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2009 Christmas Blog Entries
TVparty! Classic TV Christmas

by Billy Ingram

I hope you and yours are having / had a wonderful Christmas!

Friday, December 25, 2009 4:15pm


In regards to some earlier posts Sean Dougherty of Friends of Old Time Radio adds: Edgar Bergen's last appearance was in The Muppet Movie, which I always thought was nice, all things considered. And if you called Mortimer, Charlie or Effie "puppets" to his face, he might have hit you. My understanding is that ventriloquists hate that.

Which reminds me of this appearance Edgar Bergen did on Jack Paar Tonight, the series that ran briefly on ABC in the 1970s. I believe this was on one of the last Paar programs, from 1973. Remember what a great job he did as Grandpa Walton in The Homecoming, the TV movie that spawned The Waltons? Wonder why he didn't get the series gig? It sure was good for Will Geer's career.

Thursday, December 24, 2009 1:30pm


Arnold Stang photoKevin Butler writes: Character actor and movie and TV cartoon voice over performer Arnold Stang died recently in a hospital in Newton, Ma. He was 91 years old and suffering from Pneumonia.

Born in NYC in 1918 (although some sources say that he was born in Chelsea, Ma.) he auditioned for the NBC network radio version of "The Horn & Hardadt Children's Hour" doing a dramatic reading of the Edgar Allen Poe poem "The Raven". His reading came out more comedic than serious so he became a comedy performer.

His appearances on "The H&H Children's Hour" led to other roles on numerous radio shows like "Let's Pretend", "The Archie Andrews Show" and "The Milton Berle Show".

He also appeared in many movies - "My Sister Eileen" (the original 1940's version with Roz Russell, Allyn Joslyn, George Tobias, Gordon Jones and The Three Stooges), "The Man With The Golden Arm"(his only onscreen dramatic performance with Frank Sinatra), "Dondi", "It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World!"and "Dennis The Menace".

He was also the on camera spokesman for Chunky Candy Bars back in the late-1950s, Mr. Stang was the one who made famous the catch phrase "What A Chunk Of Chocolate!".

He also appeared on many TV shows, among them "Texaco Star Theater", "The Milton Berle Show", "Chico & The Man", and "The Cosby Show" (his last TV appearance where he played the english teacher who encourages Sammy Davis, Jr. to learn to read).

But Arnold Stang will be best remembered for his work as a cartoon voice over performer. He did the voice of Herman Mouse for "The Herman & Katnip" movie cartoons.

He was also the voice of Hadji Baba The reformed cannibal in "Alakazam The Great", "Nerdle The Twerdle", the alien space agent in "Pinocchio In Outer Space" and as the NYC based feline con man (Top Cat) in "Top Cat", "Yogi's Treasure Hunt" and the animated TV movie "Top Cat & The Beverly Hills Cats".

During his later years Mr. Stang left TV acting to perform in summer stock and dinner theaters and to do voice overs for radio commercials.

His last project was being interviewed for a documentary about the creation of "The Top Cat" cartoons for the DVD collection.

I was lucky enough to meet and interview Mr. Stang in NYC years ago and he was kind enough to give me, a young writer, info about his work as a character actor and cartoon VO artist.


Tuesday, December 22, 2009 10:00am


Nothing irks me more than today's pop stars ripping off the great Christmas classics - like the way Madonna did with Eartha Kitt's 'Santa Baby'. I mean, that was Kitt's only shot at airplay every year and that slutty ghoul steals it right down to the arrangement and catty delivery. Shameful! Kinda like what Beyonce did recently with Etta James' 'At Last'.

Or what Clay Aiken tried to do with the David Bowie / Bing Crosby Christmas medley - sacrilege! Like I would rather hear Clay Aiken's voice than Bowie's! These remakes are meant to replace the originals - like New Coke. When Perez Hilton comes out with a Christmas album, then I'll really be pissed!

