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YULE TUBE: It's beginning to look a lot like...
November 14, 2008  | By Diane Werts
 

C'mon, it's only six weeks away! So no more complaints about Christmas coming too early. TV is officially declaring the season "on" this weekend, offering a fresh holiday episode and a new yule standup special.

bill engvall christmas.jpgFirst up: The Bill Engvall Show, old-time sitcom! (You know, like Slap Shot's six-fisted Hanson Brothers declaring "Old-time hockey!") We didn't used to consider hard-sell familycom laugh-track punchlines "quality TV," but now that they're so scarce, we're finding ourselves strangely drawn to their cliche-ridden merriment.


Besides, the supporting cast includes a few of our faves -- Nancy Travis (Almost Perfect), Tim Meadows (Saturday Night Live) and Brian Doyle-Murray (Bakersfield, P.D., and could it come out on DVD sometime soon, pretty please?).

Their new Christmas outing (premiering Saturday at 8 p.m. ET on TBS) is pretty standard kids-too-busy-for-family-traditions stuff, but Engvall makes an amiable enough holiday obsessive. And the situations are delivered with enough conviction and verve to make all the expected happenings feel fresh again.

jeff dunham christmas.jpgNext up: Jeff Dunham's Very Special Christmas Special(premiering Sunday at 9 p.m. ET on Comedy Central) -- with puppets! The ventriloquist comic is syrupy on the season, too, but his characters aren't: crinkle-faced crank Walter, trailer trash Bubba J, naughty creature Peanut, skeleton-y Achmed the Dead Terrorist (now disguised as Santa).


The Milwaukee-shot standup hour makes sure to show that it's hip to all the Christmas tricks -- fake snow and backdrops, et al -- while Dunham's split (voice) personality allows him to express both cynicism and seasonal spirit. (An extended version of Dunham's special hits DVD Tuesday, Nov. 18.)

This isn't the last of TV's Christmas cheer, of course -- not by a loooong shot. And all the festivity will be collected here at TV Worth Watching's yule tube HQ. You'll be seeing a surfeit of seasonal listings, reviews, video links, DVD holidays, and more. Not for nothing am I the queen of Christmas on Television . . .

(Second chances: The Bill Engvall Show holiday episode repeats Monday at 11 p.m. ET and Saturday Nov. 22 at 5 p.m. ET on TBS. Jeff Dunham's Very Special Christmas Special repeats Sunday at 10 p.m. ET, Tuesday at 10 p.m. and midnight ET, and Sunday Nov. 23 at 9 p.m. ET, leading in to the premiere of A Colbert Christmas.)

Here's a preview of Engvall's holiday hoopla --

 

 
 
 
 
 
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