About Christmas TV History

Wednesday, July 26, 2023

Christmas in July 2023: Young Rock (2021)


Merry Christmas in July! It is Day #26 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). 

Today's discussion continues with parodies. I wanted to include a more recent example of a parody since most of my essays so far this month have been much older. But adaptations and spoofs of A Christmas Carol are still being made each year and here's proof. 

Let's talk about the 2021 episode "A Christmas Peril" from the sitcom Young Rock on NBC. In this holiday episode, Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson tells a young actress named Leslie a story to inspire her to find the emotions to play the scene they are filming together for the Christmas action film “A Christmas Peril.” The story he tells is about several painful Christmases he’s experienced in his past. 


Young Rock with his Cabbage Patch Kid knock-off--Radish Baby.


Christmas 1982 saw young Rock not receive the only Christmas gift he asked for: a Cabbage Patch doll. At Christmas 1987, Dwayne experienced another miserable holiday when he spent the month working an humiliating job as the elf assistant with his father as Santa Claus at the mall. 



 Teenage Dwayne embarrassed by his very un-cool job as an elf at the mall.


Pere Noel--in the green suit--visits Dwayne.

And, Christmas 1993 was another unhappy holiday when The Rock spent Christmas in the hospital with Coach O and his mother. However, Dwayne learns a valuable lesson when the magical Pere Noel, played by André the Giant, teaches him to change his perspective in order to see how lucky he is rather than feel how miserable life can be.


The Rock as Big Tim--a grown up Tiny Tim.

The ridiculous action movie that Johnson is making at the start of this episode’s story is a parody of Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” with Johnson starring as Big Tim, the grown-up Tiny Tim, who needs Santa’s sleigh to stop Ibiza Scrooge (the granddaughter of Ebenezer) who is determined to blow up New Orleans.

The cast includes Dwayne Johnson as Dwayne Johnson, Joseph Lee Anderson as Rocky Johnson, Stacey Leilua as Ata, Ana Tuisila as Lia, Adrian Groulx as young Rock, Bradley Constant as teenage Rock, Uli Latukefu as college-aged Rock, Jake Kasdan as Tyler the director, Emmett Skilton as Coach O, Melody Hurd as Leslie, and Matthew Willig as André the Giant.


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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