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Advent Calendar House - TV Holiday & Christmas Specials
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Advent Calendar House - TV Holiday & Christmas Specials

Author: Mike Westfall

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A salute to all TV holiday specials, but mostly the Christmas ones. Revisit 12 holiday classics and not-so-classics each December and July.
151 Episodes
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A Christmas Carol (1984)

A Christmas Carol (1984)

2023-12-2402:21:21

🎄It’s 1984, and Ebenezer Scrooge is threatening to raise his asking price for a warehouse full of corn.  This Christmas Eve episode not only drops on a Scrooge Sunday, but it’s also the Advent Calendar House’s 150th episode. To celebrate, I let listeners vote for which “Christmas Carol” to cover, and the winner is the 1984 TV movie starring George S. Scott, along with original “Equalizer” Edward Woodward as a sassy Ghost of Christmas Present, and we even spotted our favorite Alfred Pennyworth, Michael Gough, as a not-so-portly gentleman.  ****  🎙 Guests:  Erin Evans (@mserinevans).  Joey O. (Y-Not Radio, @imgonnadj24).  Anthony Strand (ToughPigs.com, Movin’ Right Along, @durwoodclapper.bsky.social).  ****  💬 Topics & Tangents:  1. David Warner in “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze.”  2. George S. Scott in “Angus” and “Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue.”  3. “God Bless Us Everyone,” this movie’s theme music by Nick Bicât.  4. Wikipedia and NO ONE ELSE names one Cratchit child “Michael,” played by Susannah York’s (Mrs. Cratchit) real-life son, Orlando Wells.  5. Michael Carter (Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come) as Bib Fortuna in “Return of the Jedi.”  6. “It’s Corn,” and My favorite “Futurama” joke.  7. Scrooge’s grave, allegedly a real, reinscribed headstone, at St. Chad’s Church in Shrewsbury.  8. Twelve Hundred Ghosts - A Christmas Carol in Supercut.  ****  📼 Commercial Break:  IBM Sponsored Commercial Break from the original airing of “A Christmas Carol.”  George C. Scott “Read More About It” PSA.  The Christmas Podcast Network All-Star Comedy Christmas Show!  ****  “A Christmas Carol” © 1984 Travenol Laboratories Limited.  In memory of Jason Gross (1976–2023).  “Christmas in Your Heart” (from “A Garfield Christmas Special”) performed by Todd from Vista Blue/Second Saturday.   Theme song by Bronwen’s Ghost.  Full show notes and social links at adventcalendar.house.
Yogi’s First Christmas

