About Christmas TV History

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Christmas TV Party 2015: John Holton

Christmas TV Party 2015: John Holton of The Sound of One Hand Typing and The Sound of One Hand Typing FM

1) What Christmas program/movie have you seen more times than any other?
A Christmas Story with Peter Billingsley, Darren McGavin, and Melinda Dillon. It passed Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer thanks to Ted Turner showing it all day Christmas on his stations.

2) What is your favorite musical Christmas TV special, variety performance, or holiday song in a movie?
Haven't seen it in years, but I loved Andy Williams' Christmas special. He was a tremendous singer, and not afraid to do religious music on his show.

Andy Williams

3) What's your favorite TV or movie adaptation of Dickens' A Christmas Carol?
This is a tie between the Mr. Magoo version and the one featuring Alistair Sim.

4) What do you think is the worst Christmas program/movie--or your least favorite, the most disappointing or most overrated?
I think It's A Wonderful Life takes the prize here, as my least favorite, most disappointing, and most overrated Christmas movie. There are so many wonderful movies that don't get the attention this does. It's a depressing story about a man who wants to kill himself. A much better movie is The Bishop's Wife, with Cary Grant, David Niven, Loretta Young, and Monty Woolley.

The Bishop's Wife (1947)
5) If you were asked to give advice to a TV network executive in charge of holiday programming, what would you suggest?
Don't leave the shows that celebrate Christmas to the cable stations or the subchannels, or show them only on Friday or Saturday night. And don't be scared of offending people by showing them.


  1. Here's to a great Christmas in July!

  2. I enjoyed reading your post! i do have to say that i am a big fan of It's a Wonderful Life so can't agree with you on that one but i do love the old Andy Williams specials as well!

  3. Completely agree with #5 - let's get some of the classic Christmas specials back on the air, on popular channels!

    And "It's a Wonderful Life" is still a favorite of mine. To each his own! :)

  4. I like "The Bishop's Wife" as well. You can't go wrong with a Cary Grant movie. Thanks for the reminder.

  5. Thanks for sharing, John! Gotta love Andy Williams and I enjoy the spiritual inclusions as well. And while I do absolutely love It's A Wonderful Life, I agree that The Bishop's Wife is under-rated. I can think of a couple other classics that should get more attention as well, such as Meet John Doe and Come To The Stable,

  6. Oh My! It's a Wonderful Life ranks as your least favorite??? It will always be my #1. To see a man, George Bailey, go through such hard times and overcome, through faith, is a beautiful inspiring message for all.

    As for Christmas Specials, I have never seen the Andy Williams Christmas Programs, but they are legendary! I've heard so much about them through the years and I've seen some little video clips here and there... that I would love for someone to show them again!