Saturday, December 31, 2005

New Year? What's This About a New Year?

I hope everyone is doing something they enjoy tonight, whether it's indulging in mass hysteria in Times Square or going to bed at eleven. A few friends will be popping over tonight for snacks and beverages, dice and cards. I've sipped at a little Spumante myself already, which will gradually build to reckless quaffing by evening's end. (That reminds me, I gotta put bottled water in the fridge...)

Here's a bit of a long-unfinished piece I wrote about how damn great 1976 was. It's what I call a "sketch story," meaning I just string out what I remember on a topic and to hell with capitalization and so forth. These are the last two paragraphs.

that new year's eve, guy lombardo on tv, parents stayed in as, i think, usual.
there are hors d'oeuvres, pedestrian but festive: pigs in blankets, finger slices of pizza, pickled herring for the folks. ginger ale for me. not a party, but family friends, relatives dropping in.
i must have been allowed to stay up in previous years, guy's orchestra was familiar, a comfort.
with most of my family gathered as they would not often be for later december thirty-firsts, i reflected on the year, a fine year for a seven-year-old, and as '76 vanished before my eyes, i cried.
not bawled, not childishly or even child-like, but one tear, quiet and unseen.
it was a goodbye for me.

guy cheerfully led his last auld lang syne.
america again lit and deafened by fireworks.
a roar of celebration that made little sense.
somehow knowing it couldn't get better.

I recently bought a seventies reissue single of Guy Lombardo's peppy original 1956 recording of Auld Lang Syne, which I'll play tonight at midnight. Later, once everyone is gone or passed out and I've drained the last bottle of Champale and licked away the congealing dregs of Velveeta dip in the crock pot, I'll play it again, but as a dirge at 33 and 1/3.

BTW, the single is appropriately b/w "It's Later Than You Think." Something to ponder indeed... tomorrow. Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Christmas Memories (Sigh).

Last night was our Christmas party, and Donna, as usual, outdid herself with food and drink and fun. There was a table overflowing with appetizers (jalapenos with cream cheese and bacon, bite-sized brie, eggs pickled and eggs deviled, etc.) and then a dinner overloaded with turkey and ham and all the trimmings. We all played bingo and homemade Jeopardy! (that's my main contribution other than doing random tasks along the way), with prizes and everything. We opened presents and drank too much (except me, strangely) and played Christmas music and watched old toy commercials (also my contribution, natch) and laughed and laughed. I hope and believe a swell time was had by all. Thanks to everyone who came---the guest list was largely comprised of the bloggers in my link list to the right, except Q'ner, whose name came up several times... As always, we totally forgot to break out the camera, except of course to take a few pics of the cat asleep under the tree because he's so damn cute in spite of how much I can't stand him.

I can't believe Christmas is over. Donna and I began gradually decorating and listening to Christmas LP's around the second week of November, and yet today we are lamenting the swift passing of the holidays. We're gonna have to start celebrating the day after Halloween next year to feel satiated come the new year. And I didn't even write anything here about grade school Christmas pageants at St. Pius, or early snows on Long Island, or the giddy fun of staying up all Christmas eve in pajamas with many brothers and sisters, mom and dad and a pair of beagles, ginger ale and stuffed clams, presents and carols and the yule log...

Goodbye, Christmas 2005. You had your unique joys, as did all the others I've had, which I also remember and say goodbye to this time of year.

Goodbye again, Christmas 1975, when we prefaced the evening's festivities by watching what turned out to be the last episode of "When Things Were Rotten," Mel Brooks' Robin Hood spoof, and later that night I was introduced to Hugo, Man of a Thousand Faces, the coolest present ever.

Goodbye again, Christmas 1981, when I played a rosy-cheeked toy soldier in the school play. Those pageants, with weeks of preparation and rehearsal, were instrumental in adding that sense of anticipation to the season, building until you almost couldn't stand it. Beginning Christmas 1983, the yuletide just wasn't the same, and it was years before I realized that I could attribute the peculiar difference to the loss of that ritual.