Yogi’s First Christmas

2023-12-2201:30:11

🎄It’s 1980, and my spoiled nephew just got beaten in a ski-jumping contest by a bear who’s never seen winter before.  Join us we fail upward through middle to upper hotel management featuring a simultaneously very mature and very immature conversation about cartoon bears discovering mistletoe. What could be the Jellystone Winter Lodge’s final Christmas carnival manages to wake up Yogi Bear, who hibernates directly underneath it but somehow never knew about it before now.  ****  🎙 Guest:  Bill Hanstock (@sundownmotel, “We Promised You a Great Main Event: An Unauthorized WWE History”)  ****  💬 Topics & Tangents:  1. This special opens with a typo: The sign reads “Yellystone Park.”  2. Daws Butler’s Snagglepuss voice was a Bert Lahr impression that was so spot on, Lahr threatened to sue when Snagglepuss started endorsing Kellogg’s cereal.  3. Hanna-Barbera’s Christmas Sing-A-Long album, featuring songs from this special.  4. Yogi was in “Casper’s First Christmas” in 1979, so this isn’t really Yogi’s First Christmas.  5. Fruity Pebbles Christmas Commercial episode, 2017.  6. The Wonkamobile.  7. ClickHole: “Which One of My Garbage Sons Are You?” Clickhole, 2014.  8. Eddie the Eagle.  9. Mickey Mouse’s shirtless (and hatless) Steamboat Willie winter look at Disneyland.  10. “Mean, Sour, Crafty, and Cruel” in “Oliver and the Artful Dodger” and “Smurfs.”  11. The Zone of Death in the part of Yellowstone National Park that’s in Idaho.  12. “Christmas Is Here” in “A Flintstone Christmas.”  ****  📼 Commercial Break:  Cocoa Krispies Snagglepuss “Heavens to Murgatroyd” Commercial, circa 1963.  Bad Princess Movies, a catalogue of terrible movies about princesses and princesses-to-be.  ****  “Yogi’s First Christmas” © 1980 Hanna-Barbera Productions, Inc.   Theme song by Bronwen’s Ghost.  Full show notes and social links at adventcalendar.house.
🎄It’s 1970, and Santa’s been locked up in an underground cave with 2 giant Muppet monsters.  Join us as we venture through the tunnels under Santa’s workshop to uncover Jim Henson’s first ever TV holiday special, presented by The Ed Sullivan Show and featuring the first Muppet performances by Richard Hunt, Fran Brill, Marilyn Sokol, and John Lovelady, as well as the first appearances of Thog and a familiar-looking Frackle who’d later be reworked into the Great Gonzo.  ****  🎙 Guests:  Tori Schmidt (Muppets No Context, The Muppetwt Awards)  Tony Whitaker (@muppetdude, Muppet Wiki)  ****  💬 Topics & Tangents:  1. “The Great Santa Claus Switch” on Muppet Wiki.  2. ToughPigs.com’s transcript of the special, 2004.   3. Jim Henson, Thog, and Lothar on “The Dick Cavett Show,” 1971.  4. Taminella Grinderfall in “Tales of the Tinkerdee.”  5. Jim Henson’s Red Book entries on the special’s casting and debut.  6. Tony’s art of the Two-Headed Monster as the Miser Brothers.  7. So Many Muppets Are Named Fred.  8. Daniel Seagren as Spider-Man on “The Electric Company.”  9. Richard Hunt as Elmo.  10. Snarl, the Frackle who would become Gonzo.  11. My Emmet Otter’s Teenage Mutant Jug-Band Christmas T-shirt.  12. We have dubbed the green Frackle who looks like Thig with a beak and horns “Theg.”  13. “This Is Halloween” in a Sesame Place parade.  14. “8 Balls of Fur.”  15. Stop calling them “Muppeteers.”  ****  📼 Commercial Break:  FritoLay Holiday Party Display Commercial, 1970.  “Noëlco” Razor Santa Commercial, 1970.  Merry Britsmas, all things Christmas from a British perspective.  ****  “The Great Santa Claus Switch” © 1970 Sullivan Productions, Inc.   Theme song by Bronwen’s Ghost.  Full show notes and social links at adventcalendar.house.
🎄It’s 1983, and the Worst Kids in the World are taking over the church Nativity play, smoking in the ladies’ room, and helping themselves to the sacramental grape juice.  Join us as we meet the Herdmans in a classic Christmas story turned TV movie starring Loretta Swit from M*A*S*H and a young Fairuza Balk in her on-screen debut.  ****  🎙 Guests:  Scott Leopold (Holly Jolly X’masu)  Bob Baker (Festive Foreign Film Fans)  ****  💬 Topics & Tangents:  1. Today’s TV Tropes: It’s the Best Whatever, Ever and Title Drop.  2. Author Barbara Robinson wrote 2 sequels: “The Best School Year Ever” (1994) and “The Best Halloween Ever” (2004).  3. Fairuza Balk (Beth) in “The Waterboy.”  4. Loretta Swit (Grace) interview: “Meanest kids in town make the best pageant,” AP via The Free Lance-Star, 1983.  5. Jason Michas (Leroy) as Johnny Arcade in “The Power Team” animated segment from Season 1 of “Video Power.”  6. Antony Holland (Reverend Hopkins) as Dr. Light — er, “Dr. Wright” — in “Captain N: The Game Master.”  7. Ocean Hellman (Alice) in “Danger Bay,” which keeps coming up this season.  ****  📼 Commercial Break:  Duracell “No Longer Under the Christmas Tree” Commercial, 1983.  Festive Foreign Film Fans, covering festive movies and music from around the world.  ****  “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” © 1983 Comworld Productions.   Theme song by Bronwen’s Ghost.  Full show notes and social links at adventcalendar.house.
🎄It’s 1994, and the Jeffersons are poisoning Metropolis with greed spray from toy atomic space rats.  Join us on an unpredictable flight through the first Christmas episode of “Lois and Clark,” written by Dean Cain and starring Sherman Hemsley as the Toyman and Isabel Sanford as his reluctant assistant, plus Denise Richards, Dick Van Patten, Doug Llewellyn, and terrible special effects.  ****  🎙 Guests:  Gerry Davila (Totally Rad Christmas)  Paxton Holley (Cavalcade of Awesome, Cult Film Club, Hellbent for Letterbox)  Jeeg (Nerd Lunch)  ****  💬 Topics & Tangents:  1. C.T. brings up this episode and Jeeg seals his fate on Nerd Lunch’s “Nerdstradamus 2013 Redux.”  2. Winslow Schott’s plan to dump his greed toxin into Metropolis’s water supply is similar to Scarecrow’s plan in “Batman Begins.”  3. Progressive Insurance “Barbie” Commercial.  4. Denise Richards (Angela) in “Tammy and the T-Rex.”  5. Eddie Jones (Jonathan Kent) in “A League of Their Own.”  6. Christmas at Graceland.  7. Totally Rad Christmas on “It’s Gary Shandling’s Christmas Show” featuring Dom Irrera (Hecklebaum).  8. Homer Simpson licking poisonous toads.  9. Today’s TV Trope: Anticipatory Breath Spray.  10. “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” by The Pretenders.  ****  📼 Commercial Break:  Burger King Holiday Disney Glasses Commercial, 1994.  Children First “Read a Book” PSA featuring Brett Butler, 1994.  Totally Rad Christmas, celebrating all things Christmas in the ’80s. ****  “Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman” and “Season’s Greedings” © 1994 Warner Bros. Television.   Theme song by Bronwen’s Ghost.  Full show notes and social links at adventcalendar.house.
Santa, Baby!

