About Christmas TV History

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Christmas TV Party 2015: Page

Christmas TV Party 2015: Page 

1) What Christmas program/movie have you seen more times than any other?
A Charlie Brown Christmas – I don’t think there has been a year that I’ve missed it.

2) What is your favorite musical Christmas TV special, variety performance, or holiday song in a movie?
Favorite Christmas special – Any of the Andy Williams ones.  The sets are beautiful.  The colors are vibrant.  His voice is glorious.  I especially love the segment in one where he sings with his brothers and then they have the Osmond brothers come out to sing with them.

Holiday song in a movie – “White Christmas” at the end of White Christmas, the movie.  I also love the song the Whos in Whoville sing at the end of the animated How the Grinch Stole Christmas“Welcome Christmas.”  And when Charlie Brown and the gang sing “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” at the end, I always cry.
Variety Performance – The King Cousins did a jazzy version of “’Twas The Night Before Christmas” that I love.

from the hip, bossa nova arrangement of 'Twas the Night Before Christmas/Santa Claus is Coming to Town" by the King Cousins in the 1967 King Family Christmas special.
3) What's your favorite TV or movie adaptation of Dickens' A Christmas Carol?
I’ll go with Ebbie starring Susan Lucci, because the very idea is so campy and goofy.

Actress Susan Lucci stars in 1995 TV movie Ebbie.
4) What do you think is the worst Christmas program/movie--or your least favorite, the most disappointing or most overrated?
The Happy Elf that Harry Connick, Jr. created for NBC a few years back was atrocious.  I also don’t like when they do remakes of classics like Christmas in Connecticut.  Dyan Cannon and Kris Kristofferson starred in that.
5) If you were asked to give advice to a TV network executive in charge of holiday programming, what would you suggest?
They need to remember that nostalgia is the key.  Christmas is connected to what we loved when we were growing up.  New movies are great, but show some of the older made-for-TV Christmas movies.  Show the variety specials.  Andy Williams, Bing Crosby, The King Family, Donny and Marie and Sonny and Cher (their Christmas episode after they divorced is kind of bizarre, by the way).  They all had Christmas specials.
Christmas all day, all the time in the month of December – and give me retro and nostalgia.


  1. So funny, because Happy Elf is one that I think is wildly under-appreciated and really good. Sweet, funny and inspiring. We own it on DVD and watch it every year and, if you asked him, my son would say it was among his very favorite Christmas specials. (That, Polar Express and Alvin and the Chipmunks.)

    To each their own, right?

  2. I watch that King Family special every year. I love that song and play it over and over.

  3. Never heard of the King Family... on my way to YouTube!

    Thanks for sharing, Page!

  4. I fully agree that Nostalgia is the key... instead of terrible sketch comedy shows or new specials. Let us have some of the classics

  5. So agree, Page... I, too, wish they would quit making remakes of classics that we already love!

    Also, like your mention of Charlie Brown and the gang singing “Hark the Herald Angels Sing”. That is such a sweet, special moment in this beloved cartoon!

    Plus, it would be great if more networks showed Christmas 24-7 in December! Love that idea!

  6. Great answers. Remakes aren't always my thing, either, but they have their fans. A friend of my son prefers Jim Carrey's Grinch to the animated classic. Ugh!

  7. I LOVE that performance by the King Cousins on the 1967 King Family Christmas special too! I knew exactly which song you meant. In the PBS documentary about the King Family Christmas specials, they discussed rehearsing that number--what fun they must have had!