Friday, December 8, 2023

'Twas The Night Before Christmas TV adaptation starring Paul Lynde (1977)


To cap off this week, I present the 1977 TV special 'Twas The Night Before Christmas.

Airing December 7, 1977, the special stars Paul Lynde as a grumpy husband and father (!) who learns the true meaning of Christmas. The special costars Anne Meara, Alice Ghostly, Foster Brooks, and Anson Williams. Apparently, the special was so poorly received critically and commercially that it was never rerun, nor was it ever made available on home video.

Is it really that bad, or is it just a typical 1970s TV special? I'll let you be the judge. Please enjoy the special embedded below or directly on YouTube.

Thanks! Have a great holiday season weekend! Happy Chanukah!

Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Lobo Paramilitary Christmas Special Movie Adaptation (2002)


Today's entry in the Countdown to Christmas is a wacky one, but that's exactly why I'm including it!

The Lobo Paramilitary Christmas Special was a movie made by filmmaker Scott Leberecht and others with an educational grant from the American Film Institute and not intended for commercial release. It is, however, based on an actual comic book one-shot published by DC Comics in 1991 (see the cover to that comic above).

In the comic and movie, Lobo, an alien intergalactic hitman, is hired by the Easter Bunny to "whack" Santa Claus, so that the Easter Bunny gets more love and attention. If the money is right, Lobo is up for the job! The actor playing Lobo is Andrew Bryniarski, know for playing Leatherface in several Texas Chainsaw Massacre reboot films in the 2000s.

Enjoy! Watch it embedded below or directly on YouTube here.

Monday, December 4, 2023

The Price is Right Christmas Episode, December 25, 1979


Welcome to Week 2 of the Countdown to Christmas! Today we have something special for those old school kids to got to watch this show when they were home sick from school.

Today I offer an episode of The Price is Right that aired on Christmas Day 1979. The studio, which usually looks very festive on a normal day, is decorated for the holiday and increases the excitement factor even higher than usual. Consider this also a tribute to Bob Barker, who we lost earlier this year.

Enjoy! Watch embedded below or directly on YouTube here.

Friday, December 1, 2023

Cher Variety Show Christmas Episode, December 21, 1975


Welcome to December 2023! Now we really get into the Christmas season full swing! I hope today's post gets you in the Christmas spirit.

Legendary artist Cher has released her first-ever Christmas album this year. However, this doesn't mean she hasn't performed Christmas numbers before. Back in the '70s, she had her own short-lived variety TV series after her divorce from Sonny Bono. Below is the series' Christmas episode, which aired on CBS December 21, 1975. She performs Christmas songs, appears in comedy sketches, and features guest stars The Lennon Sisters, The Hudson Brothers, and Redd Foxx--very '70s! See the embedded video below or watch directly on YouTube here.

Enjoy! Have a great December weekend! Roll out the holly, hang up those stockings, get some shopping done, be Christmasy!

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

The Muppets Perform "The Reindeer" On The Ed Sullivan Show, December 22, 1968

Today on the Countdown to Christmas, I present an appearance of the Muppets on The Ed Sullivan Show from December 22nd, 1968.

Here, lead reindeer Dasher is concerned that he and the other reindeer won't be able to deliver Christmas presents around the world because there's no snow in the North Pole just three days before Christmas. The other reindeer, however, don't take the threat seriously and instead make jokes and sing Christmas carols. In the end, the reindeer decide to dance a "snow dance" to make it snow. The usual Muppet humor permeates the entire sketch.

The Muppets had performed this same sketch back in 1965 on The Kraft Music Hall hosted by Perry Como in black and white, but I prefer this later color performance better. The Sullivan version is embedded below; you can check out the Como version here and make your own decision.


Monday, November 27, 2023

Welcome to the 2023 Countdown to Christmas!

Hello everyone! I hope you all had a fantastic Thanksgiving! Welcome to the 2023 Countdown to Christmas!

Despite my participation in, and love for, the Countdown to Halloween, Christmas is in fact my favorite holiday. It's my favorite anything! And I love to share holiday joy with all of you via this blog. This year, I have a lot of great stuff to show you. Please stay tuned all December long, Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, for delightful holiday joy.

But that's not all. On some of my social media pages, I'm presenting Brian's Musical Advent Calendar, in which I'll post a holiday song every day starting today and through at least Christmas Day, perhaps even after. The Calendar will be available on my Facebook, X/Twitter, Tumblr, Threads, and Bluesky accounts. Please check it out!

Once again, Happy Holidays, and stay tuned!

Friday, November 10, 2023

The Beatles Performing Live on Blackpool Night Out, August 1st, 1965


Today is a big day for Beatles fans. Today sees the reissue of two popular compilations, The Beatles: 1962-1966, known commonly as The Red Album, and The Beatles: 1967-1970, known as The Blue Album. These were collections of Beatles hits first released in 1973. They are being re-released today with new mixes of many of the songs as well as songs that were not made available on the original 1973 releases. The most notable addition is the "brand new" song "Now And Then," made with a cassette demo from John Lennon's pesonal collection. As well as being released as a single, "Now and Then" is being made available on the 1967-1970 collection.

In celebration of these releases, I present a short television concert the Beatles performed on the British program Blackpool Night Out on August 1st, 1965. The band performs six songs, including "Help!" The Beatles were on the program to promote the release of the film of the same name. The footage here is in color, but I assume this was done in later years by computer rather than from the original broadcast.

Enjoy! Have a great weekend!