Thursday, December 21, 2017

December's Underappreciated Music: Shirley Ellis, "You Better Be Good, World"

December's Underappreciated Music is a Christmas tune, but an unusual one.

"You Better Be Good, World" is recorded by Shirley Ellis, who is most famous for "The Name Game." This song, however, is much heavier in tone. The music is literally offbeat, if upbeat, and the lyrics are a bit foreboding, warning the human race to get its act together for Christmas and the new year, and not let "the hydrogen bomb go boom boom." Shirley is direct and to the point!

Considering the harrowing times we're in, this song from 1965 is unfortunately still timely today. I wouldn't recommend this song be added to your Christmas party playlist, but it is worth a listen for its bold take on a holiday tune.

Enjoy! Don't let the hydrogen bomb go boom boom!

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Tuesday's Overlooked TV: Count Duckula, "A Christmas Quacker"

The last Tuesday's Overlooked TV before Christmas is a holiday-themed episode of the brilliant 1980s British animated series Count Duckula!

In "A Christmas Quacker," Duckula and company are greeted by Jolly Ol' Saint Nick. Santa soon regrets it.


Monday, December 18, 2017

The Honeymooners, "Twas the Night Before Christmas"

One week to go. ONE. WEEK.

Don't panic, but do be sure you've tied up as many loose ends as possible. And when you rest at the end of this day, be sure to check out today's Christmas goodie--the Christmas episode of the 39-episode run of The Honeymooners!

In "Twas the Night Before Christmas," Ralph frets about his gift for Alice after a neighbor gets Alice the same gift Ralph did. He scrambles to get the money to get Alice the perfect gift, and Ralph waxes poetic about the joy of Christmas at the end of the episode. How sweet it is!


Friday, December 15, 2017

Mister Magoo's Christmas Carol

I know there's a certain motion picture grabbing everyone's attention this weekend, but I'm very much full of the Christmas Force. I'll be spending my weekend (hopefully) with this holiday treat--Mister Magoo's Christmas Carol!

Although a classic during my childhood, it's become a bit on the forgotten side the past decade or so, which is a shame, as this special is nothing less than charming. I haven't seen it in years and years, so I'l really looking forward to this. I hope you are too.

Enjoy! Have a great Christmasy weekend! May the Force be with you!

Thursday, December 14, 2017

A Garfield Christmas Special (1987)

When it comes to posting holiday TV specials, I prefer to stick to more obscure ones that people may have forgotten or didn't even know existed, but today I'm going the other direction and posting a tried and true one.

Here is A Garfield Christmas Special. First airing on December 21, 1987, it was an instant favorite of mine, if for nothing else than the goofy image of Jon and his family "oohing" over their Christmas tree that you see above. My brother and I cracked up for several minutes over how silly they looked! And don't forget Jon's awesome grandma!

I just realized the special celebrates its 30th anniversary next Thursday. Wow!


Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Tuesday's Overlooked TV: A Carol for Another Christmas (1964)

It's only Tuesday for four more hours as I write this, but that's good enough for me. This week's Tuesday's Overlooked TV is the 1964 TV-movie A Carol for Another Christmas.

Carol was directed by Joseph Mankiewicz and written by Rod Serling. The film was commissioned by the United Nations in an effort to promote world peace. You can read about the film in more detail here, but suffice it to say, the film is a modern day take on Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol from a global perspective. Unfortunately, in light of recent events, it's as relevant as ever.


Thursday, December 7, 2017

Kenny and Dolly: A Christmas to Remember

Since I'm still in a throwback Christmas variety TV special mood, here are country music legends Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton in Kenny & Dolly: A Christmas to Remember. This will probably be one of the few programs I feature on this blog that my wife will watch with me.


Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Tuesday's Overlooked TV: Al Alberts Christmas Special (1979)

I love this week's Tuesday's Overlooked TV. It's the locally produced Al Alberts Christmas Special!

Al Alberts Showcase was a weekly variety series produced and aired locally in Philadelphia from the 1970s straight through the 1990s. It was hosted by singer Al Alberts, who had been a member of the vocal group The Four Aces (their biggest hit was a version of "Three Coins in the Fountain"). The content consisted of occasional performances by Alberts, but mostly by performances of young children singing, dancing, and telling corny jokes.

It was amazingly kitschy, but it was a big hit in Philly. Here is an hour-long Christmas special that aired in 1979. This special hits all my soft spots: local TV, produced in Philly, with retro Christmas flair. I can't not love this!


Friday, December 1, 2017

John Denver & the Muppets, A Christmas Together

It's officially December! We've reached the end of the first work week of the holiday season. How have you spent it? Diving into Christmas TV specials, as I have? Cranking up the Christmas tunes? Hanging up the mistletoe and holly? Hopefully your answer is all of the above. It'll be January before you know it!

This weekend I present the 1979 Christmas special John Denver & The Muppets: A Christmas Together, which aired on ABC-TV on December 5th of that year. I've had the soundtrack in mp3 form for several years, but I don't think I've seen this special since I was a very young child, if I've ever seen it at all! I'll give it a go with my family and see if it jogs my memory.

Enjoy! Have a great weekend! Do Christmasy things! Drink eggnog! Hang your stocking! Put up your Christmas tree! Sing "Little Drummer Boy/Peace On Earth" with your best buddy after arguing which one of you is Bing and which one is Bowie!