About Christmas TV History

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Christmas in July 2018: Jeff Fox

Christmas in July 2018: Jeff from NameThatChristmasSpecial.com - twitter: @chrspecials

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

Muppet Family Christmas. No, Muppet Christmas Carol. No, Muppet Family Christmas because it gets played more often, but both are amazing. John Denver and the Muppets: A Christmas Together has amazing music, but the special itself isn’t as great. Emmet Otter’s Jugband Christmas is right up there too.

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

Probably the 70s? I discovered much of it after-the-fact, but while I grew up with more 80s entertainment, the 70s stuff resonated with me more.

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

Roast Beast? No, pizza, because I’m a no-frills kinda guy. And cold pizza on Christmas morning? What more could a person want...?

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

Oh I’m thought of this many times in the past. As someone who hosts a ‘Name that Christmas Special’ game on Facebook where I post screenshots from Christmas specials and ask people to guess what they’re from, I’ve spent a lot of time looking for old and obscure Christmas specials. Many times I’ve wished for Christmas specials where there weren’t any. My number one would probably be a Canadian TV show called Traders, which I just loved, and which no one would have guessed. And I have no idea how it would play out, but I really wish there’d been a Columbo Christmas special. Oooh, and a McMillan and Wife! But only if it had Sally and Mildred in it, no point after season 5. Think of the musical numbers they could have done…! That would have been amazing. Someone needs to get a dedicated AI working on making that last one happen. It would be amazing. No doubt countless others too, but off the top of my head, that’s my top three.

Reading this back later, I now really wish there had been a McMillan & Wife Christmas special. With special guests the Carpenters, The Pointer Sisters and Robert Goulet. :(

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 immediate thought was Carol for Another Christmas because it feels apropos in this troubling year, but I’d hate for future humanity to think we were so morose that that’s how we saw everything, so I’d go with The Osbourne Family Christmas Special with no explanation whatsoever so that future people could be all like ‘WTF was that?!’ and feel much better about themselves and how far they’ve come.


  1. Great answers. I'm still laughing at The Osbourne Family Christmas with no explanation! And McMillan and Wife with musical guests - that's the kind of '70s weirdness I love.

  2. I would have loved to have seen a MCMILLAN AND WIFE Christmas special. What a great idea.

  3. "McMillan And Wife" Christmas - nice job Jeff!

    Worthless trivia: Peter Sellers was filming "Kiss Me, Stupid" with famed writer/producer/director Billy Wilder in April, 1964 when he suffered thirteen consecutive heart attacks. Ray Walston replaced him in the movie and Wilder was quoted as saying "in order to have a heart attack, you have to have a heart first".

    Sellers recovered from the ordeal and his next project was "Carol for Another Christmas".

  4. Columbo or McMillan & Wife. Oh, what could have been! Thanks Jeff :)

  5. "McMillan and Wife." Wow. I think I just did generational whiplash with that one. That's an awesomely awful idea. ;)

  6. In re the McMillan And Wife Christmas special:

    So who exactly would have gotten murdered?

  7. Great answers, Jeff! And it so difficult to choose just one Muppet production--I go back and forth all the time!