You can have your visions of sugar plums dancing in your head but here at Patch goes Pop, we have visions of our favorite pop culture holiday moments dancing in our head during this time of the year.
There are so many animated holiday traditions to choose from but atop among our favorites is A Charlie Brown Christmas. Who can’t sympathize with poor ol’ Charlie Brown when he laments the commercialization of Christmas? And who at one point in their lives hasn’t owned a skinny, scraggly little Christmas tree that they call their Charlie Brown tree? Hard to believe that this first aired in 1965 and it remains as topical and as heartfelt nearly 50 years later.
Holiday movies are plentiful and of course there are some classics out there that we’ve all seen like A Christmas Story and “It’s A Wonderful Life. But if you really want to explore something far off the beaten path, and we mean far off, try Santa Claus Conquers the Martians. One of the most bizarre and low-budget holiday movies ever made, Santa Claus Conquers the Martians is about a pair of Martians who kidnap Santa Claus because there is nobody on Mars to give presents to their children. The Martians wear possibly the worst costume and makeup design in movie history, the acting is beyond wooden, and it even has B-movie legend Pia Zadora, who plays one of the many annoying children in the film. If you have overdosed on Christmas music and holiday cheer here is a perfect snarky antidote.
Let’s choose something a little more traditional, yet still not as widely known and go for Laurel and Hardy’s Babes in Toyland, a 1934 classic also known as March of the Wooden Soldiers. It’s an incredibly epic movie done on small sets featuring Stan and Ollie saving Toyland from an evil, old villain and his goon squad of creepy monsters.
Seinfeld’s Festivus episode has become a holiday tradition in a short time and there a countless holiday-themed episodes of regular shows that are worth a viewing this time of year. But for our money, one of the very best is the Christmas episode of The Honeymooners. Twas the Night Before Christmas is a masterful parody of The Gift of the Magi, with Ralph getting Alice a gift by selling his beloved bowling ball. Guess what Alice gets him?
As many times as Ralph threatened to send Alice to the moon, this was a sweet, sentimental episode that reminded you of the working-class relationship that was always at the heart of the show.
Honorable: One of the best shows of all time, Moonlighting had two classic holiday episodes. In Twas the Episode Before Christmas, Maddie and David help protect a baby born to a client named Mary and the episode ends with the cast singing Christmas carols. On It’s A Wonderful Job, Maddie dreams of what would have happened had she not kept the Blue Moon detective agency.
Television variety shows:
Nothing says the holidays are here like the Late Show With David Letterman’s Christmas episode. Usually airing the week of Christmas, it for years had featured the same segments – Dave and guest Jay Thomas throwing a football to knock a giant meatball from atop the studio Christmas tree and Paul Shaffer’s impersonation of Cher singing O Holy Night. But the true highlight is always Darlene Loves’ rollicking performance of Christmas (Baby Please Come Home.) There is no better way to celebrate the holidays!
And with that, Patch Goes Pop wishes you a warm and wonderful holiday and a great New Year!
Patch Goes Pop can be reached at email@example.com