Santa, Baby!

2023-12-1401:20:27

🎄It’s 2001, and a magical partridge is sending me on a coat drive for some kind of Karate Kid-style Santa training.  Hop in our light blue ’54 convertible and buckle up as we take you on a joyride through the very last and most forgotten Rankin/Bass Christmas special, featuring a mostly black cast starring Patti LaBelle, Gregory Hines, and a criminally underused Eartha Kitt as a talking cat.  ****  🎙 Guests:  Andre Bennett (Cult Cinema Cloister, Philadelphia Championship Rock Paper Scissors).  Tim Babb (Can’t Wait for Christmas Podcast).  ****  💬 Topics & Tangents:  1. This special was co-written by Suzanne Collins, who went on to write “The Hunger Games.”  2. The other co-writer, Peter Bakalian, also has a book series. It’s called “The F.A.R.T. Diaries.”  3. Patti LaBelle in Philadelphia’s “Get to Know Us” tourism campaign, 1985.  4. Patti LaBelle on “Sesame Street” singing “How I Miss My X.”  5. IMDb’s photo gallery for “Santa, Baby!” is full of high-quality promotional images.  6. RankinBass.com’s first look at “Santa, Baby!” from December 2001.  7. Gregory Hines in “The Muppets Take Manhattan” and “Running Scared.”  8. Rankin/Bass finally includes “The Twelve Days of Christmas” and “Jingle Bells” in a Christmas special.  8. Natalie Toro (Samson) lists “Santa Baby!” on her bio page.  10. Andre’s uncle co-wrote K-Ci & JoJo’s “All My Life.”  ****  📼 Commercial Break:  McDonald’s “Wake Up” Breakfast Commercial featuring Patti LaBelle, 1990.   Can’t Wait for Christmas, the podcast dedicated to keeping the spirit of Christmas alive all year round.  ****  “Santa, Baby” © 2001 Perisphere Pictures, Inc.   Theme song by Bronwen’s Ghost.  Full show notes and social links at adventcalendar.house.
🎄It’s 1989, and a killer in a Santa suit is making it really hard to hide my dead husband’s body.  You better watch out as we dig up the first filmed episode of “Tales From the Crypt,” a cozy Christmas nightmare directed by Robert Zemeckis and starring his then-wife and talented screamer, Mary Ellen Trainor, and the kid who gets her hoverboard stolen by Marty McFly.  ****  🎙 Guests:  Jamie Ray (Fave Five From Fans, Complete Disarray with Jamie Ray)  ****  💬 Topics & Tangents:  1. Mike on Fave Five From Fans with my Fave Five Christmas TV Specials (already covered them all here).  2. Fave Five Christmas Horror Movies.  3. The Vault of Horror No. 35, from 1954.  4. “And All Through the House” segment of the 1972 “Tales from the Crypt” movie.  5. HBO Feature Presentation opening, 1983.  6. John Kassir (The Crypt-Keeper) in a commercial for The Legend of Zelda, 1987.  7. Mary Ellen Trainor (Elizabeth) and Lyndsey Whitney Barry (Carrie Ann) in “Back to the Future Part II.”  8. Today’s TV Trope: Tempting Fate.  9. Elizabeth calls the operator because 9-1-1 was only available in about half the U.S. by 1989.  ****  📼 Commercial Break:  The Crypt-Keeper’s Ghoulish Guide to the Howlidays on Kids’ WB, 2001.  Holidays After Dark, exploring the strange, unusual, and dark sides of the holidays.  ****  “Tales From the Crypt” and “And All Through the House” © 1989 Tales From the Crypt Venture.   Theme song by Bronwen’s Ghost.  Full show notes and social links at adventcalendar.house.
An American Christmas Carol

