Top 5 Christmas TV Episodes
(From Sitcoms and Dramas of the Boob Tube)
From its inception Television has offered its own take on the Christmas Season. From sixty and ninety-minute dramas to situation comedies, as well as regular variety shows, Made-For-TV movies and Christmas ‘Specials,’ TV has brought its version of Christmas into the living rooms of those who were not getting enough of it out on the street. Here are a few episodes that I consider worth seeking out. Add your own in the comments.
5. Dragnet – The Big Baby Jesus. All the usual Dragnet self-seriousness, combined with Christmas schmaltz, and we get an episode sure to produce giggles of enjoyment. The Baby Jesus is stolen from the nativity display of a small, poor-but-proud church, and Sgt. Friday and his partner are hot on the case. The investigation turns up lots of Christmas red herrings – but can it be solved before Christmas Mass?
4.The Honeymooners – ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas. Pretty simply a Honeymooners’ version of the O. Henry story The Gifts of the Magi. Jackie Gleason shows off his slapstick skills, as well as his ability to make an otherwise jerk of a character sympathetic. One of the great episodes from the Golden Age.
3. The Brady Bunch – The Voice of Christmas. One of the penultimate so-bad-it’s-good, guilty-pleasure Christmas TV episodes. Just days before she is to sing the solo at Christmas Services, Carol Brady loses her voice. Home remedies don’t help. Medical science can’t help. Finally, cute little lisping Cindy Brady turns to the only person who can possibly deliver a Christmas miracle – the department store Santa Claus.
2. The Simpsons – Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire. There are many Christmas-themed episodes from this long-running animated TV show, but the first is still the best. Homer’s ineptitude and Bart’s shenanigans conspire to ruin the Simpson Family Christmas celebration, but Dumb Luck proves to be the most resilient Christmas Angel of all.
1.The Twilight Zone – Night of the Meek. A poignant and ultimately uplifting Christmas episode from this unique program. A disheveled, melancholy department store Santa Claus (Art Carney), tortured by his empathy with and sympathy for the forgotten men and the hungry, sad children he must pass everyday on his way to and from his skid row abode, offers a drunken plea/prayer skyward. Moments later in a dark, filthy alleyway he stumbles upon an old sack that brings forth whatever gift the folks on the street request. Will there be one gift left for the ersatz Santa himself?