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Friday, December 18, 2009

The 9 best and funniest “Made for TV” holiday songs

Holiday TV specials are a December staple. It’s the entire reason they made stop-motion claymation. Some specials simply play some old songs and throw a few reindeer, some elves and by the time Santa shows up, they call it a day. But some shows take Christmas a little further by writing and adding their own Christmas carols to already crowded repertoire of silver bells and sleigh rides. To some shows like “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” it’s a time to write songs that pull at your heartstrings and make you dig into your soul to find the deeper meaning of the holidays. For others like South Park, it’s a time to finally give fecal matter it’s time to both celebrate and disgust.

All these songs were written specifically for their TV specials and all have a special place in our hearts and holiday playlists. Some more than others…

Patrick Swayze Christmas from Mystery Science Theater 3000

I dare you to find a better Christmas song written about the greatest actor in the film Point Break. Go ahead, I’ll wait. Leave it to one of the funniest shows in TV history to write the funniest, most absurd Christmas songs in history. It has everything–decorating barstools, Santa stealing moonshine, and Roadhouse. And it’s the only Christmas carol that has an action sequence! What a better way celebrate the memory of the beloved Patrick Swayze than to sing this song while decorating your barstools with Guyism’s own Bodhi Christmas ornaments…wait, what? We don’t have anyone to make ornaments? Well, folks, I hope someone get’s you a Ronald Regan Mask and a parachute for Christmas, cause it looks like your on your own.

Lenny and Squiggy – The Jolliest Fatman from Laverne and Shirley

This is an old one that is a bit before my time, but it’s still a classic. It’s from the show “Laverne and Shirley.” I’m guessing most of our readers are too young to remember this show, but Laverne directed the movie “Big.” Still too young to remember that? “A League of Their Own?” Still no? She directed a few episodes of “According to Jim.” Wait, you’re here, so you have taste, so you probably are like everyone else and have never seen that show…Well, I guess just try to enjoy a Christmas song about getting boozed up and passing out on someone’s lawn. Everyone likes that, right? Wrong. The neighbors don’t like that. Keep that in mind.

Alvin and the Chipmunks – Christmas Don’t Be Late from A Chipmunk Christmas

Oh man, now here’s another song that was a staple in many car rides to my Grandma’s house for Christmas. Loved the TV special and much to the chagrin of my parents, I also loved the album. How my family didn’t leave me in the cold, butter wilderness of Maryland’s western mountain range is beyond me. I mean seriously, the entire album sounds like a bunch of eunuchs trapped in a helium factory. I can’t imagine what that was like listen to this for hours and hours on end in a cramped car. Yes I can. I’m doing it right now. “Hurry Christmas, hurry fast…”

You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch from The Grinch That Stole Christmas

You’re mean one, Mr. Grinch. Probably the best book based on a movie that I’ve ever read. Wait, was “Hunt for the Red October” a book? It’s a song that everyone who doesn’t like Christmas gets pinned with. The minute you say something like “Christmas is overrated” or “I hate shopping for your mother” or “I’m the one who set the Christmas tree on fire and I’m gonna do it again next year,” people start calling you “Grinch.” This has become a universal song for holiday curmudgeons and if there is one thing we know about spending time with our families, it’s that the holidays are about ostracizing those who aren’t filled with cheer and the spirit of giving. As in, “Stop calling me Grinch, I’m not a criminal…you’re giving me a complex, Grandma!”

Christmas Time Is Here from A Charlie Brown Christmas

This song is the most depressing of all the Christmas songs ever written and performed. I personally love this song because I am in fact, the real life Charlie Brown. I’m always complaining about being depressed, my therapist always pulls the football out from under me when I try and kick it, I’m the constant cynic, and my head is twice the size of a regular person. This truly is a song for the bitter few who find Christmas to be a bit more depressing than jolly. You have to admit that it stirs up something in your heart and the more I hear it– it becomes is sadly comforting. Like the bottom of a whiskey bottle or a hooker you paid for with someone else’s money.

Mr. Hankey the Christmas Poo from South Park

Howdy Ho! The guys who made South Park really outdid themselves with this ditty. It was one of those times where you think, “oh these guys can’t get any worse” and then they come to you with a crooning bowel movement in a Santa hat. Bravo, good sirs. This is setting the bar…well, it’s setting the bar somewhere near the gutter, but honestly, when you are going to go blue, you might as well not even aim for the bowl.

Holly Jolly Christmas from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

Sure, going from South Park to Burl Ives isn’t much of a segue, but not many people know that this song was written specifically for this classic Christmas special. I don’t need to say anything here because you know you already love this song.

Christmas Today and The Hanukkah Song from Saturday Night Live

And this is just proof that without Will Ferrell, SNL could trot all the actors they wanted out on stage at Christmas and all you would get was this…one of the most embarrassingly unfunny songs ever recorded.

And while his antics were juvenile and some people think his methods were a bit lowbrow, Mr. Sandler and his guitar coyly belt out what would become one of the greatest SNL segments of all-time.