An American Christmas Carol

2023-12-1001:06:49

🎄 It’s 1979, by way of 1933 — or the other way around — and the human from Fraggle Rock has broken into my garage with a haunted choir of singing children.  Join us as we turn the dial on our haunted time-traveling radio to find Henry Winkler at the height of his fame as the Fonz hiding under multiple layers of makeup as a Scrooge figure in Great Depression-era New England.  ****  🎙 Guests:  Tom Coombs (The Pop Daddy)  Scott Leopold (Holly Jolly X’masu)  ****  💬 Topics & Tangents:  1. Watch “An American Christmas Carol” on YouTube, courtesy of Shout Factory.  2. Henry Winkler interview on being asked to play a Scrooge figure.  3. The Ford Model TT truck, in example.  4. Dorian Harewood (Matt Reeves/Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come) filling in for James Avery as Shredder.  5. Today’s TV Trope: Recursive Fiction — and “The Identical.”  6. Robin Williams on “Sesame Street” showing Elmo different ways to play with a stick.  7. “Sister Kenny,” based on the true story of an Australian nurse.  ****  📼 Commercial Break:  McDonald’s Gift Certificates Christmas Commercial, 1979.  Holly Jolly X’masu, your podcast destination for Japanese Christmas music.  ****  “An American Christmas Carol” © 1979 Scrooge Productions, Inc.  Theme song by Bronwen’s Ghost.  Full show notes and social links at adventcalendar.house. Theme song by Bronwen’s Ghost.  Full show notes and social links at adventcalendar.house.
Full-Court Miracle

Full-Court Miracle

2023-12-0801:23:55

🕎 It’s 2003, and a team of Hebrew school basketball players think they’ve found the ghost of Judah Maccabee in a random guy living in a van.  It’s time once again to think about the Seleucid Empire as we watch a Disney Channel Original Hanukkah Movie very loosely based on the true story of former college basketball star Lamont Carr and a yeshiva’s struggling team looking for a leader.  ****  🎙 Guests:  April Ryley (@where2nextapril, @thefancygeologist).  J.W. Friedman (I Don’t Even Own a Television).  ****  💬 Topics & Tangents:  1. “Full-Court Miracle” on Disney+.  2. Lamont Carr’s obituary in Virginia Magazine, 2017.  3. Psychocandy, an experimental pop duo of Cassie Steele (Julie) and Jase Blankfort (Stick).  4. UVA’s Athletics website circa 2003.  5. Alex’s prized Dr. J basketball card isn’t even a rookie card and isn’t that valuable.  6. “Jewball,” a novel featuring the South Philadelphia Hebrew Association basketball team.   7. Sadly, the only upload I could find of the hip-hop cover of the Dreidel song is a smartphone recording of a TV playing this movie.  8. This basketball movie’s NBA star cameo is provided by Jerome Williams.  ****  📼 Commercial Break:  Microsoft Encarta Commercial, 1995.  Returning Student, a 40-year-old’s journey to finish the college degree he never got.  ****  “Full-Court Miracle” © 2003 Disney Enterprises, Inc.  Theme song by Bronwen’s Ghost.  Full show notes and social links at adventcalendar.house. Theme song by Bronwen’s Ghost.  Full show notes and social links at adventcalendar.house.
A Mouse, A Mystery, and Me

