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Tuesday, December 23, 2008


Santa and Jessica read the script to their own special and are stunned by a budding stoner's interpretation of it.

One of the most cherished of the Rankin/Bass stop-motion animated holiday television specials is 1970's SANTA CLAUS IS COMIN' TO TOWN, the first of two such specials to detail the origin of the jolly spirit of gift-giving (the other being the seldom-seen and rather pagan THE LIFE AND ADVENTURES OF SANTA CLAUS), and I try to catch it each year when it runs. I missed it this go-round but I recently received an email from Lori, a friend from early in my misspent college years, that featured a Christmas card I made for her back in 1984 featuring some stuff I noticed about SANTA CLAUS IS COMIN' TO TOWN when seen from the point of view of a nineteen-year-old who had escaped the constrictive nest and had begun seriously sampling some of life's more questionable diversions. In other words, I saw Santa as kind of a conuter-culture stoner hero, and here are my observations of twenty-four Christmases past:

• Santa was an abandoned child (Was he illegitimate? Who were his parents?)
• He was raised at a matriarchal commune of elves in the middle of nowhere
• He was labeled as a hippie-type because of his “outlandish” clothes
• He gave away toys he made by hand (good ol' stoner creativity)
• He hung out with a penguin who wore a Doctor Who scarf (rather trippy)
• He could dance (as evidenced by his fancy footwork during “Put One Foot In Front of the Other”)
• He knew magic
• He had a gorgeous, curvy redhead for a girlfriend
• Said girlfriend never wore a coat in the snow, so you knew she was a hot woman
• He opposed an oppressive fascist state
• He was arrested for acts of sedition
• He’s an escaped criminal who was considered public enemy #1
• He gave drugs to reindeer
• He was forced to live undercover
• His disguise made him look sorta like Jerry Garcia

Not exactly comedy gold, but cut me some slack. It was twenty-four years ago.

1 comment:

Laser Rocket Arm said...

If I'm not mistaken "The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus" gets shown on that strangely subversive cable channel known as ABC Family. Seriously, I was flipping channels once and they were showing the Stephen King "It" miniseries. Nothing says "family programming" like "homicidal clowns who like to kill kids," apparently.