Anyway, here's my final Christmas tune recorded since 1964 that I enjoy hearing each year (I can only think of five) - 'Same Old Lang Syne' by Dan Fogelberg. Released in 1981, this song is both sweet and sour, reflecting the same mixed feelings I have around the Holidays. Dan Fogelberg died almost exactly two years ago on December 16, 2007.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009 7:21am


Monday, December 21, 2009 2:06pm

H. York wants to know what happened to his Christmas classic: I am in search of a very old (early to mid-1950s), 30 minute black and white TV show that aired every Christmas on TV in New York.  I believe at that time it was WOR-TV, perhaps channel 9.  The show was titled either "Silent Night" or "The Story of Silent Night."  It showed how Franz Gruber came to compose the song on guitar when the church organ had been invaded by mice.  It is not a cartoon, had real actors, and that's about all of the information I can give you.  It disappeared from the air waves when the 50s ended.

Any ideas?

Sunday, December 20, 2009 1:06pm

RIP Connie Hines
Kevin Butler writes: Actress Connie Hines, who played Mrs. Carol Post on the "Mr. Ed" TV show, is dead, she passed away at a Beverly Hills hospital on Friday December 18, 2009.

Ms. Hines had made guest appearances on many TV shows like "Perry Mason" but she will always be remembered for playing Alan Young's (Wilbur Post's) wife who never believed that her husband had a trouble making, talking horse named Mr. Ed.

In recent years Ms. Hines had retired from acting, her only public appearances had been at nostalgia conventions with Mr. Young and appearing on TV and radio talk shows like "Entertainment Tonight", "Hour Magazine" with Gary Collins and "Stu's Show".

Sunday, December 20, 2009 1:00pm

You have to read this eye popping article about the decietful business practices of Direct TV - wow!

Sunday, December 20, 2009 7:49am


I've been counting down, in no particular order, the only 5 Christmas songs recorded since 1964 that I enjoy today.

I picked 1964 rather arbitrarily. For one it's 45 years ago, but it's also after what I think was the last great Christmas album - A Christmas Gift for You from Phil Spector (originally released as A Christmas Gift for You from Philles Records and later as Phil Spector's Christmas Album in 1971). I'm excepting A Charlie Brown Christmas which didn't get a wide album release when the special aired and is a soundtrack anyway.

A Christmas Gift for You from Phil Spector works for me while the Motown Christmas albums most certainly don't - it's got more soul for one thing and the arrangements are joyful while the Motown tunes seem too forced. I never got the feeling that Diana Ross and the Supremes or The Jackson Five had ever even heard those songs much less had an overwhelming desire to sing them.

But Ronnie Spector and Darlene Love tear into those holiday hits on A Christmas Gift like their lives depended on it. Come to think of it, maybe they did if Phil Spector was locked and loaded that night in the studio.

The LP didn't do so well on its original release date - the day Kennedy was assassinated - but A Christmas Gift was massively popular when it was re-released in 1971. Spector's Wall of Sound was perfect for the genre. 'Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)' by Darlene Love has become a bona fide holiday classic but Love's 'White Christmas' and The Ronettes 'Frosty The Snowman' and 'Sleigh Ride' are equally as pleasing. There is no better soundtrack for a Christmas party.

Just listen to the orgasmic orchestration on 'Sleigh Ride' and try to sit still.

And the sublime sounds of Darlene Love singing 'Winter Wonderland' followed by more from the album including 'Baby Please Come Home'.

Sunday, December 20, 2009 7:30am


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, Whirlybirds, Ripcord, Robin Hood, and Sea Hunt come to mind as examples. 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.

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.

Now Sea Hunt, the third episode in the first season of the Lloyd Bridges classic.

Next up an episode of Ripcord starring Larry Pernell & Ken Curtis.

Finally, the theme song from Robin Hood as it was released as a single for kids.

Saturday, December 19, 2009 11:45am


Wonderama Christmas shows

I brought up a few anniversaries recently - Kevin Butler, the king of the local TV anniversary salutes, points out that this Christmas Day holds a special place in NYC TV history: This coming Friday, December 25, 2009 marks the 50th anniversary of the very first broadcast of WPIX 11's annual Christmas Party TV specials.