Goodbye again, Christmas 1985, the first without my father, gone exactly three weeks on a Christmas eve barely celebrated or recalled, and that was that for childhood Christmases.

Goodbye Christmas, and I'll see you again soon!

Monday, December 26, 2005

O Holy Crap...

Merry Christmas to you all, the multitude not reading my blog, and also to those who are---X bless you poor dopes. My best gift so far is a bright red, Snuffy Smith-esque pair of long johns (yes, with heinie trap door for outhouse convenience), courtesy of my darling wife.

In the spirit of well-wishing, here are some of the more interesting entries from the Newsday TV books of my youth, which featured holiday greetings from various celebrities at yuletide. I got these issues on eBay, from 1980, '81, and '84. Some greetings are shameless plugs for whatever forgettable crap show they were on at the time, some are bizarre fruitcakey Hollywood platitudes, and some are just bizarre. Among my favorites (and you can decide what category they fall into):

"It doesn't matter if you're in the 25th century or the 20th---a very merry Christmas to all...
--Gil Gerard (Buck Rogers), 1980

"Sam and I hope that all the truckers who have to drive on Christmas day find a way to be with their families..."
--Greg Evigan (BJ and the Bear), 1980 [Yes, Sam was the chimp.]

"Hoping your Christmas tree is not related to Bob Campbell."
--Jay Johnson (Soap ventriloquist), 1980

"Mele Kalikimaka E Hauoli Makahiki Hou."
--Tom Selleck, 1980 [I believe that's Hawaiian for "free mustache rides for the ladies."]

"Since this year I'll spend Christmas in Las Vegas, I want to wish everyone happy holidays and lots of luck."
--Bart Braverman (Vegas), 1980 [He was the unshaven, bug-eyed sidekick.]

"Merry Christmas, happy '82, and let's hope 'The Doctors'' ratings go through the roof."
--Amy Ingersoll (The Doctors), 1981 [Amy joined the cast in '81; the show was canceled shortly thereafter.]

"On my planet, the equivalent to 'seasons greetings' is 'Pre-ta-nama' (peace on earth)."
--Robert Englund (V), 1984 [What is your planet's equivalent to "on indefinite hiatus"?]

"Make nice world."
--Jamie Farr, 1980

"Seasons Greetings and may the joy of Jesus come to you all."
--Danielle Brisbois (Archie Bunker's Place), 1980

"This greeting is for all those parents who had to take out a loan to buy their kids computerized toys for Christmas. May the computers at the bank foul up and mark them all paid in full."
--Alan King, 1980

"In order to save time: Merry Christmas for the next three years."
--Dick Cavett, 1980 [This was the year Dick got ECT (electroconvulsive therapy), so perhaps he wanted to "save time" in case he ended up in an extended catatonic state.]

Many people have said it many times. But now I forget what they said. Merry Christmas anyway."
--George Gobel (Harper Valley), 1981

"Oh God, who by the leading of a star didst manifest the only begotten son to the peoples of the earth: lead us, who know thee now by faith, to thy presense [sic], where we may behold thy glory face to face; through the same Jesus Christ our lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen."
--Polly ["Kisseth my grits"] Holliday (Flo), 1980

"I hope Christmas 1984 is a particularly memorable one and that we'll all be able to survive another four years under President Reagan."
--Brian Patrick Clarke (General Hospital), 1984

"I gladly wish everybody else a merry Christmas, if a merry Christmas is what they insist upon... I'll settle for a relaxed Christmas."
--Jan Michael Vincent (Airwolf), 1984 [Anyone else get the feeling that Jan Michael's relaxed Christmas involves four bottles of Dewar's and some hippopotamus tranquilizers?]

"Have a very very merry merry!"
--Gary Coleman, 1981

"Merry Christmas to all but two."
--Carroll O'Connor (Archie Bunker's Place), 1981 [Meaning, of course, Martin Balsam and Anne Meara.]

