Worst Christmas specials

Yin for yang. What were/are the worst Christmas specials you remember?
For me, ANY special hosted by the currently hot star.

As for the longest running series of specials, the hands-down winner is Perry Como (or Coma, as I like to say). BORING!!

I vote for the musical ClayMation special about Nestor, the donkey who carried Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem. 'Nuff said.

I haven’t lost my virginity. I remember exactly where I left it.

I think it’s got to be the 1973 version of Miracle on 34th Street. Awful, just awful.

Mr. K’s Link of the Month:

The Enchanted World of Rankin-Bass

“Frosty the Snowman” cartoon. A cheapass cartoon, unremarkable in every way, hauled out every year as if it’s some sort of timeless classic. I guess it is but have never figured out why.

I almost forgot “Christmas in Connecticut” - the newer one, with Dyan Cannon . The first time I saw it some years ago, I was speechless with horror .

How 'bout the upcoming one with the hypocritical Amy Grant? Touting her strong marriage for years, then coming out that she and Vince Gill have been seeing eachother behind their spouses backs for years?

Years ago my friends and I actually organized a get-together to drink vodka and watch (what turned out to be the last) Bob Hope Christmas special. It was a really sad specticle.

Keep in mind, Bob was NINTY FOUR when he did this! I know Bob Hope Christmas specials were a tradition stretching back to the sixties, but christ, they practically had to prop his decomposing corpse up.

Poor Bob clearly was wearing a girdle or truss or some kind of orthapedic undergarment as evedenced by the way his body was contorted, like a toothpaste tube grabbed in the middle and squeezed. Loose fitting trousers diddn’t conceal what was probably an adult diaper. He was coated neck up in pancake make-up that gave his face a uniform silly putty pink complexion. However no amount of paint could hide the exposed bright red underside of his eyelids, pulled down by the weight of his heavy cheeks. Even after he finished speaking his jowls and the underside of his neck kept moving for a few seconds.

Mercifully for Bob and viewer alike, the show was shot through murky soft-focus filters…

Unlike the Bob Hope christmas specials I remember from my childhood, Bob diddn’t participate in any lame skits with Angie Dickensen or Brooke Shields. Instead he was reduced to introducing figure skaters and delivering robotic one-liners to canned laughter while myopically squinting at the cue cards just off-screen.

The oddest part was the disjointed way it was filmed. Bob was so out-of-it he couldn’t perform long dialog, so the editors had to cobble his sentences together from fragments of taped footage. Camera angles jumped around and the tone of his voice dropped and rose with each splice.

The creepiest thing is, Bob Hope is still alive! Theres still a chance of another one of these horror shows!



I have to say Rudolph and Frosty’s Christmas in July.

Wasn’t there a special based on the “Little Match Girl?” How happy! A pretty little girl freezes to death in the snow! UGH! When I was a kid my least favorite holiday offering was “Scrooge.” Mostly because it seemed so LONG. That and Marly’s face superimposed over the doorknocker scared the crap outta me!


What on earth do they do when they show football then anyway? We get an incredibly clear picture as if it the signal was pumped up ten times.

I have a vague recollection of the Star Wars Christmas special many years back, IIRC, it was very Ewok intensive and painful to watch. The fact that Star Wars is immensely popular yet they haven’t rerun it should say something about how good it was.

The Frosty the Snowman Sequel. Really bad, made no sense at all.

Also, The “It’s a wonderful life” remake with Sally Field as Jimmy Stewart’s character, and Trapper John from MASH as Donna Reed. Why did they do this?

It is too clear, and so it is hard to see.

The Brady Bunch Christmas special–they couldn’t get Cindy to join up again but all the rest had nothing better to do. I believe this special involved the ongoing saga of Wally (Marcia’s wacky husband) vs. Phillip (Jan’s uptight husband) butting heads alot. Also, “Cindy” was about 20 years old at the time but they made her sit at the kids table. This movie gave a whole new meaning to wooden acting–I don’t think anyone read the script before they started filming.

The remake of “It’s a Wonderful Life”, with Marlo Thomas in the Jimmy Stewart role. I would ask “What were they thinking?” but this is Hollywood we’re talking about.

Any of the old Bing Crosby specials. Whatever great work der Bingle did earlier in his career was negated by the incredibly fakeness of these plastic entertainments. The worst was the one with David Bowie; I cringe everytime I hear the insipid banter between Bing and Bowie (it’s on the “Little Drummer Boy” single).

Anyway ever see “The Star Wars Holiday Special”? I haven’t, but just reading the synopsis in the IMDb makes me crack up. I mean, Luke Skywalker, Han Solo…and Harvey Korman??

You know, slightly off the subject, I love the IMDb. I just discovered there are 6 adult videos with “Christmas” in the titles:

Christmas Carol (1993)
Little Christmas Tail, A (1991)
All I Want for Christmas Is a Gang-Bang (1994)
She-Male Who Stole Christmas, The (1993)
Yo Yo Yo: A Very Black Christmas Tale! (1994)
Will and Ed’s Excellent Boner Christmas (1991)

*KSO: The Brady Bunch Christmas special *

Speaking of things Brady: notice that they wimped out and quit making Brady shows (with the original cast in their original roles, i.e., not counting the movies) since Robert Reed died?

“A Very Brady Funeral”: that would’ve been interesting.

Boy that Kathie Lee Gifford special is so painfully bad that it’s kinda fun to watch.

Mojo, no Ewoks in the one-airing-only SW Christmas special. They were Wookiees, specifically Chewbacca’s family. Plus Art Carney and Bea Arthur. And a cool cartoon with the first-ever viewing of Boba Fett.

Here’s a great link about it, where you can also order it on VHS:


Hey, thats right! There WAS a terrible Star Wars christmas special! Had Harrison Ford and Mark Hamill and Chewbakka and eveything. Must have been late seventies because it was before Empire Strikes Back.

What little I recall of the story (hey, I was
six) the theme was that Chewbakka had to get back home for some kind of Wookie family celebration. But evil stormtroopers had enslaved them or something like that.

The filming was odd because the story segments were filmed with video equipment on a sound stage and the spaceship scenes were swiped from the movie.

If sombody knows where I can get ahold of a tape of this I really appreciate it.


Wow! pldennison beat me by seconds!

Some people may like it, but I never could take watching Earl Hamner’s pre-Waltons Christmas special “The Homecoming”. Quite a few of the series cast appeared in this one, but Patricia Neal (sp?) played Mrs. Walton and I think Doug McClure played Mr. Walton.

I thought Patricia Neal made her character seem kind of hard-assed and a little bit whacko. The part that sticks in my mind, though, is where Mr. Walton makes it home with a bag full of gifts for the family after narrowly avoiding a cave-in at the coal mine. He explains to the kids that he got the gifts by getting the jump on Santa and wrestling the bag away from him. Boy, nothing says Christmas quite like mugging a fat old man.