About Christmas TV History

Monday, August 3, 2015

Christmas TV Party 2015: Rick

Christmas TV Party 2015: Rick at Classic Film and TV Café.

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!

3) What's your favorite TV or movie adaptation of Dickens' A Christmas Carol?
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)?


  1. Well said, Rick... I loved all your answers! It wouldn't be Christmas at our home, either, without White Christmas and Meet Me in St. Louis! We adore them both!

    You absolutely nailed the last question, too. We truly do need more family oriented Christmas specials/movies that actually tell a heartwarming story.

  2. I get it--the animated "Little Drummer Boy" is traumatic! Every time I watch it, I gasp at its sadness. Thanks for joining the fun, Rick.