About Christmas TV History

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Christmas TV Party 2014: Stubby at Stubby's House of Christmas

Christmas TV Party 2014: Stubby at Stubby's House of Christmas

1) What is the first Christmas special you remember watching?
Outside of the Macy's Parade, which was annual fare in our home, the first one I REMEMBER watching was a Bing Crosby special.  It was black & white and only some of the music was Christmas music.  Not sure what year that would have been.  Wasn't my thing at the time.  The first one I REMEMBER sitting down and watching and actually paying attention to was A Charlie Brown Christmas.  That, I guarantee, was the first year it aired (1965).  It's possible I'd seen Rudolph (or Magoo's Christmas Carol) before that, but I have no memory of it preceding Charlie Brown.

2) Name one Christmas program/movie you enjoy watching all year round.
Peter, Paul & Mary's Holiday Concert  I remember watching it the first year it aired on PBS.  Bought the DVD when it came out recently and watch it a half dozen times during the year, easy, and two or three times at Christmas.

Alf finds himself acting as the guardian angel (much like Clarence in It's A Wonderful Life) during Alf's Christmas Special.

3) Name one overlooked, or under-appreciated Christmas program.
Alf's Christmas Special.  Alf gets a bad rap and, sure, it was silly and superfluous.  But that Christmas special was as poignant as any drama has ever been.  And still fun.  I laugh and I cry every time.

4) Send us to 3 places on the internet.
Jingle Bell Rocks (http://jinglebellrocks.com/)
Lie In The Sound (http://www.lieinthesound.de/)
WNCT--Beach Boogie & Blues Radio (http://beachboogieandblues.com/)

from Roswell

5) What are your 3 favorite Christmas episodes of a TV sitcom or drama?
I like them all, sitcoms and dramas alike, from the distant past (Racket Squad--"The Christmas Caper", 1953) to the present.  MASH, Barney Miller, WKRP, Night Court, Mary Tyler Moore, Family Ties, Wonder Years, etc., etc.  There are some obscure ones I enjoy, too ("A Childs Christmas In Weemawee"--Square Pegs, for example, or "Knight Before Christmas"--Knightwatch, 1988, though I haven't seen that one since VHS ceased to be).  But I think some of the best are the sci-fi/fantasy episodes that put a fresh twist on the age old themes.  That's why 3 of my top 4 are from that genre.
"Night Of The Meek" (Twilight Zone)--best thing either Rod Serling or Art Carney ever did
"A Roswell Christmas Carol" (Roswell)--this show was AWESOME and this episode was this show at its very best
"A Christmas Ballad" (The Bill Cosby Show)--The ORIGINAL Bill Cosby Show, where he played Chet Kincaid, not that miserable Huxtable garbage.

Most honorable mention: "River Of Stars" (Space: Above And Beyond)--Truly unique and wonderful.

And any of the Doctor Who Christmas episodes, but especially "The Christmas Invasion."


  1. And doggone it if I didn't forget the Studio 60 Christmas Show, which I'll put in a tie with River Of Stars.

    Also wanted to mention a few other forgotten favorites. Like The Max Headroom Christmas Special, "Max Headroom's Giant Christmas Turkey", and an episode of the short lived 1988 series TV 101--"Home". I could go on and on, so I'd better quit while I'm behind.

    1. Arrrgh! It's killing me!

      A&E had a music show called A&E Revue and, in 1990, they had an episode called "A Christmas Album" which featured still otherwise unreleased Christmas performances from Bo Diddley and Edie Brickell. Both of them sounded very made-up-on-the-spot, but they were great!

      And there's an episode of the John Larroquette Show that's not really a Christmas episode, but I've always thought of it as one. I think its the episode "God" from the first season.

    2. Hahaha I love that you can't stop! Thanks for joining my July fun.

      I like the Alf Christmas Special too--thanks for the reminder. Cleavon Little is a wonderful addition to that Christmas story.

  2. I think I know the Crosby show you're talking about - if I'm right, it's included in the box set of Crosby Christmas specials. It would have been from the very early '60s (if I'm judging your age correctly; if not, forgive me!), and while they were good shows, they're not as good as the later ones when Bing decided that they had to be more Christmas-centered.

  3. Oh, I love Charlie Brown! Brings to mind such wonderful memories!

    And, Oh my goodness, ALF,... I always adored him! He always makes me smile!

  4. Charlie Brown does bring great memories to so many of us. Even if the other kids in his town can be such jerks to him!

  5. Leave it to you, Stubby, for some out-of-the-ordinary picks! Love that you include Roswell and Square Pegs!