Stocking Stuff

Screencap © 2010 Worldwide Pants Inc.

Last night, Christmas arrived at The Late Show with David Letterman a day early. Dave's always preempted on Christmas Eve so that CBS can air Mass, but this time the fabled meatball was toppled from The Ed Sullivan Theater's Christmas tree — as was the pizza — on the night before the night before the Night before Christmas, when Dave rammed into the tree on a go-kart. He was trying out toys again with Shannon Eis (who always enters to the strains of "Ice Ice Baby").

clip of the joy ride is up now on the Late Show website, but I don't know how long it will last.

Screencap © 2010 Worldwide Pants Inc.

really got some belly laughs from the cold open of last night's Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, which isn't up on the show's website right now but should be posted as part of the full episode next week. Craig presented his robot skeleton sidekick Geoff Peterson — whose canned phrases are uttered with a voice uncannily like that of a gay (well, more flamboyantly gay) George Takei — with a Christmas present amongst some particularly choice repartee. I'm not always a fan of Ferguson's lowest humor, but this was funny, off-the-cuff stuff. [Warning: Dried camel testicles.]

Screencap © 1977 HLC Properties Ltd.

While I was taping Letterman last night and monkeying around with das Internet, the TV was still on the local ABC station and I caught a neat story on Nightline about the weird, haunting, classic David Bowie & Bing Crosby duet from Crosby's 1977 Merrie Olde Christmas special — a segment online now in its entirety. I'd only recently learned that the "Peace on Earth" counterpoint had been written expressly for the special, during recording, when Bowie reportedly asked if he couldn't sing something other than "Little Drummer Boy". ABC News' David Wright interviewed composers Larry Grossman, Ian Fraser, and Buz Kohan for the fascinating scoop.

Image © 1965 Peanuts Worldwide LLC.

Earlier this month, Michael Cavna looked at the genesis of another beloved holiday special, A Charlie Brown Christmas, in an article for The Washington Post linked to at Mark Evanier's always entertaining blog News from ME. Among Cavna's interview subjects are producer Lee Mendelson and Jean Schulz, widow of Peanuts creator Charles Shulz, although sadly Mr. Schulz himself, animator Bill Melendez, and composer Vince Guaraldi are no longer with us.

Still © 2010 UGroupMedia Inc.

Having an Internet connection last night was particularly appreciated so that I could belatedly (but not too belatedly) play a message from Santa Claus himself courtesy of the zombilicious Joan Crawford, which hopefully she won't mind my sharing with you. [Update: The video's no longer there.]

Image © MDVIII The Vatican.

And just so we don't forget the other bearded guy around whom this holiday was built (if you don't, um, count Saturnalia), I thought I'd link to an exclusive interview that He — or His Dad, or the part of Himself that is His Dad; I'm not really sure how that works — gave The Onion in the wake of unspeakable tragedy over nine years ago, whose message still holds true today. [Warning: Some coarse language and possibility to offend.]

Screencap © 2010 Worldwide Pants Inc.

Coming full circle, The Late Show with David Letterman's Holiday Quarterback Challenge airs tonight. You can, in fact, already check out a clip online, but I want the context.

As I said 364 days ago, Dave's last pre-Christmas show has become one of my favorite yuletide traditions. First, Dave has on a standard guest — tonight it's Amanda Peet, who always ends up flirtatious and sincerely, adorably laughing about something. Then Jay Thomas (whom I know mostly from this, Mork and Mindy back in the day, and one of the few sitcoms I've enjoyed as an adult, the awesomely cast but mostly forgotten Love & War) comes out to tell a story about meeting Clayton Moore, TV's original Lone Ranger, and to take turns with Dave trying to knock the meatball off the top of the Late Show Christmas tree with a football. Finally, Darlene Love brings the house down, backed by Paul Schaffer & The CBS Orchestra and various session musicians, performing "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)".

This post was enough of a bear to publish and proof that Blogger, Comcast, Linksys, and Virgin Mobile all deserve coal and switches from Pelznikel this year (not enough to discourage them from ever trying, just enough to encourage them to get on the darned stick and make the Nice List next year). I'll do my best to return with more Christmastime thoughts, so long as it doesn't befoul my holiday cheer.


Arben said...

[Warning: Dried camel testicles.]

Aha! Reverse psychology! Interest piqued!
Nice collection o' stuff as always, Blam; sorry you're having so damn much trouble putting together an awesome blog.

Arben said...

PS: The Clayton Moore story was especially good this year.

VW: expipond — A small body of water used for atonement.

Arben said...

the weird, haunting, classic David Bowie & Bing Crosby duet

I don't know if it was just his voice, his glassy eyes, his snaggleteeth, or what, but until he got, well, kind-of old, Bowie was even scarier dressed "straight" than he was as Ziggy Stardust or Aladdin Sane.

Joan Crawford said...

I can't believe how well Santa knew both of us. You with your shower- peeing, me with my wonderful ways.

VW: Witty and Handsome

Psst, Arben, you remind me of the babe...

Arben said...

Uh, Babe Ruth?
I can assure you I'm all man.

El Qué said...

Psst, Arben, you remind me of the babe...

Ooh! Ooh! Am I the babe? ^_^

I can assure you that I have no man in me at all (well, on rare occasions if the right one is around, but mostly I'm a full-on lesbo).

VW: runcess — After-lunch playtime where you're not allowed to walk.

Joan Crawford said...

LOL! This is the most wonderful misunderstanding I've come across in a dog's age.

What I was referring to was David Bowie in Labyrinth and I was hoping to have a quotation interaction with you. Because I am so desperately, desperately lonely...


:D I kid, I kid!

It would have gone like this:

"You remind me of the babe"
"What babe?"
"The babe with the power"


Saying someone reminds you of Babe Ruth is the a wonderfully ambiguous comment. It could be a great compliment or you could say it with malice in your heart. I like that a lot.

And El Que! Hahaha! Thank you for that.

And you're absolutely the babe, as if you need to hear it from this guy.

Joan Crawford said...

Goddamn extra 'the' in my comment - I could kick you!

VW: Redizoot - Prêt-à-Porter zoot suits.

Rebecca T. said...

That video from Joan was too hilarious! Very belated Merry Christmas!

@Joan What power? The Power of Voodoo! Who do? You do! Do what? REMIND ME OF THE BABE!

VW: counk - to fall asleep on the couch

Joan Crawford said...



I honestly am thrilled whenever I successfully and randomly get to do that with someone. Thank you!

El Qué said...

"You remind me of the babe"
"What babe?"
"The babe with the power"

How did I miss that? I luvs me the Labyrinth and that sequence in particular.