On that very first Christmas Party the station had their resident kid's TV hosts/performers "Officer Joe" Bolton, "Bozo The Clown" (Bill Britten) and "Captains" Allen Swift and Jack McCarthy engage the viewers in games, craft making songs, holiday stories, magic tricks, comedy and puppet skits along with informational segments.

All of this was wrapped around reruns of old movie cartoons and syndicated TV shows like "The Adventures Of Superman", "Jeff's Collie"("Lassie"), "Sgt. Preston", "Casey Jones", and "The Abbott & Costello Show."

The 6 hour live program was set against the backdrop of the living room of a private house and was sponsored by The Ward Baking Company (the bakers of Bond Bread, "Tip Top Lucky" snack cakes And "Bit O'Honey" and "Chunk Candies").

WPIX Christmas Shows of the 1960sThe show was a hit and Channel 11 decided to air another Christmas Party on Sunday December 25, 1960.

"Officer Joe", "Captain Jack" and "Bozo" returned as the show's hosts ("Captain Allen" Swift had left Channel 11 and "The Popeye Show" months earlier) along with Chuck McCann who was beginning his stint as the MC of "Laurel & Hardy & Chuck" and "Let's Have Fun."

Christmas Day TVThe show was again a hit and TV 11 aired another show on Monday, December 25, 1961 with "Fireman Todd" Russell (formerly "Big Todd" on NBC and ABC's "Rootie Kazootie Clubs") who was then hosting "The Three Stooges Firehouse" added to the list of personalities on the program.

Bolton (who was hosting "The Dick Tracy Cartoon Show") appeared in the show as "Police Chief" Joe Bolton.

Channel 11 aired the fourth Christmas Party on Tuesday, December 25, 1962 only "Police Chief" Joe Bolton, "Captain Jack" McCarthy and "Fireman Todd" Russell appeared on the show as the hosts.

WPIX aired the fifth and final Christmas Party on Wednesday, December 25, 1963. This time "Officer Joe", "Captain Jack", "Fireman Todd", "Bozo", and Chuck McCann were joined by "The Merry Mailman" (Ray Heatherton), "The Old Philosopher" (Eddie Lawrence) and by John Zacherley ("The Cool Ghoul").

Unfortunately, the show's hosts/performers never appeared on camera. Since many TV stations were giving their airtime to covering the investigations into the murder of President John F. Kennedy, Channel 11 didn't tape any on air segments, they simply had the hosts pre-tape voice-overs for the purpose of introducing the films.

Those young viewers lucky enough to participate in those holiday TV specials were able to retain happy memories of spending Christmastime with their favorite television friends while mother cooked the holiday meals.

Saturday, December 19, 2009 8:56am


It was Christmastime 35 years ago that Bob Eubanks bid an emotional goodbye on the last (for a while) episode of The Newlywed Game.

Thirty years ago we were saying, "Tonight, let it be Lowenbrau."

It was Christmastime 25 years ago that Band Aid's single 'Do They Know It's Christmas' hijacked the airwaves.

Who can forget (remember?) The Solid Gold Christmas Special where Rick Dees, Crystal Gayle and the Solid Gold Dancers counted down the Christmas hits. It happened 25 years ago in 1984 and it's not that bad. Considering.

Friday, December 18, 2009 9:32am


They're calling for snow where I live and once again I'm shaking my head. With a low of 31 and a high of 36 I can't understand why the local media treats it like the coming of the rains of Ranchipur. I've said it before, I think the TV stations are in league with the grocery stores to terrify the population and send them like lemmings into the Piggly Wiggly in a mad dash for milk, bread and comfort foods, most of which will go bad when nothing happens.

Last year one of the TV stations had every available reporter and intern out in the streets, fanning out over a six city area. They were on the air from 5:30 until 9:00am and not one flake of snow fell. Literally, not a flake and the entire broadcast was made up of hopeless speculation and cutaways to the hapless reporters who had to say something but had nothing to talk about. It was like Waiting For Godot remade as a morning show. If that's not a microcosm of all that's wrong with TV news I don't know what is.

I figure the station managers strongly encourage the weather folks to call for snow if there's even a remote possibility so their the advertising reps can ring up the grocery stores, tell them the station's calling for snow on Friday, then sell them an enhanced ad package. Then again, people think I'm cynical.

