About Christmas TV History

Friday, February 5, 2010

Magnum P.I. Christmas

"Hello Santa? One phone cord, please."

I was reminded by fellow blogger, Made for TV Mayhem, that last week was Tom Selleck's birthday. What a wonderful opportunity to reflect on our favorite Magnum P.I. Christmas episodes.

1980's "Thank Heaven for Little Girls and Big Ones Too" sees Magnum hired by five little girls to find their school teacher who has gone missing with her boyfriend. Unfortunately, the investigation turns out to be a scam for the girls to steal a valuable painting from Master’s estate: a Gaugin painting from his time in Tahiti. If you look closely, you may recognize one of the little girls as the same actress who played the middle daughter Julie on TV's Gimme A Break.

And my favorite, 1983's "Operation: Silent Night." TC, Higgins, Rick and Magnum crash land their malfunctioning helicopter on a deserted island. Not sure how long they may be stranded, they each busy themselves with ways to be rescued. The men miss out on their holiday plans but this becomes the least of their problems when the small island is shelled by the Navy during a training exercise. Don't miss Magnum dressed in a Santa Claus suit. He also sings 'Silent Night.'

Selleck's hotness hit my radar when he appeared on The Rockford Files as the cock-sure, reoccuring character, Lance White. In 1979, I belonged to the James Garner Fan Club and the annual newsletter included a written profile and snapshot of the up-and-coming actor, Selleck. Hilariously, I used to carry around the snapshot photo in my wallet as a teenager--after Magnum P.I. made him a huge star--surprising my friends with the photo of my "newest boyfriend." I can't believe I still have THAT photo.

Joanna's boyfriend in 1983.

Additionally, Tom Selleck appeared in the TV special Jim Nabors' Christmas in Hawaii which aired in 1981. I've never seen it--anyone have a copy?


  1. Joanna, I am beginning to believe that we were separated at birth!

    I remember that Lance on Rockford was one of my father's favorite characters and whenever we'd watch Magnum (which we did all the time), he'd always bring up Lance and laugh a bit. (btw, the theme song to Rockford is in my head right now, and I'm loving it!)

    I love "Thank Heaven for Little Girls... and Big Ones Too," and besides the middle girl from Gimme a Break, the little blonde one played a sociopathic elementary school killer in one of my favorite 80s slashers, Bloody Birthday! She didn't do much besides those, but she got to work Billy Jacoby in Birthday and Tom Selleck on Magnum. How lucky is she?!?

    Also, in high school I actually wrote a letter to Larry Manetti (I was so in love with him!) and he sent me an autographed photo. I took it to school and everyone made fun of me. I remember being really hurt by the reactions of my friends, but to this day, I just treasure that picture... and always will I suppose...

    Tom still looks amazing and still holds that guy next door quality that made him such an incredible star. I just love him!!!

    Oh, and thanks for the linkage!

  2. I thought I would get a reaction from you with that post!! LOL.

    I think there's something to that 'separated at birth' theory. I'm pretty used to people rolling their eyes at me when I explain my latest TV obsession--I was 11 years old and in the James Garner Fan Club!? Oh how I wish there was a 'Rockford Files' Christmas episode. (sigh)