13 Days of Xmas 2010, Day 6: Yes, Virginia…

Yes, Virginia There is a Santa Claus

The story’s fairly well known: little girl writes into a newspaper to ask if there’s a Santa Claus–response from the paper becomes legendary. That’s where the line comes from: “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.” This has been turned into everything from the title of an episode of Hercules to an excuse to rework Ultron against the Avengers.

Anyway, it was also turned into an animated television special in 1974. You might watch this and say, “Man, that looks a lot like Peanuts.” There’s a reason: it was animated by Bill Melendez.

The special was previously available on VHS and DVD but isn’t in print at the moment from what I can tell. So…enjoy.

By | 2017-09-24T22:45:25+00:00 December 18th, 2010|13 Days of Xmas|1 Comment

13 Days of Xmas 2010, Day 5: And Now, Fun With Commercials

Glass Wax Santa

It’s 13 Days of Xmas, kids. And Day 5 is when we’ve usually been involved in advertising madness. Like last year. Or the year before that. Or what we first started with, our Top 10 Christmas Commercials.

So first up, we’d like to give Harriet Nelson a moment to offer you a great new way of doing Christmas cards. And plug everything else under the sun. Although I do find it amusing that Ozzie and Harriet are brought to you by Kodak, who also bring you The Ed Sullivan Show…”on another network.” So you can plug another network’s show but not say which network. Which must have been a big mystery, seeing as how there were, what, two others to choose from?

By | 2017-09-24T22:45:26+00:00 December 17th, 2010|13 Days of Xmas|0 Comments

13 Days of Xmas 2010, Day 4: A Whose Line Christmas

Whose Line Is It Anyway? Xmas

On this day in 13 Days of Xmas history, the theme has been all over the map, but considering last year we went with Mr. Bean, it made sense to look at television specials with a UK bent. So we immediately found ourselves drawn to television improv, available on both sides of the Atlantic.

So no matter what your flavor of Whose Line Is It Anyway?, we’ve got something for you. First up, bits of the American flavor with Drew Carey, Brad Sherwood, Wayne Brady, Colin Mochrie, Ryan Stiles and Greg Proops.

But if you prefer the classic UK version, we give you a full Christmas episode with a cast of many: Clive Anderson, Proops, Josie Lawrence, Paul Merton, Sandi Toksvig, Tony Slattery, and Mike McShane.

By | 2017-09-24T22:45:27+00:00 December 16th, 2010|13 Days of Xmas|2 Comments

13 Days of Xmas 2010 – Day 3: Even More Fun With Cartoons

Santa Wile E. Coyote

Day 3 of 13 Days of Xmas has been about cartoons. In 2009, we had the original Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer plus Donald Duck. In 2008, we enjoyed the company of Pluto, Tom and Jerry and Max Fleischer. And in Year One we were enjoying the company of The Grinch.

This year we kick off with a wintry Chuck Jones cartoon starring Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner from 1979: “Freeze Frame.”

And then we go back for another original: the original Frosty the Snowman from 1953. I must warn you: I find it utterly exhausting. It reminds me of the title of the collection of R. Crumb’s letters: Your Vigor For Life Appalls Me. If you think the style is familiar, yes, that’s UPA: the people that brought you “Gerald McBoing Boing.” But regardless: enjoy!

By | 2017-09-24T22:45:27+00:00 December 15th, 2010|13 Days of Xmas|0 Comments

13 Days of Xmas 2010 – Day 2: The Return of XmasFlix

Snow Man (1932)

For Day 2 of 13 Days of Xmas, we return to the huge archive of retro goodness that is the XmasFlix YouTube channel. Who was it that said the whole thing about Frosty the Snowman was wrong? Because if a snowman actually did start to dance around, you would scream and scream and scream? Well, that idea gets played out to its logical (?) conclusion with the 1932 short “The Snow Man,” in which bringing a snow golem to life is really a bad idea. Make sure you click on the direct link in order to see the full explanation about the history of the short.

Then we go to the chaos of “Frisky Frolics,” also from 1932. It’s like a proto-Animalympics. But on even more drugs. Enjoy.

By | 2017-09-24T22:45:29+00:00 December 14th, 2010|13 Days of Xmas|0 Comments

13 Days of Xmas 2010 Begins Here…

Gonzo from Muppet Christmas Carol

That’s right–another year is about over, so we console ourselves with both Xmas and the inevitable return of 13 Days of Xmas. Just like 32 Days of Halloween, we consider ourselves overachievers. So between now and December 25th, join us for some odd and strange and wonderful videos and other bits. It’s our gift to you. Because we couldn’t find any socks we thought our millions of readers would all enjoy.

Tradition holds that we open with Muppets. Our first year it was John Denver and Emmet Otter. 2008 we gave you Kermit and Grover as well as a Jim Henson Xmas cameo. And last year it was A Muppet Family Christmas. This year we aim for A Muppet Christmas Carol. First up, it’s the song “One More Sleep Til Christmas.”

By | 2017-09-24T22:45:30+00:00 December 13th, 2010|13 Days of Xmas|0 Comments

Your Monday Morning Holiday Sorbet: The Cult of Spunky

Spunky the Snowman

As it’s a Monday morning, we take this opportunity not only to prep you for the work week at hand, but also to preface this year’s 13 Days of Xmas, which begins today. True, every week we like to kick you off properly with something either weirdly awesome or awesomely weird. And when it comes to Xmas, well, there’s a weird buffet available.

This time around, though, we tap the Russian-dubbed-into-English 1958 cartoon, “Spunky the Snowman.” You’ll see why shortly after it begins, when the Frosty tale analog takes on an insidious cultish turn. Just imagine “One of us! One of us!” being chanted while they dance around Spunky. And why are the animals such evil bastards? And since when is Santa Claus from Krypton? Ponder these questions and more as you watch the animated tale of the original Buckethead.

By | 2017-09-24T22:45:32+00:00 December 13th, 2010|Mental Sorbet|0 Comments

13 Days of Xmas Audio, Day 13: Merry Christmas

Stephen Leacock

13 Days of Xmas Audio concludes, and we go back to Stephen Leacock for the last word. Thanks to everybody for listening–I appreciate any and all feedback. These audio experiments are leading up to more things and these are my tryout bits to see what works and what doesn’t. If you’re one of those audio types and you hear me doing something that you think I could improve upon, feel free to comment, Twitter, or just yell at me via e-mail. Danke. And happy holidays and whatnot.

You can download it directly here, or a 13 Days of Xmas Audio RSS feed is available here. And you iTunes folks can snag our feed with this link. (Note: If you’re already subscribed to the overall Needcoffee podcasts feed, then you’ll already get these. No worries.)

You can find Day 12’s audio here.


By | 2017-09-24T22:56:13+00:00 December 25th, 2009|13 Days of Xmas, Podcasts|0 Comments

13 Days of Xmas Audio, Day 12: A Visit From St. Nicholas

St. Nicholas

13 Days of Xmas Audio continues, with the poem that now goes by “Twas the Night Before Christmas.” But it also goes by “A Visit From St. Nicholas,” and some words are slightly different. I tried to go with the original text, so that’s why it might sound odd in places.

You can download it directly here, or a 13 Days of Xmas Audio RSS feed is available here. And you iTunes folks can snag our feed with this link. (Note: If you’re already subscribed to the overall Needcoffee podcasts feed, then you’ll already get these. No worries.)

You can find Day 11’s audio here.


By | 2017-09-24T22:56:13+00:00 December 24th, 2009|13 Days of Xmas, Podcasts|0 Comments