When we first started doing our 12 Days of Christmas specials, we said we'd not go with the Rankin Bass ones as they were a bit too well known, however to round out the countdown this year we broke that rule, but only because this Rankin Bass from 1985 "The Life And Adventures of Santa Claus" is so out there it was hard to pass up.
Based on a novel by the writer of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, L. Frank Baum, it's the story of how the immortals raised abandoned child Claus, and shaped him into the man he would become.
Sound a bit tame? Watch and learn!
Don't get confused, yes we know we did a cartoon called "A Christmas Dream" last year in the countdown, but it's not the same.
On hell no! That was a cute stop motion animation about a little girl and a ragdoll, this master piece of self promotion is the story of a little boy (Webster himself, Emmanuel Lewis) who has lost the spirit of Christmas, so along with some celebrity friends including a very dodge David Copperfield, charity santa, Benny (played by Mr. T) shows him the true meaning of consumerism...oops, I mean Christmas.
We are very excited to present the show today, and not just because for Day 10 we chose The Outer Limits Season 1 Episode 13 "The Conversion", but also because it's our 200th podcast!
Come help us celebrate by gatecrashing our work Christmas party, just like 90's hair-curtain, baggy suit wearing Frank Whaley.
In what is probably a first for any of our Christmas countdowns, today we go with an Aussie comedy classic in the sitcom Mother and Son, with Season 3 Episode 1, "Christmas Drinks".
Both of us have fond memories of this show, but somehow as we've aged, we both can relate to Arthur a lot more than we did as kids.
Today we watched Bewitched Season 7 Episode 13 (another ep 13!) called "Sisters At Heart", and although it's not all that Christmassy, it does tackle the issue of racism.
Co-written by a group of African-American high school kids, we see what happens when a racist client come to visit the Stephens household while daughter Tabitha is having a friend over for a sleep over. Have we really moved on that far in nearly 50 years? You be the judge.
We've made it to the end of our first week, so to celebrate we found a delightful little tale of an ex-con who gets a job as a department store Santa in the episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents... from 1955 call "Santa Claus and the 10th Avenue Kid".
In what seems to be a bit of a recurring storyline, the not so Christmassy crook learns to see the good side of the season.
It's another episode from an anthology series again today as we look at the Amazing Stories Season 1 Episode 11 "Santa '85", not surprisingly from 1985.
It's the story of Santa getting arrested for breaking and entering, and the little boy who sets out to clear his name, and is a heaping serving of family schmaltz.
It's Day 5 today, and much like with Day 1 where we watched a couple of different versions of the same story, today we watched The Twilight Zone Season 1 episode 13 from 1985 "Night Of The Meek" staring Richard Mulligan as a drunkard department store Santa who magically gives out presents, as well as Season 2 episode 11 of the original run from 1960 with Art Carney in the Santa role.
Who played it better? Which one was the better version? Well, each had their merits.
For Day 4 we look at this slice of puppetry cheese from 1987, "Muppet Family Christmas". It features all your favourites from The Muppet Show, Sesame Street and Fraggle Rock, plus a special look at a non-animated Muppet Babies, but is it really any good?
We think somewhere in all that homogenized, wholesome family cheer, the appeal of the actual Muppets got washed away!
For Day 3 we go back to the anthology format, this time with an episode of The Night Gallery that originally aired in 1971, Season 2 Episode 13 "The Messiah On Mott Street".
In what really is more of a Hanukkah story than Christmas, a young Jewish boy searches for a Messiah, played by Yaphet Kotto, to help his terminally ill grandfather, played by Edward G. Robinson, in the dirty tenements of New York City.
We both really enjoyed this one, and feel it makes up for yesterday's poor choice.
Some years we find gold when we are looking for Christmas specials, however today when we watched the animated movie "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer" from 2000, it wasn't one of them.
Surely an hour long movie adapted from a 3 minute novelty song from the 70's can't be all bad can it?