DAVID BIANCULLI

Founder / Editor

ERIC GOULD

Associate Editor

LINDA DONOVAN

Assistant Editor

Contributors

ALEX STRACHAN

MIKE HUGHES

GARY EDGERTON

ROGER CATLIN

KIM AKASS

GERALD JORDAN

MONIQUE NAZARETH

TOM BRINKMOELLER

NOEL HOLSTON

 
 
 
 
 
YULE TUBE: Everything you always wanted to know about Christmas TV (but didn't know who to ask)
December 21, 2009  | By Diane Werts
 
christmas on television book.jpgIf Bianculli can toot his own authorial horn, so can I -- especially since 'tis the season for my book Christmas on Television.

Its 250 pages are the culmination of my lifelong love of holiday shows, which I've been taping like mad for decades, and now DVR-ing, DVD-ing and downloading, too. How great is 21st century technology? Today, yuleheads like me can wallow in seasonal sentiment and silliness 365 days a year. (When we were kids, we had to walk five miles in the snow to find a Christmas show!)

I hope you'll appreciate my affectionate exploration of hundreds of seasonal shows throughout network TV's 60-year history -- Jack Benny, Ozzie & Harriet, Amos 'n Andy, Amahl and the Night Visitors, The Addams Family, The Man From UNCLE, Green Acres, Judy Garland, Bing Crosby, Charlie Brown, Barney Miller, Married With Children, Pee-Wee's Christmas Special, thirtysomething, The West Wing, The Simpsons, Seinfeld, Everybody Loves Raymond, South Park, MADtv's "Raging Rudolph," even soaps and The Star Wars Holiday Special. (Be afraid. Be very afraid.)

Christmas on Television also looks back pre-TV, to holiday movies, radio shows, Dickens and more. The book's been out awhile, so you won't find House, The Big Bang Theory or Larry the Cable Guy. But you will find shows you'd forgotten, shows you never heard of, and all your vintage Christmas TV favorites. Amazon makes it easy to revisit them in either the instant-gratification Kindle edition or the discount-priced hardcover original. Thanks to Amazon's reliably quick shipping, it's a great last-minute holiday gift.

Christmas TV Companion book.jpg

But I'm not the only one writing about holiday shows now. New this year is The Christmas TV Companion by Joanna Wilson, subtitled "A Guide to Cult Classics, Strange Specials & Outrageous Oddities." Joanna's my kind of gal, drooling over offbeat holiday happenings on everything from Hogfather to Mystery Science Theater 3000, with side trips past lunacy like the Solid Gold dancers. Her slimmer book may not be as comprehensive as mine, but it's got just as deep an appreciation of tube yules and a zesty personality all its own. Amazon sells the paperback here.


Don't forget to consult TV Worth Watching's handy listings of this year's Christmas TV airings. It's not too late to find Festivus, Mr. Hankey, The Grinch, The Jetsons, A Christmas Story or It's a Wonderful Life --

 

 
 
 
 
 
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