Don't get me wrong - I love snow especially around Christmas and the last days of Chanukah. It's just that they're wrong 70% of the time they call for a winter event. But I'll be looking forward to seeing the white stuff fall, if and when - it's so rare these days, not like when I was young and we got 3 or 4 good snows (and a few light ones) a year on average.

Here's something to keep you warm this weekend no matter where you are - the Yule Log!

Friday, December 18, 2009 7:50am


Susan Walker writes: "A Charlie Brown Christmas" aired last night, as I'm sure you know.  I DVR'd it just in case my little grandchildren didn't have a chance to watch.  But it made me rather sad.  Here's why.
This lovely little show came out in 1965 - about the same time as the other legendary Christmas kids' shows were premiered.  I was nine and my brother was four.  Now, quite a few of our Christmases were spent at my grandparents' home in Kannapolis, NC.  They had one of those huge Magnavox consoles with the radio, turntable, and 25 inch color television (complete with a Channel Master remote and antenna control, which my brother and I thought was just cool as hell).  If we happened to be at their home when a holiday special came on, we would lie on our stomachs in front of the TV, watching avidly.  (Same thing with Batman!) I particularly remember the CBS interstitials that used to air during Christmas - for instance, the woodman playing "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" on his saw as the birds sang along - playing on their TV.
I have a 20-inch Emerson sitting about four feet up in an entertainment center.  We have yet to purchase an HDTV.  I just wish consoles could still be purchased so that my little granddaughters could know the fun of lying on their little stomachs in front of a big old "Magnificent Magnavox", watching Linus teach Charlie Brown the real meaning of Christmas.  Sigh.

Here's an article from The Collectors Weekly - a new interview with Smithsonian pop culture curator Dwight Blocker Bowers.

And now back to the holiday tunes - 'I Believe in Father Christmas' by Greg Lake of Emerson, Lake & Palmer makes my list of post-modern Christmas tunes. Released in 1975, this song takes a more cynical view of the holiday but there's something about the overly bombastic orchestration that gets me - along with the line "The Christmas we get we deserve." Here's a lovely live version from 1994.

Thursday, December 17, 2009 6:20am


One more - I'm running out already - of my fave holiday songs recorded since 1964. David Bowie's duet with Bing Crosby, the quintessential holiday crooner, is also one of my likes. Recorded for Crosby's very last Christmas special in 1977 (it aired after he died) it was an odd pairing - Der Bingle had no idea who Bowie was! Heck, Bowie didn't know who Bowie was during this period, his 'Thin White Duke' phase. But the ying and yang aspect of this medley somehow made it click. For some reason this tune started getting airplay in the 1980s, took America by storm and has become an overplayed Christmas classic in its own right.

Here's some holidays funny from Jim Gaffigan.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009 7:35am


Principal photography has wrapped on the film I've been working on, just a few pickup scenes to do with my character. Since everyone was thrilled with what I did I guess I can relax behind it - if I was that type of person. Me, I'm the constantly worrying and revisiting type. Despite being battered and bruised and nearly catching pneumonia it was one of the best experiences of my life. The wild thing about that project - I got to do everything I always dreamed of doing in a film role all in that one character part - including singing and making a drunken fool of myself. I suppose it will be edited some time around March and then they'll submit it to festivals and see if there is any interest there. A private showing will be held locally so I'll let you know if you want to attend and you're in the area.

As promised, here's another of my very few favorite Christmas tunes recorded since 1964. Other than the entire soundtrack to A Charlie Brown Christmas I can only think of a handful of holiday tunes recorded in the last 45 years that tripped my trigger.

This one's 'Christmas Wrapping' by The Waitresses released in 1981. The Waitresses were a subversive little New Wave band from Ohio that became massively popular in Southern California with 'I know What Boys Like,' a very minor 1982 hit nationwide but a huge smash in So Cal. The Waitresses were a cut above the other local New Wave groups around LA, mostly due to the superior songwriting skills of Chris Butler, but they broke up before fully taking flight. I think I must have latched on to this song because it came out around the time I was looking for my own meaning in Christmas and I was listening to KROQ a lot. Great times!

