About Christmas TV History

Friday, July 10, 2015

Christmas TV Party 2015: Jim Inman

Christmas TV Party 2015: Jim Inman of Bloomington, IN

1) What Christmas program/movie have you seen more times than any other?
It's a tight race between A Christmas Story and Charlie Brown's Christmas.  Both are required for holiday viewing.

2) What is your favorite musical Christmas TV special, variety performance, or holiday song in a movie?
I have discovered a lot of favorites on YouTube - The Carpenters at Christmas (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eT7tbkeFYqM), John Denver's Rocky Mountain Christmas (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zAJYHwoGDX4) and the Johnny Cash Christmas special (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eps-rqSOJDU).  However, the best musical scene in a film is the ending of White Christmas (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YsxBCb03JCo).  Seeing the curtain go up, the tree come out, the Vermont snow falling, and the audience cheering the holiday - plus the voice talents of Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye and Rosemary Clooney - makes it feel like the perfect Christmas experience. 

3) What's your favorite TV or movie adaptation of Dickens' A Christmas Carol?
It's actually not a television adaptation - it's the Old-Time Radio version with Lionel Barrymore as Scrooge.  This was before Barrymore went on to appear in another Christmas classic - as Old Man Potter in It's a Wonderful Life.  The sound effects and the power of imagination make this a favorite variation of the Dickens' tale.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3gJ3jINcTR0

Lionel Barrymore from It's a Wonderful Life.

4) What do you think is the worst Christmas program/movie--or your least favorite, the most disappointing or most overrated?
I have never understood anything loud/rude/obnoxious during the holidays.  Even as I get older, I still prefer the simplicity of a cartoon or feel-good holiday film.  If I had to pick disappointing, I would probably select A Christmas Story 2, because a sequel was never needed for the original film.

5) If you were asked to give advice to a TV network executive in charge of holiday programming, what would you suggest?
Return to the roots... bring in various performers and allow them to use their talents on stage.  Make the interactions genuine, not fake.  Audiences today can see right through special effects and personality - make things real and engaging.  Treat the holiday with respect, and be an example to viewers that (as the Grinch said) "Christmas doesn't come from a store.  What if Christmas means a little bit more?"   


  1. excellent choice on " A Christmas Carol". that old time radio version is a classic! i actually refused to try A Christmas Story 2 cause of how bad of an idea it was!!

  2. Great answers, Jim! I too love that radio version of A Christmas Carol. In fact, I think you may have first introduced it to me. Oh and I couldn't agree more about not liking obnoxious or rude holiday entertainment. As time goes by I am drawn more and more back to the sweet, simple things that really exemplify the true spirit of Christmas. Thanks for sharing your answers!

  3. All excellent answers! I like simple and heart-warming, as well. :)

  4. Gosh, those 1970s and 80s TV variety specials are something, aren't they? Thanks for all the links.

  5. You are so right, Jim... when that curtain opens at the end of the movie, and they all sing White Christmas, with the snow falling down behind them, it is certainly beautiful and magical!

    I have never listened to the radio version of "A Christmas Carol", but it sounds very interesting, especially with Lionel Barrymore portraying Scrooge. Thank you for the suggestion & link!

    I also agree with you, I never like anything, but sweet and simple feel-good stories at Christmas!

    Happy Christmas in July, Jim!!!

  6. Thank you for all the positive comments! So glad Joanna has this forum (here and on Facebook) for us Christmas fans to gather together!