About Christmas TV History

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Christmas TV Party 2015: Dominic Caruso

Christmas TV Party 2015: Dominic Caruso, editor at 1701 Press

1) What Christmas program/movie have you seen more times than any other?
Probably A Christmas Story, because I always tune in and let it run in the background during the 24-hour marathon. Although, I suppose it depends on how you count what constitutes a viewing. A Charlie Brown Christmas is up there too in terms of viewings.

2) What is your favorite musical Christmas TV special, variety performance, or holiday song in a movie?
I like the song "Christmas Dream" by Perry Como (written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice!) from the movie The Odessa File. It has an old-world sort of sound that reminds me of my childhood. I wouldn't have discovered this song were not for Joanna Wilson, who shared it and the Odessa File with me! The movie takes place at Christmas, but it's a thriller starring Jon Voight as a journalist tracking down Nazi war criminals.

3) What's your favorite TV or movie adaptation of Dickens' A Christmas Carol?
I like The Odd Couple episode "Scrooge Gets and Oscar." Oscar makes a hilarious Scrooge.

4) What do you think is the worst Christmas program/movie--or your least favorite, the most disappointing or most overrated?
It's difficult to choose the worst. If something is really bad, I have a tendency to like it because it's so bad. For instance, I think the Christmas episode of Knight Rider is really bad. But I love it, because it's awful. So for something to be the worst in my eyes, it would mean that I wouldn't even be interested in tuning in. Many of the reality shows that do Christmas episodes are unwatchable in my opinion--like the Bam Margera / Jackass stuff. I'd say, for me, that constitutes the worst.

5) If you were asked to give advice to a TV network executive in charge of holiday programming, what would you suggest?
I'd like to see a block of programming, or a marathon, that's made up of adaptations of literary Christmas stories, like O. Henry Christmas stories (Red Skelton did the Cop and the Anthem--there are versions of Gift of the Magi out there), Junkie's Christmas by William Burroughs, A Christmas Carol (of course), Truman Capote's A Christmas Memory, Dylan Thomas' A Child's Christmas in Wales, the TV adaptation of Arthur C. Clarke's The Star, and others. That'd be fun and pretty cool, I think.


  1. Cool answers. Sounds like that would make for an interesting marathon!

  2. Two great O Henry adaptations are A Pink Christmas, a take on the Cop and the Anthem with The Pink Panther and Mickey's Once Upon A Christmas has a lovely retelling of The Gift of the Magi.

    I'm assuming that Odd Couple episode is on one of those Christmas sitcom episode compilations, but I don't remember it at all!?

  3. All good answers, more literary adaptations would be a great addition to the Holiday season. I read 'Dancing Dan's Christmas' by Damon Runyon every December, that's another I'd recommended for a literary Christmas marathon.

  4. It's hard to go wrong with CHRISTMAS STORY (even with TBS trying to ruin it). I forgot about THE ODD COUPLE episode, but that's a nice pick, too!

  5. Yes--glad to see The Odd Couple Christmas episode get a mention. That episode is such a classic. I remember TV Land used to air marathons of similarly themed episodes--in the 1990s. Anyway, I'd love to see a block of literary Christmas episodes--what fun!

  6. Ooh! Great call about the literary adaptaions! The Odd Couple ep is a good one too!

  7. Ooh! Great call about the literary adaptaions! The Odd Couple ep is a good one too!