1) What Christmas program/movie have you seen more times than any other?
White Christmas is an annual Christmas Eve tradition in our family. The funny thing is that when I was a kid, White Christmas was on frequently and we always wanted to see Holiday Inn instead. However, as I got older, I realized that White Christmas had grown on me. And what's not to like? Danny Kaye and Vera-Ellen dance wonderfully. Rosemary Clooney never looked nor sounded better. And Bing Crosby croons that Irving Berlin song that sold a few records.
2) What is your favorite musical Christmas TV special, variety performance, or holiday song in a movie?
I'd have to go with "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," as sung by Judy Garland in Meet Me in St. Louis. There's a wistful quality to the song, especially in light of the film's plot. Plus, Judy sounds fabulous!
That's tough. I adore Alastair Sim and he makes a fine Scrooge--but in an Alastair Sim kind of way. George C. Scott's Scrooge in the 1984 made-for-TV A Christmas Carol may be my fave, if only because it's closer to Dickens.
4) What do you think is the worst Christmas program/movie--or your least favorite, the most disappointing or most overrated?
I hope people don't hate me, but probably the 1968 TV special The Little Drummer Boy. I love Rankin-Bass productions and Rudolph (and even the sequels) are holiday traditions. Yet, while the Drummer Boy story is sweet, I just don't care for Rankin-Bass adaptation. In fact, I think the only time I watch it all the way through was the first time it was on.
5) If you were asked to give advice to a TV network executive in charge of holiday programming, what would you suggest?
Put some money into some quality films for the whole family! Right now, all we get are all-star singing specials, animated toddler specials, and Hallmark romances. How about something along the lines of The Homecoming (the original Waltons pilot film)?