Monday, December 14, 2009 6:44am


You could count on one hand the number of Christmas songs recorded since 1964 that I enjoy hearing. I don't even like the Motown versions. I'm a purist, I go for the tunes I heard as a wee kid, Crosby, Andy Williams, Perry Como, Sinatra, you know the ones. One tune that made my Christmas Hit Parade is Robert Earl Keen's 'Merry Christmas From The Family' from 15 years ago. In the days leading up to the Christmas I'll link you up with my other Holiday faves.

Saturday, December 12, 2009 6:50am


Kevin Butler writes:
Actor and singer Gene Barry, TV's Bat Masterson and Amos Burke, is dead. Mr. Barry Died recently at a Woodland Hills, CA nursing home (not the Motion Picture and TV Country Home), he was 90 years old.

Born Eugene Klass in NYC in 1919 Mr. Barry had been a film actor appearing in such movies as George Pal's screen adaptation of War Of The Worlds and Soldier Of Fortune with Clark Gable.

He would leave movies for a career in TV in 1958 as Mr. Barry appeared during the last season of Our Miss Brooks with Eve Arden and later that year as Bat Masterson. The NBC TV depiction of the infamous gambler, ladies' man and gun fighter was a highly fictionalized vision of Masterson but viewers didn't care. They fell in love with Barry's version of the character, Lord knows I did. The show became a popular series on NBC and remained on the air until 1961.

Mr. Barry would go on to play well-to-do police official Amos Burke on Burke's Law on ABC where he would solve crimes and appear with many well know actors such as Zasu Pitts and Buster Keaton.

He also appeared on The Name Of The Game and The Adventurer. After The Adventurer went off the air Mr. Barry made the move to the stage where he appeared in such musicals as Kismet, Destry, and La Cage Aux Folles playing the gay nightclub owner Georges.

These stage performances gave him the opportunity to utilize his talents for acting and singing.

Barry would also make guest appearances on many TV shows during the 1980s; he acted and sang on an episode of Charlie's Angels with Cheryl Ladd, he played the unfaithful husband of politician wife Jean Simmons on a Perry Mason TV Movie and he played Bat Masterson one more time as an aging sports promoter on a CBS TV western.

His last TV appearance was on a forgettable CBS TV remake of Burke's Law where he solved crimes with his estranged son and his Asian driver and crime fighting aide de camp. The series was not a hit and it left the air after a few shows.

Mr. Barry is survived by his three children, his wife Betty died in 2003.

Bob Mills writes: Bursting the buttons on my L.L. Bean corduroy jacket, pride engulfs me as I announce that today THE LAUGH MAKERS was chosen one of Leonard Maltin's "Top 20 Entertainment Books of 2009."  I really appreciate your support and encouragement while I was writing and promoting the book -- having folks cheering you on really makes a big difference and for that I thank you all. And while I'm at it, Shelley and I wish you a Joyous Holiday Season and a Happy & Prosperous 2010!

Saturday, December 12, 2009 6:30am


Well, since I've been talking about this movie I'm co-starring in, Lake of Fire, I thought I'd show you a couple of snippets. Don't tell anybody.

I mentioned in an earlier post a long night at the Rockingham County Detention Center - we shot most of what they needed downstairs in the administrative offices but around 3:00am we went upstairs to film my scenes in the holding cell just outside of gen pop (I watched Oz!). We were really afraid that the inmates would catch on that we were filming a movie and get rowdy and try to ruin all of our takes. I mean, why not, what else do they have to do? But by that hour things were very pretty quiet and we were just outside of eyesight. They run a tight ship down there. We just had to be quiet and get the job done.

This first bit was myself with Seth behind the camera fooling around - don't I look natural behind those iron bars? I should, it's my second time in a jail cell - the first time was in a movie from the same director in 2001 if you must know!

This next bit is an outtake. Thank goodness the dolly messed up and ruined the take because it's way too overwrought. But everyone seems to think this is funny so I'll share it with you.

