About Christmas TV History

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Christmas TV Party 2014: David Hofstede of Comfort TV

1967 Christmas episode of The Monkees.  Micky Dolenz with guest star Butch Patrick.
Christmas TV Party 2014: David Hofstede of Comfort TV

1) What is the first Christmas special you remember watching?
The Rankin-Bass take on "The Little Drummer Boy" - probably in 1969. The beginnings of my affection and admiration for Greer Garson.

2) Name one Christmas program/movie you enjoy watching all year round.
The Monkees' Christmas show, though I usually just watch the performance of "Riu Chiu" at the end.

3) Name one overlooked, or under-appreciated Christmas program.
John Denver's Rocky Mountain Christmas from 1975. Probably overlooked because to my knowledge it was never released on homevideo, but there are bootlegs available. It's a wonderful special that features one of my favorite childhood (and adulthood) crushes, Olivia Newton-John.

4) Send us to 3 places on the internet.


(shameless, I know)

1964's "A Vision of Sugar Plums" from Bewitched--starring Billy Mumy.

5) What are your 3 favorite Christmas episodes of a TV sitcom or drama?
1. Bewitched: "A Vision of Sugar Plums" -  for me this is the perfect classic TV Christmas show
2. The Donna Reed Show: "A Very Merry Christmas" - moving and heartfelt. I also find it amusing that more than 50 years ago, people were already complaining about how Christmas had become too commercial.
3. Petticoat Junction: "Cannonball Christmas" - love the final images of the decorated train rolling through Hooterville to the strains of classic Christmas carols. 


  1. Great! I love the Monkees' Riu Chiu. Listen to it every year, more than once! :)

    1. Me too! I'm so glad other people like it too. That means it'll never go away :D

  2. These are awesome! It's only the second, is it too early to call reading these each morning a tradition? I'm looking forward to the whole month's worth...

  3. Thanks for the link, David! And great choices - I always liked "Drummer Boy" because of its great dignity, and your pics for three favorite episodes make me want to see each of them, which is what a perfect recommendation should do!

  4. Another fan of the Monkees performance of "Riu Chiu" here too! I too wish they would release John Denver's Rocky Mountain Christmas, along with the Muppet specials he did. Sorting out rights can be such a pesky business, but at least there are copies out there. Just wish they had a chance to be digitally restored.

  5. Actually, they were complaining back in the 1920s about how commercialized Christmas had become!

  6. Great choices, David--and by the way I only recently discovered your bolt. (I enjoy it tremendously.) I well remember that festive image of the decked-out Cannonball but I don't think I have ever seen the Christmas ep of "The Donna Reed Show." I will have to check it out in December!