About Christmas TV History

Monday, July 9, 2018

Christmas in July 2018: Ed South

Christmas in July 2018: Ed South - host of What's Your Favorite Movie podcast available on iTunes, Spreaker and Soundcloud.  @edsouth on Twitter

1) Name your favorite Henson's Muppet Christmas program and why.

As a life long, die-hard Muppets fan it's hard to pick just one favorite Christmas production. The Christmas Carol movie is magnificent, Muppet Family Christmas is the Avengers of Muppet universes colliding and I've seen Emmet Otter more times than I could possibly remember. But I'll have to cast my vote for Christmas Eve on Sesame Street which I generally consider one of the finest hours of television ever produced. As a kid, I really liked how the special differentiated itself from the regular Sesame Street episodes by not cutting away to educational segments and just sticking to the events of Sesame Street residents on December 24. I also found the entire Cookie Monster storyline to be absolutely hilarious. As an adult, I still laugh at Cookie Monster and love Grover and Kermit's attempts to find out how Santa gets into our homes. I'm also a big fan of singing in sign language, which this special is in no short supply of!

2) Which decade produced the bulk of your favorite Christmas entertainment?

I can't narrow down one decade that produced the bulk of my Christmas faves. Watching the celebration of the holiday evolve over the years is one of the joys of watching so much Christmas entertainment. From the post-war cheer of movies from the 40's, the tacky television studio variety specials of the 70's and the mass produced animated specials of the 80's - there's just something special about each decade's contribution to holiday entertainment.

from Mickey's Christmas Carol

3) Imagine the entertainment behind your ideal Christmas Eve dinner. Name the appetizer, entré, and dessert.

For an appetizer: the 1964 "Christmas Flintstone" episode of The Flintstones
The main course is 1989's Ernest Saves Christmas
and dessert would be Mickey's Christmas Carol from 1982.

4) What Christmas episode, special or movie doesn't exist--that you wish did? Feel free to get creative.

I'm a huge fan of the Police Academy film series (1984-1989) and have always wished they would have done a Christmas installment.  Of course, at least one of the Police Academy gang would have went undercover as a Santa for one reason or another and there would be the obligatory chase scene at the end, this time involving a runaway sled and probably a herd of reindeer.


5) If one Christmas movie, special or episode was to be selected for a time capsule to opened in 1,000 years, which title do you think should be included?

My contribution to this time capsule would be the 1978 television special Christmas at Walt Disney World which is not only another great example of 70's variety style television specials but the show also captures the Florida resort decked out in its holiday finest during its earliest years. This special features Phyllis Diller, the great Avery Schreiber and the mime team Shields & Yarnell - all of whom also belong in a time capsule themselves.


  1. When Elmo was introduced on "Sesame Street", he got all the segments that Grover used to have - another reason to dislike the "Tickle Me / Hug Me / Shake Me" red puppet. Thanks for showing Grover some love Ed.

    Christmas At Walt Disney World (1978):

  2. Enjoyed reading your post, Ed! Loved your statement, "Watching the celebration of the holiday evolve over the years is one of the joys of watching so much Christmas entertainment." That is so true... it is pure joy!

    Merry Christmas in July!!! Net

  3. Great references, Ed. If we have "Ernest Saves Christmas" I don't know why we don't have a Police Academy one. C'mon Hollywood! My secret wish is that some producer is following along, reading all these great suggestions! Fingers crossed.

  4. Awesome, Ed! Gotta love Christmas at Walt Disney World.