About Christmas TV History

Monday, July 25, 2016

Christmas in July 2016: Dominic Caruso

Christmas in July 2016: Dominic Caruso at 1701 Press

1) What Christmas episode/special/or movie always puts you in the holiday spirit?

I enjoy some of the old(ish) variety / music shows. If I watch a Christmas episode of the Lawrence Welk Show from the 70s, that’ll put me in the holiday spirit. It reminds me of the old people in my family (and community), and growing up with them around. What they wore, what they liked, what the decor of the time was like.

2) What Christmas program or scene brings you to tears?

The recitation of the gospel that Linus does in A Charlie Brown Christmas actually makes me tear up. It’s a very poetic moment, expressed in an extraordinarily genuine, unpolished way by young Christopher Shea. It’s a transcendent moment in a kids’ cartoon.

3) What's your favorite quote of dialogue, song lyric, or sentiment from a Christmas program? 

The song “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” performed by U2 in 1987 or 88 for A Very Special Christmas. There was a special about U2 or A Very Special Christmas that aired on MTV that year (I don’t remember which), and I was a big U2 fan, and I remember waiting for the song to be broadcast. Of course, Darlene Love owns the song, and I love her performances of it too, but I think the U2 version was my first introduction to it, and there’s a lot of youthful longing in it!

4) Is there a Christmas program that unintentionally frightens you--or turns you off?

Many Santas are unintentionally creepy. But mainly, I’m not crazy about most reality TV Christmas episodes. They tend to be about how the people on the show are ridiculous or awful, more than anything interesting or suggestive of meaning.

from the 1966 Christmas episode of Green Acres.

5) Name one character from Christmas entertainment with whom you closely identify? and explain why. 

I like Oliver Douglas (from Green Acres). I don’t exactly identify with his frustration at the absurdity of his life in Hooterville—but I do enjoy the humor of his situation, and the humor in the absurdity he faces. Maybe I’m more of an Eb Dawson than an Oliver Douglas.


  1. Good call on the Lawrence Welk specials. Yes, they are full of cheese and teeth, but it's a great feeling to have when you need a bit of Christmas cheer.

    Good stuff!

  2. Thanks Jim! I agree, they are cheesy and yet, sincerely so, which is kind of nice.

  3. Wow!!!! 'Green Acres'!!!!!! I always thought that was an underrated show. Like Ricky Ricardo would say..."It's just so ridiculous"!!!! I am a 'Green Acres' fan. The cleverness of the writers abounded. From shingling a roof with Hot Cakes, The Monroe Brothers, 'Ralph and Alf', the famous pig Arnold, and of course Lisa and Oliver's adopted 'son' Eb. I love it!!!! Thanks for bringing this to the front of my consciousness, I now will be in search of getting the entire collection!!!!! Like the song says, Green Acres is the place to be!!!!! Merry Christmas in July!!!!!

  4. Those old Lawrence Welk Christmas specials are a blast from the past. I liked the annual tradition of including performances from the band's family and children. What a treat it is to watch the families grow up, year after year. Thanks for participating, Dom.