About Christmas TV History

Friday, July 14, 2017

Christmas in July 2017: Randall Buie

Christmas in July 2017: Randall Buie from Henderson, Nevada

1) Who's your favorite Santa Claus?

Although he never appears in a Santa suit during the movie, my favorite actor portraying Santa is Douglas Seale from Ernest Saves Christmas.  He is jolly without being over the top and he portrays the love of children, the love of his job, and the love of the holiday that you would expect from the man at the North Pole.

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

"Mork's First Christmas" from the first season of Mork and Mindy.  It's fun watching Mork discover the holiday, interpret what he finds in his own unique way, and then save the day after he messes up.  And, hey, it's got Robin Williams!  How can you go wrong.

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

While I'm not adverse to watching holiday television during the year, I've found that it's most entertaining during the October to December time frame. There are exceptions, of course. If I'm watching old TV series that are being stripped by local or digital stations (M*A*S*H or The Simpsons, for example) I will watch the Christmas episodes when they air.  But I seldom go into my library to find Christmas programs any other time than the last three months of the year. Watching holiday programming during the spring and early summer makes me pine for the season. Christmas entertainment should leave you feeling happy and hopeful, not sad and longing.

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

While we subscribe to basic and premium cable television, I find myself watching very little of it. Any broadcast programs that I watch other than sports or news (and there are very few) are usually DVR'ed and watched as a group.

I've never gotten into the streaming systems. Their content holds very little interest to me. For example, my wife has a Netflix (DVD and streaming) subscription. My tastes are so "unique" that I rarely find anything listed on the site that I want to watch (documentaries mainly).

The vast majority of my Christmas entertainment is stored in my home library. VHS, DVD, and even Beta (yep, I still have an operating Beta player) are my major sources of holiday entertainment. Last year I bought a Blu-Ray player mainly because I wanted to own a copy of Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol with the commentary track along with the Marx Brothers' collection with the recently discovered footage on Animal Crackers and the Monkees' feature movie Head with the commentary track. I think my Blu-Ray purchases will be very few because I don't see much of a difference in picture quality between it and DVD.

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?

Well, first on the list would have to be Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol although I would hate to take a Blu-Ray player to the island to play only one disc. I also would like to have Muppet Family Christmas and Rich Little's Christmas Carol.  But mainly I would like to take my Christmas CD collection. While video Christmas is important to me, I couldn't make it through the season without hearing music from Elvis, the Fab Four (the tribute Beatles' band that released two sensational Christmas CDs), the Four Seasons or Leon Redbone.


  1. We still have three VHS recorders in the house, Randall, so don't feel like "the lone stranger." In fact two years ago I recorded a long-lost series I liked on VHS and then transferred it to DVD to take the commercials out. I still have VHS Christmas specials like THE RACCOONS and PERRY COMO'S CHRISTMAS IN MANY LANDS.

    Blu-ray to me is useful for things that feature spectacular scenery or special effects (like JURASSIC PARK and PLANET EARTH). I'm buying all of BIG BANG THEORY on DVD when it goes on sale Black Friday, and was asked "Don't you get the Blu-ray?" No. It's just a sitcom.

    (MR. MAGOO is magnificent in Blu-ray!)

    I understand what you mean about the music. I like instrumental Christmas music, and have rare albums on cassette and DVD, like harpsichord and hammered dulcimer music, and recreated "old-fashioned" music from early American and Colonial-era England.

  2. That Mork & Mindy episode is so good! Ernest Saves Christmas is just the best - all around, the casting in that picture is fantastic!

  3. I'm impressed that several folks this year have mentioned their connection to Christmas audio--OTR and recordings. I like it when people get creative with answering the questions but it continually amazes me connected we all are to Christmas entertainment--both visual and audio. Thanks for the reminder!

    1. OTR Christmas episodes are amazing. Husband bought me a collection of them years ago.

  4. Mork & Mindy is a great choice! I didn't even think of that one.