About Christmas TV History

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Christmas in July 2017: Jim Randle

Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
Christmas in July 2017: Jim Randle of Paris, Tennessee

1) Who's your favorite Santa Claus?

The story goes that Natalie Wood was crest fallen when she saw Edmund Gwenn without his beard because she really believed he was Santa Claus. And I agree with her. His depiction of Kris Kringle was perfect.

Friends' 2000 episode "The One With the Holiday Armadillo."

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

The Holiday Armadillo episode of Friends has to top the list. The three male leads were hilarious. David Schwimmer as the Holiday Armadillo, Matthew Perry as Santa, and Matt LeBlanc as Christmas Superman. As usual the writing for the episode was first rate, especially the lines given to Perry ("Weird Turtle Man." "I especially liked the part where Superman flew down and saved all of the Jews.")

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

For the most part I watch Christmas programs during the season. However if it's something I really like and I happen to come across it on TV, I will watch. This usually only pertains to series television, though. I mainly save Christmas features for the holidays.

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

I'm an older fellow (71) so I mainly watch in house entertainment through either broadcast (cable) TV or my home library. My cable contract is only for extended cable and does not include premium channels like Showtime or HBO. And I've never seen anything on streaming services that has interested me.

1979 TV movie An American Christmas Carol starring Henry Winkler.

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?

I'd start with John Denver and the Muppets - A Christmas Together. I saw someone mention this special in a previous "Christmas in July" and I will add my sentiment that I wish it were available on official DVD release. I've also had a soft spot in my heart for An American Christmas Carol starring Henry Winkler. Although it is kind of dated (the ghost of Christmas Future is dressed like a disco dancer) it's a fine piece of holiday entertainment. Finally I would probably take a copy of A Charlie Brown Christmas because . . well, because it's A Charlie Brown Christmas. That's reason enough!


  1. The John Denver Muppet special isn't available on DVD, but it is available, in full, on YouTube to watch for free.

  2. Solid choices. Can't believe I didn't mention John Denver and the Muppets or An American Christmas Carol...

  3. I've heard so many people say that Friends was a show aimed at young people but I was 42 when it first premiered and I loved it, especially the first seven seasons. Good writing knows no generation.

  4. John Denver and the Muppets and A Charlie Brown Christmas would be on my list, too, if we could add more. Classics.

  5. Even if it isn't released on DVD (yet), I'm so glad we still have the official soundtrack to the John Denver and Muppets Christmas Together TV special. Thanks for the reminder how important that one is.