A Mouse, A Mystery, and Me

2023-12-0601:05:10

🎄 It’s 1987, and someone stole Santa Claus in the middle of his hot dog break.  Join us as we follow a renowned novelist who may or may not be a teenager and her animated mouse writing partner on a quest find out who kidnapped a department store Santa, while we solve the mystery of how anyone remembers this Christmas special that only aired once.  ****  🎙 Guests:  Lindy Kempe (Bluesky).  Emily Rowley (Threads).  ****  💬 Topics & Tangents:  1. Dick Van Patten’s shout-out in “Wayne’s World” and cameo in “Robin Hood: Men In Tights.”  2. Darcy Marta (Jill) on Totally Rad Christmas.  3. Gene Kelly and Jerry Mouse dancing in “Anchors Aweigh.”  4. Jill’s Miami Mice poster — no relation to the “Sesame Street” parody of the same name.  5. Donald O’Connor (Alex) in “Singin’ in the Rain.”  6. Helen Hughes (whoever the woman who answers Jill’s door is supposed to be) in “Billy Madison.”  7. Today’s TV Trope: 555.  8. Francis Dambeger’s (Jerry) 1991 film “Solitaire,” and its solitaire review on IMDb.  9. The realistic looking toy gun predates the same federal law that forced Nintendo to recolor its Zapper orange.  ****  📼 Commercial Break:  7up Christmas Commercial, 1986–1987.  Wild Puffalumps Commercial, 1987.  The Magic of the Season, covering holiday nostalgia, family, kids, decor, music, and so much more.  ****  “A Mouse, A Mystery, and Me” © 1987 Ruby-Spears Productions.  Theme song by Bronwen’s Ghost.  Full show notes and social links at adventcalendar.house. Theme song by Bronwen’s Ghost.  Full show notes and social links at adventcalendar.house.
🎄 It’s 1991, and Santa Claus is fighting with a talking dog over a park bench.  By some Christmas miracle, this obscure special was rediscovered over 30 years later. For years, people on the Internet tried to identify it on a TV in the background of an old family photo, until finally, thanks to the power of positivity, it was identified as “The Soulmates in The Gift of Light.” Join us as we meet the intergalactic Soulmates in what seems like a pilot that never got off the ground.  ****  🎙 Guests:  Michael DiGiovanni (Pop Culture Retrofit, @TheyCallMeDiGio).  Jeff Somogyi (Classic Film Jerks, Linktree: @sommerjam).  ****  💬 Topics & Tangents:  1. Watch “The Soulmates in The Gift of Light” on YouTube, uploaded by creator Gabrielle St. George.  2. Tumblr post: “Can You Figure Out Who This Is?” by Sophie Campbell, 2016.  3. Will Sloan’s tweet of the screenshot, September 2022.  4. CBC News: Canadian cartoon mystery finally solved after 6 years, thanks to the internet, 2022.  5. The Littles, for comparison.  6. Today’s TV Trope: Mind-Control Eyes.  7. Soulmates Productions, Inc. defaulted in 2007.  ****  📼 Commercial Break:  Canadian Tire: Scrooge / Nintendo Action Set Commercial, 1991.  Pop Tarts Commercial starring Dan and Dave, 1990.  Remember That Show?, a monthly journey to explore obscure and forgotten TV series from the ’80s and ’90s.  ****  “The Soulmates in The Gift of Light” © 1991 Soulmates Productions, Inc.  Theme song by Bronwen’s Ghost.  Full show notes and social links at adventcalendar.house. Theme song by Bronwen’s Ghost.  Full show notes and social links at adventcalendar.house.
🎄 It’s 1977, and Happy Gilmore’s grandmother is surrounded by dancing chickens.  It’s a beautiful day for a podcast, and this season of the Advent Calendar House begins with a visit to Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood in a Christmas special that hadn’t been available for more than 40 years until it resurfaced in 2022. It’s surprisingly less festive than some might expect, but it makes up for that with some extremely bizarre adventures.  ****  🎙 Guests:  Guy Hutchinson (Pointless Nostalgia, GuyHutchinson.com).  Tim Lybarger (The Neighborhood Archive, Third Quarter Run, TimLybarger.com).  ****  💬 Topics & Tangents:  1. Watch “Christmastime with Mister Rogers” at MisterRogers.org.  2. The Neighborhood Archive entry on “Christmastime with Mister Rogers.”  3. “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood: A Visual History,” co-written by Tim.  4. Frances Bay (Mrs. Hamilton) in “The Karate Kid.”  5. Today’s TV Trope: Hollywood Giftwrap.  6. Mr. Rogers and François Clemmons sharing a wading pool.  7. Lesser-known Christmas hymns “The Friendly Beasts,” “Rise Up, Shepherd, and Follow,” and “My Sheep Were Grazing.”  8. Was Music Man Stan from “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood” inspired by the Music Man from this special?  9. “The Littlest Angel,” 1969.  10. Chuck Ozeas (Andrew) is now a director of photography.  11. “A Very Young Dancer” and The Life That Followed, 2011.  12. Stephanie Selby’s obituary, 2022.  ****  📼 Commercial Break:  Hershey’s Kisses Christmas Bells Commercial, 1989.  Dirt Cheap Liquors Chicken Commercial.  Closer to Christmas, a podcast featuring a random Christmas topic every episode.  ****  “Christmastime with Mister Rogers” © 1977 Family Communications, Inc.  Theme song by Bronwen’s Ghost.  Full show notes and social links at adventcalendar.house. Theme song by Bronwen’s Ghost.  Full show notes and social links at adventcalendar.house.
Trailer