"Holidays are like mirrors. You only get the reflection of what you put into them. Please let your mirror reflect love, tolerance and happiness this year."
--Ken Kercheval (Dallas), 1981

"We are more than equal; we are each other."
--Eileen Brennan (Private Benjamin), 1981

"I hope everyone gets to see Bruce Springsteen in concert at least once in their lifetime!"
--Catherine Bach (Dukes of Hazzard), 1984 [Wow. What a fucking nitwit.]

"Let's give ourselves the Christmas gift of an open horizon toward which we shall run, unchained to any self-imposed limitations."
--Madge Sinclair (Trapper John), 1981

"I wish for the end of world hunger by the year 2000, which is my goal as youth chairperson for the World Hunger Project."
--Mindy Cohn (Facts of Life), 1984 [Insert your joke here.]

A special wish for the children of our hostages--may their fathers be home for Christmas!
--Miss Mary Ann Pedersen (Romper Room), 1980

"Merry Christmas, happy Chanukah and a happy new year from Flapper, Sherlock and all of us in 'The Magic Garden!'"
--Paula Janis and Carole Demas, 1981

"May your holiday season be like a game of PAC-MAN, long and exciting."
--J.D. Roth (Wonderama), 1981

"Merry Christmas and happy new year to all the boys in the sanitation department and their families!"
--Al Fulgoni (PM Magazine), 1981

"So far, the the holiday season has been adequate."
--Stewart Klein (WNEW news curmudgeon), 1980

"I hope you get what's coming to you."
--Stewart Klein, 1981

"May Bloomingdale's computer charge your gift buying to your ex-spouse's account. Merry Christmas!"
--Jim Jensen (late WCBS newsguy and troubled cokehead and/or boozehound), 1981

"May the coal in your stocking be a result of the energy shortage."
--Roger Grimsby (WABC news guy), 1980

"...[I]f you believe in God and go to his [sic] house, he will eventually come to your house. The more religion and belief in God, then the more peace on earth and less [sic] problems."
--Warner Wolf, WCBS news sports guy, 1980

"May 1981 bring to each Long Islander the benefits of prosperity... and the wisdom to use those benefits for the good of all."
--Bill O'Reilly [Long Islander and reason to hate all Long Islanders], 1980

"Personal Happiness... professional success... and the time to enjoy both."
--Jessica Savitch, 1980 [Click link and read her Wikipedia entry if you don't fully appreciate the irony of this one...]

"Look around you and notice what is both miraculous and deficient about life. We have created all this for ourselves. Deep down what man and womankind really want to do is express their love for one another, across a room, a city, a state, a continent, an ocean. I wish that I... that we all can fill our world with all the love we are capable of so there will be no room for anything else. It is the ultimate, irresistable miracle, the way to create peace on earth. I love you."
--Herb Edelman (Ladies Man), 1980 [I knew him best as Big John of "Big John, Little John." Now I know him as "Coo-coo! Coo-coo!"]

--Charles Osgood, 1980

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Yule Log Update...

Turns out WPIX is showing the Yule Log this year after all, on Christmas morning instead of Christmas eve night. At their website, you can even download the YL video to your iPod, whatever that is.

Monday, December 19, 2005

When You Wish Upon a Book (revised 12/21)

Here is a piece Mr. Lantern Fishworks wrote and let me use on my "Keep Prying" site.

"The Twelve Pages of Christmas" by Michael R. O'Shaughnessy

On the first day of Christmas (in 1979), my mailman gave to me the Sears 1979 Christmas Book, a.k.a. "Wish Book for the 1979 Holiday Season." I was thrilled and delighted, enraptured and excited. My brothers and I jumped for joy (and the couch as well), and I broke my personal cardinal rule for reading, usually applied to comic books: Never look at the last page first. But the Wish Book is the exception. No need to wade through pages of Men's 100% Celanese Fortrel® polyester body-hugging slacks and monogrammed Naugahyde® toilet seats when one turn of the leaf reveals a full-color display of electronic sports games on the inside back cover. From there on back, it's sheer joy for the grade school reader until about Page 399 when the scenic wall clocks kick in. My brothers and I were left with 270 pages full of contenders for coveted spots on our Christmas lists.

