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Jeffy’s Crappy Christmas

Is there a piece of holiday television that you haven’t seen in years? Something you’d want to catch again to find out if it’s as good/bad/sappy as you remember? My main choice would be the animated A Family Circus Christmas, first broadcast in 1979. I recall that the special was as inoffensively cute as the comic strip, with a storyline which centered around Jeffy while Dolly, Billy, Barfy and the rest got consigned to supporting roles. From X-Entertainment’s recap of of three years ago, I can also gather that it’s awfully lame. It is here that we can compare what got utilized from Bil Keane’s strip and what didn’t. Dotted-line pathways? No. Billy taking over the strip? No. Ghost of a dead grandparent? Yes.

Another tale of pop culture geekiness: Christopher was telling me about how, when helping with the handing out of gifts to co-workers last week, he did a flat “ho ho ho”. Right away I recognized it as the metallic, monotone “ho ho ho” from Ned Flander’s rooftop Santa in The Simpsons‘ pilot episode! Unfortunately none of C’s co-workers caught that reference. We’re just too hip for this world.

5 Thoughts on “Jeffy’s Crappy Christmas

  1. Please go directly to YouTube and watch all six parts of “A Special Sesame Street Christmas.” No, it’s not the Sesame holiday special we all remember and love from PBS, but a shoestring-budget CBS extravaganza starring Leslie Uggams, Anne Murray, Imogene Coca, and Ethel Merman. (She gets the special’s best line of dialogue.) There’s also a hilarious write-up of it at the now-defunct ToughPigs.com. Merry Christmas!

  2. Unfortunately, last night’s Simpsons Christmas episode showed just how far they’ve fallen since that pilot. I don’t think I laughed once.

  3. Two leap to mind. The first is the animated special “The Bear Who Slept Through Christmas,” with the voices of Tommy Smothers and Barbara Feldon. One of the show’s commercial jingles — “Fly Bear Air to your lair!” — is deep in my head and is not coming out. The other, which may have only aired in the New York area, is a mime version of the O. Henry story “The Gift of the Magi” starring Shields & Yarnell.

  4. Sheilds and Yarnell. I gotta see that.

    JH, that Sesame Street special is amazing! Mostly for the way Leslie Uggams bosses all the S.S. regulars around.

  5. “The House Without A Christmas Tree,” 1972, with Jason Robards and Mildred Natwick. Shot three-camera style on tape, if I remember right, with these neat bumpers in which construction paper cutout images dissolved into the real footage. A holiday tear-jerker.

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