Trailer

2023-11-3000:53

This holiday season, experience the joy of rewatching the same TV specials you watch every year in podcast form! It’s the Advent Calendar House: A salute to all holiday specials, but mostly the Christmas ones.Revisit 12 holiday TV classics and not-so-classics each December and July. Theme song by Bronwen’s Ghost.  Full show notes and social links at adventcalendar.house.
🎄 After spending 3 months locked in a water tower, the Advent Calendar House has escaped in time for Christmas Podcast Day, a fake holiday originally made up for a hashtag back when social media was slightly less stupid.  It’s not Scrooge Sunday, but the theme for this year’s Christmas Podcast Day is “A Christmas Carol,” so I’m playing a long, but also cheating a little by covering both segments of a 1993 Christmas episode of “Animaniacs.”  You can follow #ChristmasPodcastDay on Facebook, Instagram, and that other one. And probably TikTok, but I’m not on that.  ****  🎙 Guests:  Erin Evans (@mserinevans).  Joey O. (Y-Not Radio, Words With Nerds, @imgonnadj24).  ****  💬 Topics & Tangents:  1. The Animanicast.  2. Animaniacs Wiki entry for this episode.  3. Sherri Stoner (Slappy Squirrel) was the live action reference model for Disney Princesses Ariel and Belle.  4. A Christmas Plotz: The Hip-Hop Musical.  5. Rock Sugar, Jess Harnell’s (Wakko) band.  6. Jess Harnell sang the Taz-Mania theme.  7. Forest Lawn Memorial Park.  8. Today’s TV Tropes: Sensational Staircase Sequence and Scooby Stack.  9. Baby Jesus is in a thatched-roof cottage.  10. Kathryn Page’s gag credits.  ****  📼 Commercial Break:  Animaniacs McDonald’s Happy Meal Toys, 1994.  Snow in Southtown Christmas Podcast.  ****  “Animaniacs,” “A Christmas Plotz,” and “Little Drummer Warners” © 1993 Warner Bros.  Theme song by Bronwen’s Ghost.  “Christmas Podcast Day” song by Tim Babb from the Can’t Wait for Christmas Podcast. Parody of “Weasel Stomping Day” by “Weird Al” Yankovic.  Full show notes and social links at adventcalendar.house. Theme song by Bronwen’s Ghost.  Full show notes and social links at adventcalendar.house.
🎄 Previously on the Advent Calendar House, we watched a cavemen take over Santa’s job after he fell off the roof in “A Flintstone Christmas.”  This time, our reunion tour of previously podcasted-about characters makes its final stop of the season in Bedrock, where Fred Flintstone is letting the lead role of “Ebonezer” Scrooge go to his head, while Wilma is doing the workload of I lost count of how many victims of the highly contagious Bedrock Bug. We also make the strongest case yet that this Modern Stone-Age Family does, indeed, know about who made lame beggars walk and blind men see.  PLUS: Help choose which version of “A Christmas Carol” we cover for Christmas Eve! VOTE HERE.  ****  🎙 Guests:  “Ant-stony” Strand (ToughPigs.com, Movin’ Right Along).  “Mi-coal” May (MichaelMay.online, AfterLUNCH).  ****  💬 Topics & Tangents:  1. “A Flintstone Family Christmas,” from a year before, was the last appearance of adult Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm.  2. “The Flintstones & WWE: Stone-Age Smackdown!”  3. The latest we’ve waited to shop for our spouses.  4. A grown-up Philo Quartz from “The Flintstone Kids” appears here and then never again.  5. The Piltdown Man hoax.  6. How big is the stage, and how are the actors playing ghosts appearing translucent?  7. They added a “love scene” with Belle, and Maggie Magma is way too excited about it.  8. Brian Cummings (Ernie/The Ghost of Christmas Present) did a weird Kermit the Frog voice in a promo for “Mr. Willowby’s Christmas Tree.”  9. Other Dickens characters have headstones in the graveyard.  10. IMDb credits Rip Taylor as the voice of a Venus flytrap tuba in the orchestra pit.  ****  📼 Commercial Break:  Cocoa Pebbles “Christmas Carol” commercial, 1998.  “Dinner & a Movie” makes standing rib roast with “Rockshire” pudding, 1996.  ****  “A Flintstones Christmas Carol” © 1994 Hanna-Barbera Cartoons, Inc.  Theme song by Bronwen’s Ghost.  Full show notes and social links at adventcalendar.house. Theme song by Bronwen’s Ghost.  Full show notes and social links at adventcalendar.house.
ALF: Turkey in the Straw