Lake of Fire is a Southern Gothic tale of murder, intrigue, drunkeness and debauchery that will hopefully smack you upside the head in 2010. This same crew goes to work on a film that starts in January called Elephant Sighs starring Ed Asner and other familiar faces. It's an AMAZING script, something to look forward to next year, you heard it here first.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009 11:11am


One Bank of America customer advocate has been actually helping out customers that are trapped with exorbitant interest rates and ridiculously high late and overdraft fees. Nice to know someone in corporate America is on our side! Oh wait - BofA fired her for it. Ho Ho Ho!

OM writes: You might want to add this YouTube clip featuring the clipped-off part of the ending of “A Charlie Brown Christmas”. Triggered the memory of the night it premiered in 1965, and proved that I wasn’t wrong in remembering that the song ended in a higher pitch crescendo than most versions of the song tend to end with: Always surprised me why they just didn’t redub the audio from the original masters after Coca-Cola ceased being the sole sponsor in 1967.

Then there's this:

classic tv blog

Tuesday, December 8, 2009 6:10am


Kevin Butler elaborates on a previous post about Edgar Bergen on television: Mr. Bergen never really performed with his puppets on a regular comedy/variety show or a sitcom. He made guest appearances with his puppets on variety specials (oftimes his own). He appeared on variety shows hosted by persons like Jackie Gleason and appeared with his puppets on game shows like "What's My Line?" and the 1950s and 1970s versions of "Masquerade Party" (On the 1950s network version of "Masquerade Party" Mr. Bergen was joined by TV's most popular ventriloquist Mr. Paul Winchell).

His only regular TV stint was as the first host/performer of "Do You Trust Your Wife?" (later in the show's run the program's title was changed to "Who Do you Trust?") on NBC TV. Bergen and his puppets would have a husband and wife try to see if they really knew about each other by asking them questions. The show's other hosts were Johnny Carson and Woody Woodbury. In the 1980s the concept was revived by ventriloquist Jay Johnson as a short lived syndicated series.

Bergen and his puppets also appeared on Walt Disney's first TV special "One Hour In Wonderland" a Christmas special that featured a preview of Disney's feature length animated version of Lewis Carroll's children's classic "Alice In Wonderland" and some scenes from his many animated films. There was also guest appearances on that Christmas show by Kathryn Beaumont, the voices of "Alice" and "Wendy"; Bob Driscoll, the Voice Of "Peter Pan"; Hans Conried as "The Magic Talking Mirror"; and Mr. Disney's two daughters Sharon and Diane. "One Hour In Wonderland" aired in 1950.

Susan Walker adds: Ever noticed that Jeff Dunham's "Bubba J" bears a distinct resemblance to Mortimer Snerd?

Monday, December 7, 2009 8:30am


Just to demonstrate how behind I am, this came last month - but it's great news for folks who love local kid shows and Twin Cities viewers in particular.
Julian West tells us: Holy smokes! That "Hi kids! A Retrospective of Twin Cities Children's Television" event at the Heights Theater in September was such an overwhelming success that the Museum of Broadcasting is issuing a DVD of the whole thing! The DVD is two hours long and has all the material that was shown at the Heights -- rare, vintage video of Axel, Carmen, Casey & Roundhouse, T. N. Tatters, Clancy & Willie, Grandpa Ken, and more -- as well as edited video of everyone who was on stage. Wow! It'll almost be like being there!
Contact the Museum of Broadcasting:
3515 Raleigh Ave
St Louis Park, MN 55416
(952) 926-8198

Now that would make a unique Christmas gift!

Monday, December 7, 2009 7:39am

Debbie writes: There was a show that I think I saw in the late 80's/early 90's called something like "A Wish for Christmas" about a little girl who wants a grandma for Christmas and she leaves the orphanage or school where she stays and gets on a bus and gets off at a town where she doesn't know anyone. Somehow she gets to an older woman's home and asks her if she'll be her grandma and the man and woman of course are delighted. It's an animated piece, probably 30 minutes long. I've never been able to find it and it was so touching to me because I am adopted and this really echoed my feelings at one time. Do you have any idea where I could find this?