Twenty-two years later I once again find myself in the possession of the 1979 Wish Book, borrowed from my friend Harry Carbohydrate's [that's me---blogmeister psaur] historical catalog collection. Lighter in my hands than when I was 10, the book's impressive heft complements its importance as a cultural artifact. It's more than a harbinger of the emerging marketing juggernaut destined to come to fruition in our time through the excess of Internet shopping sites---I cradle the volume in my hands like a pulpy replica of a misplaced adolescent cerebral recording. With each four-color gift graphic serving as a nostalgic trigger, I'm shot back to my warm suburban couch, calendar inches from the 80's. And this is what I saw:

1. PAGE 611 (8): Incredible Hulk Instant Muscles by Remco.

This green inflatable vinyl exoskeleton conspicuously hidden under your pre-torn undershirt (note: inflating muscles will not shred t-shirt in Hulk-like fashion) mimicked the freakishly large physique of Dr. Bruce Banner's irradiated alter-ego, The Hulk, when inflated by included pump (pump included for inflating). I did not own this; I was more of a Spider-Man fan.

2. PAGE 550 (9): Kaptain Kool Wireless Microphone. I remember loving the Kaptain Kool segment of the Krofft Supershow on Saturday mornings (I also remember loving "Bring 'Em Back Alive," so be wary of my hyperboles). I recollect very little about the program other than it featured Kaptain Kool and his band, The Kongs. Sid and Marty could sure name them, huh? Anyway, with this 9-inch, high impact plastic microphone, you too could be a Kong as your voice was transmitted from the long- range telescopic antenna into an AM radio up to 30 feet away. I suspect that's a distance dwarfing Kaptain Kool's own transmissions today.

3. PAGE 659: Zodiac, The Astrology Computer. If you didn't mind resting your fate on the potential strength of two 9-volt batteries (and a manual edited by world-famous astrologer Sydney Omarr, whose writings can be found on thousands of funny pages across the nation), this molded plastic fortuneteller was just for you! The full- page spread is peppered with exclamation marks, hugging terms such as electronic "brain" and "readings." Still, I'm sure it's more reliable than the Magic 8-Ball.

4. PAGE 447: J-Ball: "Racquetball without the walls". Regulation size racquetball connected to 12½ ft. stretch band connected to weighted, plastic anchor. Includes two aluminum racquets. And a 34 pg. illustrated rule booklet. 34 pages? Seems to me there's gotta be a lot of white space on those pages. I could've saved them the paper and printed the instructions on the ball: Hit racquetball with racquet. Repeat. I've included this item for two odd reasons: There's no indication what the "J" stands for. Also, there's a curious endorsement "by the I.R.A." Perhaps some idealistic copywriter thought a match would be a grand way to settle the Troubles.

5. PAGES 618 & 619: The STAR WARS pages. Essentially, Sears' "centerfold" for prepubescent believers in the Force. Soon Miss April would replace Boba Fett (but not before Princess Leia as Jabba's slave in "Return of the Jedi" quickened our collective pulses). Ah, who am I kidding? Nothing's ever replaced Boba Fett! Anyway, the whole pre-"Empire Strikes Back" menagerie is featured here in molded plastic and die-cast metal. Greedo, Jawas, the anonymous Death Squad Commander, and their space transports as well (Land Speeder, Tie Fighter, etc.). Is anyone even reading this anymore? Rating: THE BEST WISH BOOK PAGE EVER!

