About Christmas TV History

Monday, July 23, 2018

Christmas in July 2018: Tony Adams

from Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas.

Christmas in July 2018: Tony Adams

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

While it’s taken me a while to warm up to things like Muppet Christmas Carol (mainly due to not having seen it when it came out) my favorite, hands down, is Emmet Otter’s Jug Band Christmas. I remember when it premiered on HBO and I watched my VHS recording of it over and over for many years. The songs were great and the show was very touching and becomes more so with each passing year.

from 1940's Remember the Night.
2) Which decade produced the bulk of your favorite Christmas entertainment?

This may be the toughest question of all because having been born in 1972 I’ve pretty much had the entirety of Christmas entertainment available to me whenever I want it. My answer is the 1940s. From my favorite movie of all time It’s A Wonderful Life to Holiday Inn to Remember the Night to Miracle on 34th Street. I had to have been the only kid in my high school reading and re-reading Valentine Davies’ book. After my 20s, my 1940s Christmas love really took off when I discovered Old Time Radio. I can listen to those shows year round and they never get old. The Jack Benny shopping episodes being some of my favorites.

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

Appetizer: Ziggy’s Gift. Entre: White Christmas. Dessert: Disney’s Prep & Landing.

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

I really and truly wish that the joy that was the OTR program The Phil Harris Alice Faye Show had been translated to television. Sure, we could debate if it would be good or even as good as the radio program (as much as I love listening to Jack Benny and can appreciate his television show, it never meant as much to me as his radio program) but to have seen the cast from radio brought to TV and doing any of their classic radio Christmas broadcasts would have been a delight!

It's a Wonderful Life

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?

As much as I love it for things other than the Christmas portion of the movie, it has to be It’s A Wonderful Life. To see the life and struggles of a man who wanted to be more (needed to be more) played out in such brilliant performances makes it an absolute must to live on through eternity.


  1. Unless I'm wrong, it's impossible to find a DVD of Emmet Otter's JBC that has Kermit's voiceover. That's the version I grew up with on my homemade VHS recording. My DVD version is slightly edited and doesn't have his narrative tags on either end. Anyone know if it's available that way?

    And OTR Christmas episodes! Why have I never thought to track those down! Great suggestion. Certainly there must be some Johnny Dollar Christmas episodes!

    1. There is a wonderful set of Johnny Dollar Christmas episodes (during the run of 15 minute shows starring Bob Bailey called "The Nick Shurn Matter"). I'll have to check my EMJBC to see if it has narration. May even have to find my VHS of it to compare. Not sure I remember what the narration was but I do kinda remember it being there.

  2. www.otr.com is one of my favorite OTR sites. No, I do not get royalties, I just love his compliations. Emmett Otter is my favorite, I never thought about the impact of the new Kermit. I do not Think they should retrofit anything....so sad.

  3. Tony, I share your love of OTR especially at Christmastime. And I think it's cool that you read (and re-read) the Miracle on 34th Street book while you were in HS.

  4. Another "Ziggy's Gift" fan? YESSS! The Harry Nilsson soundtrack is so fantastic. Great responses :)