About Christmas TV History

Saturday, July 22, 2023

Christmas in July 2023: Karroll's Christmas (2004)



Merry Christmas in July! It is Day #22 in the month-long celebration of Christmas entertainment. Each day this month I will be sharing brief reminisces about Christmas TV episodes, specials, and movies that are a creative or imaginative adaptation of Charles Dickens' tale A CHRISTMAS CAROL. Just a little something different and a way for me to show off the diversity of holiday stories I've collected in the encyclopedia Tis the Season TV (the updated and expanded 2nd edition will be released soon). 

Last week (Days 15-20), I discussed a collection of TV adaptations of "A Christmas Carol" in which a self-aware character has read Dickens and takes it upon themselves to influence another to change their holiday attitude. So let's start something new for this week. Let's look at TV and film PARODIES of Dickens' "A Christmas Carol." Most of these comedy parodies are written for a more sophisticated viewer who knows the classic story and structure, and can appreciate liberties taken to poke fun at the familiar or reach for additional truths. This week is going to be fun!

Tom Everett Scott plays Allen Karroll--a miserable man but not this story's Scrooge!

Today let's look at the 2004 feature-length comedy Karroll's Christmas. This TV movie originally debuted on A&E. In this story, greeting card writer Allen Karroll doesn’t enjoy himself at Christmas. His unpleasant, nasty neighbor Zeb Rosecog makes things even worse. In this silly re-worked adaptation of the Charles Dickens’ novel “A Christmas Carol,” Allen is visited by three ghosts on Christmas Eve who have the wrong address and mistake him for his neighbor Rosecog. Despite Allen’s protests, he’s shown Christmases past, present and future of Rosecog’s life. He comes to recognize that the two miserable men may have a few things in common. Allen chooses to end his bitterness by helping Rosecog change his life.


Wallace Shawn plays Rosecog--a name that is an anagram for Scrooge.

In this story, the role of Jacob Marley is taken up by his distant relative, reggae music legend Bob Marley. The Ghost of Christmas Past is a former Borscht Belt comedian, the Ghost of Christmas Future is a little person named Spike with a Napoleon complex, and the Ghost of Christmas Present is a ditzy female intern named Jody. The director of this film, Dennis Dugan, can be seen in the film playing the role of the ghostly doorknocker.

The cast includes Tom Everett Scott as Allen Karroll, Wallace Shawn as Zeb Rosecog, Verne Troyer as Spike, Richard Kline as Bradley Carchet, and Larry Miller as the Ghost of Christmas Past.



The humor begins with the inept ghosts making a terrible mistake by haunting the wrong guy, but by the story's end, it is quite satisfying to see two men changed for the better this Christmas. 


Joanna Wilson is a TV researcher and book author specializing in Christmas entertainment. More about the TV programs mentioned on this website can be found in her book "Tis the Season TV: the Encyclopedia of Christmas-themed Episodes, Specials, and Made-for-TV Movies." Her latest book "Triple Dog Dare: Watching--& Surviving--the 24-Hour Marathon of A Christmas Story" was released in 2016. She is currently updating and expanding the encyclopedia for an upcoming release. Her books can be found at the publisher's website: 1701 press.com

*Support this website and its research by purchasing the books at 1701 press.com

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