6. PAGE 597 (9): Gobbles by Kenner.

This I don't remember. Gobbles was a plastic goat that "ate" pretend garbage. Do you know what Gobbles is now? Real garbage. Still, I do wish I had one---it made a chewing sound and "baa'd" when the basket on its back was pushed. I love a toy whose description mentions "junk" once and "garbage" twice.

7. PAGE 572 (2): Child-Size Upholstered Rocker. "This classy-looking rocker is fully upholstered in heavy-gauge leather-look vinyl." At first, I thought they were writing about Mike Reno of Loverboy. At second glance, I realized this was a description of a chair. A swell Christmas gift. "Thanks, Santa. The Russo brothers got the Tyco Super Duper Double Looper Slot Car Racing Set. Maybe if I drag my new chair up the block, they'll let me sit and watch them play."

8. PAGE 537 (5): Farrah Glamour Center.

Back when she was Fawcett-Majors and married to the Six-Million Dollar Man (now THAT was Hollywood royalty), Farrah hawked her willowy image to toy companies while she was still a role model to flocks of adventure-starved schoolgirls, and a source of curious electro-chemical reactions within legions of grimy schoolboys. One marketing example was this plastic 10-inch replica of her head, showcasing her trademark mane: Apply makeup (from a compact with four colors) and dye her hair (brown, red or purple) to get the ol' girl ready for her Mike Douglas appearance. And after she's all dolled up, begin again! She's "completely washable!" But, hey, take it easy with the brown hair dye---three brunette "Angels"? Charlie would not be pleased.

9. PAGE 540 (4): Custom Van Lamp Kit. A black, orange and yellow custom van with a lamp on its roof. The shade features other custom vans. A sliding door reveals a storage compartment. What could you store in there? How about your dignity?

10. PAGE 657 (2): 2-XL: Mego's Talking Robot.

"Perhaps once in a generation, a new type of family entertainment comes along unlike anything ever seen or heard before," claims the catalog description. Luckily, information and invention seem to be advancing exponentially lately. Because if progress moved at a pace relative to the advances put forth by this "Robot" whose databases were stored on 8-track tapes, twenty years of research might have only produced a "Robot" whose databases were stored on cassette tapes. 2-XL asked questions and riddles, told jokes, played music and sang songs. While I never owned this, I do have a "similar" "talking" "Robot": my TV.

11. PAGE 529: I've been hesitant to look at this page. It frightens me. Perhaps it frightens you, too. I can't see it serving any other purpose. It's the Ventriloquist Dolls page.

Breeders of night terrors, these 2 ft. tall puppets of pandemonium were available in a variety of creepy characters, such as: Bozo the Clown (who, in the picture, is waving at me: Brrrrrrr!); Lester (who, as evidenced by his stuffed body language, is definitely in cahoots with Howdy Doody); and the ring leader, Charlie McCarthy, whose endless reserves of old money, I suspect, funded his secret society which solely existed to silently intimidate and deeply haunt me. [Psaur's note: Yes, I doctored Bozo into Pogo. Sweet dreams!]

12. PAGE 399 (5): Scenic Sun Forest Clock. I've saved the second-best for last. This scenic wall clock is constructed of a full-color photograph of a misty sun-dappled forest floor mounted on pressed cardboard, with four Arabic numerals in the corner. Yes, I've changed my mind about scenic wall clocks. I like them. If only I could find one with Boba Fett.

I put down the catalog, stretch my arms and legs and stand up. I've been lying on the couch for several hours. I detect a soft scent of pine in the room as I walk towards the kitchen to look out the window. The sky is white and overcast. The air looks still and cold. I don't ask for anything for Christmas anymore. My wishes have come true. My Christmas season has begun.

December, 2001

Mike, here's a little something for you as a thank you for your swell reminiscence. (Yes, this means monetary compensation is right out.)

This post elicited further wistful waxings and rheumy ruminations from the CEO of Q'ner Industries, who found a spot where you can view the 1979 catalog yourself...

A Ouija For Gigi...