ALF: Turkey in the Straw

2023-07-2101:34:07

Previously on the Advent Calendar House, we let the goofy alien puppet with the jokes toy with our emotions in “ALF’s Special Christmas.”  🦃 This time, join us around the Fappiano table as we aim a spoonful of squash back to 1988 for a special, 2-part Thanksgiving episode of “ALF.” Too bad he’s already eaten the turkey, but there might still be some  sweet potato pie in the garage, with the homeless man.  ****  🎙 Guests:  Tom Coombs (The Pop Daddy, @thepopdaddy).  Jayme Kilsby (Forever Bogus Podcast, @brainexploderrr).  Chad Young (The Horror Movie BBQ, @horrormoviebbq).  ****  💬 Topics & Tangents:  1. Watch “Turkey in the Straw” Part 1 and Part 2 on ALF’s official YouTube channel.  2. ALF ruined Willie’s best belt to make his Thanksgiving pageant headdress.  3. Oh no, Tom brought up Gerbert.  4. Melmac’s version of Thanksgiving is named for Bob Fappiano, ALF’s assistant puppeteer.  5. ALF trying to eat wax fruit reminded me of Rizzo in “The Muppet Christmas Carol.”  6. I’m sad to report “Das Cornucopia, from Wagner Strauss’s ‘Der Feaster Famine,’” is not real.  7. Is turkey really an aphrodisiac?  8. What football game were the Alien Task Force agents watching?  9. Chad still has his ALF doll from Burger King.  10. ALF co-hosting the 1989 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.  ****  📼 Commercial Break:  Nobody Beats The Wiz Super Thanksgiving Sale, 1985.  Fan Fix-tion, a podcast about nerdy things.  ****  “ALF” and “Turkey in the Straw” © 1988 Alien Productions.  Theme song by Bronwen’s Ghost.  Full show notes and social links at adventcalendar.house. Theme song by Bronwen’s Ghost.  Full show notes and social links at adventcalendar.house.
🎄 Previously on the Advent Calendar House, we went on an apocryphal adventure with the story of The Little Drummer Boy.  This time, Rankin/Bass drums up an unnecessary sequel from 1976, its busiest year for holiday specials. Join Aaron on a side quest to retrieve the stolen silver bells from a troop of greedy Roman soldiers in the “Rogue One” of Christmas stories.  ****  🎙 Guests:  Brandon Medley (@brandmed, 📸 @blessedarethegeek)  ****  💬 Topics & Tangents:  1. Allen Swift (Melchior) as Twinkie the Kid.  2. Simeon the bellmaker is very loosely based on the Biblical Simeon, but his Song of Simeon is left out.  3. Ray Owens (Simeon) as the voice of Superbook, and Jesus in “The Flying House.”  4. Zero Mostel (Brutus) on “The Muppet Show.”  5. “Money Money Money” (not the song from “Mamma Mia!”)  6. How bad is Brutus compared to the other Rankin/Bass Christmas villains?  7. “Do You Hear What I Hear?” was written during the Cuban Missile Crisis.  8. Our favorite recordings of “Do You Hear What I Hear?” by Copeland, the Mike Sammes Singers for Disneyland Records, and one by Spiraling that invokes The Who’s “Baba O’Riley.”  ****  📼 Commercial Break:  Kodak XL Movie Camera: “One Christmas,” 1976.  Holly Jolly X’masu, your podcast destination for Japanese Christmas music. ****  “The Little Drummer Boy, Book II” © 1976 Rankin/Bass Productions.  Theme song by Bronwen’s Ghost.  Full show notes and social links at adventcalendar.house. Theme song by Bronwen’s Ghost.  Full show notes and social links at adventcalendar.house.
Elmo Saves Christmas

