

13 Days of Xmas 2010, Day 10: A Honeymooners Christmas

Merry Christmas Jackie Gleason

So today we go back to the 1950s for a pair of classic Christmas television episodes for The Honeymooners. We have the 1953 episode from The Jackie Gleason Show, “Santa and the Bookies,” and the 1955 episode from the standalone series, “Twas the Night Before Christmas.” Apparently a second version of the “Bookies” episode appeared in 1954 and is considered lost. This via Wikipedia, which is always right.

I will also say if you want some more Christmas music that is quite tolerable, get some of the Christmas music that Gleason put his name on. Apparently he just lent his name to the series of albums that bear it, but that’s okay: it’s good stuff.

By | 2017-09-24T22:45:08+00:00 December 22nd, 2010|13 Days of Xmas|0 Comments

13 Days of Xmas 2010, Day 9: Christmas Wrapping

Waitresses: Christmas Wrapping

When The Waitresses recorded “Christmas Wrapping” in New York on a scorching August day back in 1981, they had no idea that it would become an indelible part of Christmas pop music history.

Although The Waitresses were the brainchild of Chris Butler–who incorporated his love of various musical styles, including new wave, pop and jazz, into the band’s repertoire–it was the band’s first vocalist, Patty Donahue, who got them noticed. Donahue was a presence to be reckoned with. Her Bacall-like bravado mixed well with her rapid-style brand of talking/singing. Donahue was a take-no-prisoners front woman who had no problem speaking her mind or interjecting her own emotions onto the band’s records.

Although The Waitresses were primarily active in early 1980s, they remain affectionately timeless. This is largely due in part to the skillful fusion of Butler’s lyrics, some snazzy horns, tight percussion and Donahue’s raw energy, which manifested itself almost a decade and a half ahead of the riot grrl movement.


By | 2017-09-24T22:45:08+00:00 December 21st, 2010|13 Days of Xmas|1 Comment

13 Days of Xmas 2010, Day 8: The Terror of Holiday Music

Christmas in the Stars

In lieu of a Music Monday, we’re instead going into the mayhem of 13 Days of Xmas with some terrifying selections. Sure we’ve posted some strange holiday music before, but now it’s serious.

So you should gird up your loins, then gird up the loins of the person next to you, then post bail after your arrest, then come back and listen.

By | 2017-09-24T22:45:22+00:00 December 20th, 2010|13 Days of Xmas|1 Comment

13 Days of Xmas 2010, Day 7: The Great Santa Claus Caper

Raggedy Ann and Andy: The Great Santa Claus Caper

So during 32 Days of Halloween we brought you the Raggedy Ann and Andy special. I’m no huge fan of the characters myself, but one cannot deny Chuck Jones, who directed that special. But another holiday special came along for Christmas, The Great Santa Claus Caper. Ann is played by June Foray and Andy by Daws Butler. The role of Alexander Graham Wolf is by Old-Time Radio star Les Tremayne. Caper is currently not in print on home video.

This because we couldn’t find another new (and good) literal Christmas song like last year. Previously Rob had told us about “Fairytale of New York” and our original year we watched some fantastic television specials.

By | 2017-09-24T22:45:24+00:00 December 19th, 2010|13 Days of Xmas|0 Comments