Cecilia Tamayo: I have been looking high and low for this film/movie.  It would be showing during Christmas time when I was a little girl.  I believe it was out in the 1950's or 1960's, it may even be from England.  Although I saw it late 60's early 70's or so.

The story goes that there is a little girl sick in bed, very ill. Her father comes home and gives her a music box of "Twas the Night Before Christmas.  It veered away from that moment and started an animated story of the was done so well.  The station...2 - 4 or 7 (we only had about 5 stations back then) stopped it one year and started playing the ridiculous 'Twas the Night before Christmas a mouse tail instead.  It was surely a gloomy time, my mother was horrified.  Every time I see it come on, I long for the other.  It was so beautifully done.  They always seem to take the good stuff away and put on crap instead. 

Monday, December 7, 2009 7:35am


Jesse 'The Body' Ventura goes on the Opie & Anthony 'radio' show and watch what happens at the end - is it me or does Ventura look like he's a second away from pummeling the whiny, unattractive bald guy behind the microphone?

From The Onion News Network - why do I think there's more than a little truth to this? Does every point I have to make have to be framed as a question? Is it exhaustion from long shooting days?

Zombie Reagan Raised From Grave To Lead GOP

Monday, December 7, 2009 7:25am


In weeks North Carolina - the tobacco state - will ban smoking in all public buildings including bars and restaurants. Let's look back at a time when smoking wasn't considered such a big deal and big tobacco sponsored your favorite TV shows. Here are some some Winston Cigarette ads starring the cast of The Beverly Hillbillies.

Sadly, the actress that played Cousin Pearl (and Betty Rubble) Bea Benaderet died of lung cancer a few years years later.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009 11:43am


Thirty years ago back in 1979 American were still being entertained by the dulcet tones of Guy Lombardo and The Royal Canadians on New Year's Eve on CBS. Well, the The Royal Canadians anyway, Guy himself passed away in 1977 but it was a testament to his popularity on New Year's Eve that the program went on without him for two years. The live broadcast was so entrenched no other network could compete. Their recording of 'Auld Lang Syne' is, to this day, the first song of the new year heard in Times Square. Here's a bit from that last special, it all looks so quaint compared to our modern frenetic rockin' New Year's Eve shows.

Speaking of quaint, check out these Holiday messages that ran in theaters in the 1950s.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009 7:42am


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Christmas DVDs

Christmas specials on DVD / Christmas DVDsBing Crosby Christmas TV Specials on DVD!

We've compiled a catalog of
classic TV Christmas specials on DVD!

TVparty! presents a comprehensive list of the best Holiday TV specials currently available on DVD - the ones you grew up with! They're hard to find!

All of these DVD collections are massively discounted - with prices much lower than you'll find in the stores - no sales tax - and free shipping is available!

You're saving money - big time!

Abbott & Costello Christmas Show

A Christmas Carol (Ultimate Collector's Edition)

A Christmas Carol (1951)

A Christmas Carol (1984)

A Christmas Carol (2004)

A Christmas Story

A Colbert Christmas

Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet: Christmas with the Nelsons

Alvin and the Chipmunks - A Chipmunk Christmas

America's Home Video - Holidays

Andy Williams - Best of the Christmas Shows

Andy Williams Christmas from Branson

Are You Being Served Christmas


Beverly Hillbillies - Christmas Episodes

Bing Crosby Christmas Specials

Bing Crosby's White Christmas All Star Show

Bing Crosby / Kate Smith

Bob Hope - Hope for the Holidays

Bob Hope - Vietnam Years Christmas Specials


Captain & Tennille Christmas Special

Charlie Brown Christmas

Charlie Brown Holiday Specials

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

Christmas Classics (Rankin-Bass specials)

Christmas Comes To Willow Creek

Christmas on TV

Christmas Past - Vintage Holiday Films

Christmas Specials Collection

Christmas Time in South Park

Christmas TV Classics - Vol. 2

Christmas Unwrapped - The History of Christmas

Cinderella (Rodgers and Hammerstein's)

Classic Christmas Cartoons

Classic TV Christmas - (Bob Hope, Sonny & Cher, Osmonds)