Elmo Saves Christmas

2023-07-1702:06:08

🎄 Previously on the Advent Calendar House, we spent Christmas Eve on Sesame Street, Hanukkah on “Shalom Sesame,” and even uncovered the oddity, “A Special Sesame Street Christmas.”  This time, join us as we fly faster than time backwards around the globe to 1996 to watch Elmo save, then ruin, then fix Christmas, featuring Maya Angelou, Harvey Fierstein as the Easter Bunny, and “Doc Hopper,” himself, Charles Durning as Santa.  ****  🎙 Guests:  Becca Petunia (ToughPigs.com, Hubba-Wha?!, @UnclePetunio)  Anthony Strand (ToughPigs.com, Movin’ Right Along)  ****  💬 Topics & Tangents:  1. “Brats of the Lost Nebula.”  2.  Early “proto-Elmo” appearances.  3. Miss Piggy’s cookbook has a recipe by Maya Angelou.  4. Baby Bear is Jewish.  5. 14 Karat Soul sings “Down Below the Street.”  6. Cookie Monster disguised as Ernie.  7. A petition to remake “White Christmas” with Elmo and Rosita’s military veteran dads.  8. This special’s unique News Flash logo.  9. The soundtrack that’s not actually a soundtrack.  10. Big Bird sings “All I Want for Christmas Is You,” but not THAT one.  11. Elmo as the ring bearer at Luis and Maria’s wedding.  12. Ranking all the jokes in “Elmo Says BOO!”  13. Bert and Ernie meet their “It’s a Wonderful Life” counterparts.  ****  📼 Commercial Break:  “Elmo Saves BOO!,” 1997.  Returning Student, a 40-year-old’s journey to finish the college degree he never got.  ****  “Elmo Saves Christmas” © 1996 Children’s Television Workshop.  Theme song by Bronwen’s Ghost.  Full show notes and social links at adventcalendar.house. Theme song by Bronwen’s Ghost.  Full show notes and social links at adventcalendar.house.
🎄 Previously on the Advent Calendar House, we saved Punky Brewster’s Christmas spirit in “Yes, Punky, There Is a Santa Claus.”  This time, join Punky in 1985 on an animated adventure to the North Pole, courtesy of Glomer, her new magical leprechaun-gopher Ewok lookin’ friend. The ’80s were weird.  ****  🎙 Guests:  Adam Pope (WIZARDS The Podcast Guide to Comics, @hojukoolander).  Steven (UFO Club).  ****  💬 Topics & Tangents:  1. Comparing the original sitcom’s theme song to the cartoon’s theme.  2. Galoob made a plush Glomer.  3. Adam’s VHS cover has a very off-model Glomer.  4. The Master Christmas Switch’s effect on time reminded me of the “Futurama” episode “Time Keeps on Slippin’.”  5. Punky taught Adam how to wink.  6. Santa drops off the kids on the roof again, just in like in “Frosty the Snowman.”  ****  📼 Commercial Break:  The Story of Phroomf commercial featuring baseball star Bob Boone, 1986.  WIZARDS The Podcast Guide to Comics.  ****  “It’s Punky Brewster” and “Christmas in July” © 1985 National Broadcasting Company, Inc.  Theme song by Bronwen’s Ghost.  Full show notes and social links at adventcalendar.house. Theme song by Bronwen’s Ghost.  Full show notes and social links at adventcalendar.house.
Previously on the Advent Calendar House, we flew a sleigh made out of a dumpster into space with the California Raisins in “Will Vinton’s Claymation Christmas Celebration.”  🎃 This time, we’re reanimating a creepier creation of his from 1991 — a Halloween special that premiered in May for some reason — starring the scheming Wilshire Pig on a quest to uncover the secret lab of Dr. Frankenswine.  ****  🎙 Guests:  Sammy Hain (@SammyHain).  Chad Young (The Horror Movie BBQ, @horrormoviebbq).  ****  💬 Topics & Tangents:  1. IMDb’s photo gallery from this special.  2. “The Adventures of Mark Twain.”  3. Todd Tolces’ website and YouTube résumé.  4. Michele Mariana (Wilshire) on “Sesame Street” as Cecile, the singing ball of clay.  5. Herb from Burger King.  6. Will Vinton wanted to build a theme park called Claymation Station with Wilshire Pig as its Mickey Mouse.  7. Raphael opened the floodgates for characters made for children saying curse words.  8. Sheldon the Snail bears a passing resemblance to The Noid.  9. A closer examination of the bathroom graffiti.  10. Today’s TV Trope: Removable Shell.  11. Does Famine’s business card say he’s from Limbo, Illinois?  ****  📼 Commercial Break:  McDonald’s Coke Float Commercial, 1991, aired during this special.  Another Zelda Podcast… you’ll never guess what it’s about.  ****  “Claymation Comedy of Horrors” © 1991 Will Vinton Productions.  Theme song by Bronwen’s Ghost.  Full show notes and social links at adventcalendar.house. Theme song by Bronwen’s Ghost.  Full show notes and social links at adventcalendar.house.
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