About Christmas TV History

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Hanukkah is coming....

Every year more and more Hanukkah (or Chanukah, if you like) specials are produced for television. If you're looking to watch a hanukkah-themed special, check your local PBS listings. In my experience, they are the richest source for this programming.

The smart-ass in me loves the made-for-TV movie The Hebrew Hammer starring Adam Goldberg, Andy Dick and Judy Greer. Goldberg plays the orthodox Jewish Hero-of-the-streets--ala 1970s blaxploitation detective John Shaft--that rallies to save Hanukkah from the Christmas-centered newest Santa, played by Dick. You gotta love the chutzpah of the creative genius behind a character like Moredechai Jefferson Carver. I mention this movie in my book on pg. 28 within the Cool MYOM listing. This usually ais repeatedly on Comedy Central but it is also available on DVD.

Also mentioned in the book, on pgs. 48-49 within the Star Trek MYOM suggestions, the animated classic Lights. It does more than share the story of the miracle of the burning lamp in the temple that inspires the Hanukkah celebration but beautifully explores the richer history and culture of the Jewish peoples through the ages. Voices are provided by actors Leonard Nimoy, Paul Michael Glaser (that's 1970s TV's cop, Starsky on Starsky & Hutch) and Judd Hirsch (on 1970s TV series Taxi and the more recent Numbers.) Lights may be from 1983 but I still see it regularly broadcast this time every year--usually on a local station, early on a Saturday afternoon. Check your local listings.

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