When I was a wee lad there were a few shows I remember coming on erratically on the weekends, I would always search the newspaper TV listings on the weekends to see if they would pop up. These were shows that had basically run their course in syndication and were now relegated to TV's remainder bin.
Highway Patrol, Dragnet, Ripcord, Robin Hood, and Sea Hunt come to mind as examples (many of these Christmas shows have been removed but I substituted others - enjoy!). Not that these shows were anything extra special, standard 1950's TV fare, but they were often the only thing on other than fishing shows and bowling competitions.
In that spirit here's the Christmas episode of Highway Patrol starring Broderick Crawford. If you're wondering why Broderick Crawford was chosen to be a host for Saturday Night Live so early in the series' run it's because of the indelible mark he made on our generation because of endless reruns of Highway Patrol on local stations.
Dragnet's holiday offering: A Gun for Christmas
Betty White starred in the 1950s sitcom Date With the Angels, this is Santa's Helper.
Coca-Cola has long associayed itself with the holidays. Here's a Christmas commercial from the 1950s...
Kids in the 1950s were enthralled with a puppet show airing weekdays called Howdy Doody. Howdy, Clarabelle the Clown, and Buffalo Bob celebrated Christmas with the kiddies back in 1951:
The Adventres of Ozzie & Harriett was a long-running family sitcom that captured America's heart - because the Nelsons were a real family! They provide a crystal clear projection of what the holidays were all about in the 1950s. Ideally, that is.
Rudolph, Frosty, you know the cartoon classics! But in the 1950s, these are the much, much weirder animated versions the kids were hep to on television. Great work by Disney protege Ub Iwerks...
BONUS: Mr. Ed was a very popular syndicated television show in the 1960s, at a time when it was somewhat unusual for a syndicated show not to be reruns of a network primetime series. It's very provencial and hoepelessly old fashioned but reflects nicely the prevailing feeling of Christmastime in the 1960s.
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