About Christmas TV History

Friday, July 11, 2014

Christmas TV Party 2014: J.A. Morris at Holiday Film Reviews

The 2011 Christmas Special
Christmas TV Party 2014: J.A. Morris at Holiday Film Reviews

1) What is the first Christmas special you remember watching?
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

2) Name one Christmas program/movie you enjoy watching all year round.
Doctor Who: "The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe" (2011).

The River Bottom Nightmare Band from Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas.

3) Name one overlooked, or under-appreciated Christmas program.
Emmett Otter's Jug Band Christmas (1977).  We're surprised how few people have seen this Muppet special whenever we bring it up.  

4) Send us to 3 places on the internet.
Greenbriar Picture Shows-Classic film reviews.
News From Me-Blog of television and comic book writer Mark Evanier.
The Orange Couch-TV Reviews, with an emphasis on Mad Men.

Jack Benny (left) considers buying a wallet for Don Wilson as a Christmas gift.

5) What are your 3 favorite Christmas episodes of a TV sitcom or drama.
SCTV - "Staff Christmas Party" (1981)
Jack Benny Program-"Christmas Shopping" (1960)
Father Ted-"A Christmassy Ted" (1996)


  1. Thanks to Joanna for including me in this celebration!
    In addition to reviewing Christmas programming, I have a huge selection of action figures derived from holiday specials:

    We get them out every December and decorate several rooms with action figures.
    Here's a question for any fellow Yule Heads who might stop by:
    So, you're watching a movie that's NOT described as a holiday movie. But in the middle of the film, we get a scene that features a Christmas celebration. Do you turn to someone in the room and say (somewhat jokingly) "Hey, it's a Christmas movie!"

    I do!

  2. I participate in the "Hey, it's a Christmas movie!" game with J.A. Morris on a fairly regular basis. For instance, Disney's "Lady and the Tramp" (1955) has Christmas scenes at the beginning and end of the movie, but is not, strictly speaking, a Christmas movie.

    Or who could forget Mark Darcy (as played by Colin Firth) and his dreadful reindeer sweater from "Bridget Jones's Diary" (2001)?

    Anyone else have favorite holiday scenes from non-holiday movies?

  3. I like watching 1940's MY FAVORITE WIFE with Irene Dunn. It also includes Cary Grant in a Santa suit!? It was remade in 1963 as Move Over Darling--with Doris Day and James Garner. I'm a huge Garner fan so I've seen that movie a million times. Too bad they didn't get Garner in a Santa suit!?

  4. Great call on Doctor Who - as a matter of fact, now that I think about it, I'm so often catching up on the episodes that I frequently don't see the Christmas specials until well after Christmas. And spot on with SCTV - I forgot all about that one!

  5. I'd completely forgotten about the Santa suit business in "My Favorite Wife", Joanna! Good call! Don't think I've ever seen the James Garner remake though!

    And Micthell, J.A. Morris and I watch the SCTV ep every year with his family. It is a tradition. :-)

  6. Emmett Otter, Jack Benny, SCTV--who could ask for anything more, J.A.? And of course I love your Holiday Film Reviews...and yes, I absolutely do say "it's a Christmas movie!" if it has a Christmas scene in it. (See "Desk Set" in my Christmas TV Party post!)