Flipping through a New York Daily News from December 1980, I found this Christmas Toys R Us ad, in which Geoffrey Giraffe puts the Satanic mystifying oracle on his shopping list.

Note how he strangely asserts "It's true, it's true!" I'm sure Crowley would have enjoyed spotting the subliminal phallic designs in there, too. Check out Geoff's snout, and the ear/helmet with scrotal pom-pom. (Oh, and by the way, Gigi is Geoffrey's wife. But you probably already knew that, right?)

Sunday, December 18, 2005

More Christmas Specials of the Seventies...

Ah, the Yule Log! That brief shot (fifteen seconds or so) of Gracie Mansion coziness that played on a loop for hours. It seemed all New Yorkers (and tri-staters) adored that cathode ray fireplace, even as they ridiculed it. In my home, we opened our gifts on Christmas Eve, but we didn't have a TV in the living room so we just had the WPIX-FM simulcast playing. I know they've revived this in recent years, but I went to the WPIX website (it's now a WB station), and it didn't mention anything about it.

I remember watching this in 1977, not only because we always enjoyed Der Bingle's Christmas specials, but my older brothers were intrigued by Bowie's appearance. Of course, this was Bing's last special, having died shortly after taping it that October. Sorry the pic came out so bad, but the ad copy says "Christmas spirits really come alive" in the show. Bad taste in TV advertising? Shocking...

When I think of Mac Davis, I think of biting satire. Or something that bites, anyway. In this 1978 special, Scroogey Ted Knight sings "I Hate People," a song which I know nothing about but am pretty sure that The Feeb should cover.
From 1975, an ad for "Jerry and Lisa: Christmas Lost & Found." Jerry Sroka and Lisa Wilkinson star in a "musical fantasy about two enchanted clowns too poor to buy each other gifts." Sounds appalling.
New York Telephone, which first had Dial-a-Santa, here evens things out by introducing Dial Hanukkah. Of course, nowadays Hanukkah has become so commercial, everyone forgets about Judah the Maccabee...

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

From The "The More Things Change..." Department.

A full-page ad from the Christmas 1977 issue of TV Guide. Jerry Falwell begins a fight that will only become more desperate as the end times near. Funny, it doesn't mention liberals, just those darn godless commercialists...

Sunday, December 11, 2005

The Specials Christmas Forgot. (With 2018 Enhancements!)

[2018 update: Hi, I'm here from the future to add some stuff! It's the 40th anniversary of the special I'm about to tell you about, so what the hell. All pics are new except the TV Guide ad.]
I was going to post pics of TV Guide ads for all the old familiar Christmas specials, but I figure those shows are running incessantly on ABC Family anyway [which is now Freeform, which is a really stupid name for a channel, particularly one that shows eight hours of Last Man Standing in a row, and anyway they don't show the old Rankin/Bass specials that much anymore because AMC is showing them this year. Oh, sorry, I'll get back to the post.], so I'll stick with the ones nobody remembers: Christmas at Disney World.

I taped this 1978 special a few years ago, when the Disney Channel used to show cool old stuff overnight instead of endless episodes of "Boy Meets World." It's a pretty lame one, a fact telegraphed immediately by the opening shot of Victorian carolers being pelted with fake snow in the Orlando sun.
Shields and Yarnell start things out as the Clinkers, their robot husband and wife shtick, which is actually kind of amusing. Here Mr. Clinker gives the Mrs. a lift.