Classic TV Christmas Collection

Classic TV Christmas Episodes

Cricket With Gumby

Claymation Christmas, Easter and Halloween

Cricket on the Hearth


Disney Classic Holiday Stories

Donny & Marie 1978 Christmas Special

Doris Day Show - Christmas Memories

Dragnet Christmas


Ed Sullivan - Christmas Classics

Ed Sullivan Show - Christmas Specials

Emmett Otter's Jug Band Christmas


Family Fireside Christmas

Fat Albert Christmas Special

Fat Albert Easter Special

Fat Albert Halloween Special

Flintstones Christmas Carol

Frosty the Snowman

Frosty Returns

Frosty's Winter Wonderland

Frank Sinatra / Bing Crosby Christmas Special


Garfield Holiday Celebrations

History of Christmas

Holiday Classics - 20 TV Episodes

Holiday on Ice

Holiday TV Classics

The Homecoming

Honeymooners Holiday Classics

The House Without a Christmas Tree

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Howdy Doody Christmas

Mr. Krueger's Christmas, 25th Anniversary, Starring Jimmy Stewart and The Mormon Tabernacle Choir, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

Jack Benny Christmas Episodes

Jack Frost

John Denver and the Muppets - Rocky Mountain Holiday

John Denver Montana Christmas Skies

Johnny Carson Tonight Show Christmas

Johnny Cash Christmas 1976

Johnny Cash Christmas 1977

Johnny Cash Christmas Special 1976-1979

Judy Garland Christmas Show


Kenny Rogers Christmas Special

Keeping Up Appearances - Deck the Halls with Hyacinth


Lawrence Welk Family Christmas

Lassie - Christmas Episodes

The Littles Christmas Special

Little Drummer Boy

Little House on the Prairie - Christmas Episode

Littlest Angel


March of the Wooden Soldiers

Marie Osmond's Merry Christmas

Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol

Mickey's Once Upon A Christmas

Muppet Family Christmas Special


Nestor, the Long-Eared Christmas Donkey

Nutcracker on Ice


One Special Night

Original Television Classics Sing-A-Long

Ozzie and Harriet Show - Christmas Episodes


Peanuts Holiday Specials

Pee-wee's Playhouse - Christmas Special

Perry Como - Christmas in Ireland

Pink Panther Christmas


Radio City Christmas Spectacular Starring The Rockettes

Rankin-Bass Holiday Specials - Ultimate DVD

Rare Christmas Classics

Rare Christmas TV Classics - Volume 2 (1950)

Red Skelton Christmas

Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer

Rudolph's Shiny New Year

Rudolph and Frosty's Christmas in July


Santa Claus is Coming to Town

Saturday Night Live Christmas

Saturday Night Live Halloween

SCTV Christmas Shows

Sesame Street Christmas

Sesame Street Halloween

Simpsons Christmas

Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour - Christmas Specials

Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour - Christmas 1972

Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour - Christmas 1973

Sonny & Cher Show - Christmas 1976

Spirit of Christmas

Strawberry Shortcake Berry Merry Christmas

Story of Christmas


Tennessee Ernie Ford Christmas Special

This Is Tom Jones Christmas

Timmie and Lassie - Christmas Episodes

T'was the Night Before Christmas

TV's Classic Holiday Adventures (1950s)


Waltons - The Homecoming

Winchell & Mahoney Christmas Show

Wonder Years - Holiday Episodes

Year Without a Santa Claus

The Yule Log

Classic Commercials on DVDThe King Family Christmas Shows on DVD

TV on DVD/ /Holiday Specials on DVD
TV Commercials on DVD
TV Shows on BLU-RAY

Saturday Morning Cartoons 1970s V1 on DVDSaturday Morning Cartoons 1960s V1 on DVD

Classic Commercials on DVDTV Commercials on DVD

Little Rascals on DVD

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Bob Hope Christmas Specials on DVD Bullwinkle on DVD Classic Commercials on DVD Little Rascals on DVD The TAMI Show Spirit of Christmas on DVD  Bullwinkle on DVD
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