About Christmas TV History

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Christmas in July 2017: J.A. Morris

Christmas in July 2017: J.A. Morris from Holiday Film Reviews

1) Who's your favorite Santa Claus?

Edmund Gwenn as "Kris Kringle" in Miracle on 34th Street (1947). There have been lots of great movie and TV Santa's in the 70 years since, but I think Gwenn is still the gold standard.  

John Candy as Johnny LaRue on SCTV.

2) What's your favorite Christmas episode from a TV series?

The 1981 Christmas episode of SCTV, "Staff Christmas Party." My father and I watched it when it first aired more than 30 years ago and taped it off Nick At Night a few years later. Now my family watches it every year during the week of Christmas on DVD and we've shared it with relatives who never heard of SCTV before!

3) Do you enjoy watching Christmas entertainment year round or do you only like watching it during the holidays? And, why? 

Since I review Christmas entertainment, I occasionally watch it out of season. But I generally prefer not to, I get a bit queasy when I hear "Jingle Bells" in May.

4) This is the 21st century--how do you watch TV and/or Christmas entertainment?

I primarily watch DVDs, Turner Classic Movies and channels like MeTV and Antenna. 

5) If you were to be stranded on an island (maybe Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean!), what three Christmas movies, specials, or episodes would you like to have with you? 

A Charlie Brown Christmas, Rudolph, and the aforementioned SCTV episode.


  1. Short, sweet and to the point! I love MeTV and similar channels for some older shows and specials I haven't seen in years - or ever!

  2. I'm going to take a risk here and submit that more than a few of those 60's/70's family variety show Christmas "specials" were honestly some pretty rough viewing. MeTV and AntennaTV both had a few in circulation this past season, and there was Bing Crosby Family special in particular that was like watching a ship do down. Just so much. . . NOT-goodness being put on display. Guests seemed randomly-chosen. And a scary reliance on the assumption that Bing's second-round family carried on his legacy of charm and musical ability. Ohhhh, I don't mean to be a Scrooge, but. . .