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Wednesday, 19 December 2012

It's the holiday season on TV.  Time for John Ritter, Loni Anderson, and The Oak Ridge Boys to don their sweaters, sit by the hearth and get wholesome.  Yes, for these few weeks in December, we're putting aside disco and "jiggle TV" in favor of clean, salubrious specials for the whole family.

Perry Como is as much a part of Christmas as spiked egg nog and flocking.  Let's give it up for Como in the exotic locale of New Mexico.  What mysterious location will he choose next? Maybe the fantastical land of enchantment known as Ohio.

Why was Sha Na Na always invited to the big gigs?  They played at Woodstock, you know.  I guess I shouldn't question - I was a loyal watcher of their weekly variety show.  If memory serves, Bowser (not the Nintendo creature; the band's deep voiced singer) used to do car commercials when I lived in Southern California in the late eighties.

You've got three choices of what to watch this December night of 1975: "The Tiny Tree", "Six Million Dollar Man" or Cher's salute to "ladies with a touch of trash".  As much as I'm a sucker for Christmas specials, I think it's going to be a toss up between Steve Austin and Cher.

Say what you will about these stop-motion Rankin/Bass specials, there is the spark of genius there that transcends nostalgia.  How else can you explain their sustained popularity for nearly fifty years?

And speaking of genius, is there anything that has ever graced the boob tube more beloved than the Charlie Brown Christmas? It's like a sucker punch to the soul for all of us who get caught up in the season's hyper materialism.

I find it infinitely amusing that Redd Foxx is a guest on this Christmas special.  Not that Foxx is somehow beneath it.  It's just that his brand was so lewd, he seems out of place among Donny & Marie and Bob Hope  in all their holiday wholesomeness.  It's like having Richard Pryor on an Andy Williams special.

"Time to pay the fiddler, old man," she said as she grabbed Kris Kringle by the whiskers.  Is it just me, or does this look like a hostile encounter?

Stay tuned for part two....


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