Then Pablo Cruise belts out a crap pop ditty. I don't know which guy is Pablo, and neither do you.
Avery Schreiber goes on interminably as Gepetto, cracking wise about getting splinters in his hand when he spanked Pinocchio and so forth. He sings a maudlin ballad about being lonely now that Pinocchio has moved away, and he creepily crafts a puppet that looks like a little clone of himself.
Here he gets a little handsy for my taste.
Phyllis Diller and Dee from "What's Happening!" trade stale yocks (jokes about forced busing, etc.) presumably lifted from an old Mad magazine by Neil Simon's brother, Danny, who takes co-writing cred. I guess Bruce Vilanch was busy, or still hiding from George Lucas.
Soon there's lots more from S & Y, together and separately. His stuff is all slapstick, hers is ballet and jazz dancing. And might I add: yowza! Who knew she was such a piece?
The best part of her segments, however, is when she dances ballet as Sleeping Beauty. The guy playing Prince Charming wears tights that should not have been allowed anywhere near the family viewing hour, if my drift is caught.
He looks like he's got either Chip or Dale in there, cradling a walnut. I must point out that this Prince is not played by Shields, although I'm sure the guy wished he was wearing a shield at the point where he spins Yarnell and her extended knee nails him right in the chipmunk! She whacks his sack with such force that a comical sound effect really should have been added. But that's what he gets for putting it out there like that. I'll say this for him, he takes that knee like a man. A man in powder-blue tights, true, but he barely flinches, whereas I would have buckled like a cardboard canoe.
[And now you get to see it as a GIF!]
The show ends with a depressed-looking Andrea McArdle singing some listless standards and a fruity original song the like of which turns up on all these 70's specials, with Valium-inspired lyrics and a meandering, determinedly uncatchy melody. Avery then joins Andrea, still dressed as Gepetto, and she strokes his ferret. I'm not kidding.
Here Lorene wonders, as does the audience, when Robert is going to wrap up his sappy soliloquy.
Overall, it's no Star Wars Holiday Special, but if you're looking for something Christmasy to watch in an enhanced state, it'll do in a pinch. Just don't forget to wear a cup.

I'm not sure when this first aired, but this ad is from a 1978 TV Guide. Of course, this was part of Chuck Jones' Cricket trilogy, along with "A Cricket in Times Square" and "Yankee Doodle Cricket."

From 1979, this Johnny Cash Christmas special (of which there were several back in the day) has Andy Kaufman doing Elvis, which is something I'd really like to see. I mean, Elvis had only been dead for two years at this point---did he play it for laughs?

From 1975 (and rebroadcast for several years), this John Denver special also features Steve Martin, who doesn't even merit a mention in the ad.
From 1978, Pink's special brings attention to the plight of the homeless as he spends the "funniest yuletide ever" starving in Central Park. I'm not kidding.

From 1978, Benji's special is celebrity-free and highlighted, according to TV Guide, by a "lavish dance sequence featuring Kris [Kringle] and 65 elves."
From 1978, Dean Martin sings and swings while flanked, as usual, by Golddiggers. Despite Dino's undoubtedly toxic breath, I'd bet the gals would attest that holding him up was still a better gig than being arm candy for that stammering twit Mel Tillis.

From 1978, a Lorne Greene-narrated tale of a despised burro who befriends a rat named Omar and ends up at the Nativity. Of course, Nestor the long-eared donkey also shows up, and things get awkward.
From 1977, an eco-friendly tale of how Bashful Bear must foil the "dirt-spreading, smog-making Snerps" who are out to poop all over Santa's ride. Features "The Snerp Song."

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Happy Birthday, Dad.

My dad's birthday was a few days ago, and the anniversary of his death two days after that. I wasn't going to post anything, but now that I'm here and posting stuff I thought I may as well put my remembrance from my other site here. [6/19/16 note: That site is kaput, so the story is now here, on this very blog.] It's never easy this time of year, but it was better this year than a few years back when I realized I've known him longer as a memory than as a dad. Twenty years this year... Love you, dad.

From a 70's TV Guide, I forget the year.

Best Christmas special ever.

Mr. Lantern Fishworks made me a CD of the soundtrack a few years back, and that's what I listen to most during this season. It's not unusual for my wife and me to drunkenly crumble into tears listening to "When You're Alone."
I can't find the pics I'm looking for, so here's a late-70's ad for Hicks Nurseries. I mostly remember their Easter displays, but I probably ambled through this larger-than-life diorama too.