Picking up where we left off, Mongo was sent out to find a List of his favorite Christmas shows. He was told to pick only shiny shows, maybe even ones in pink. Mongo, being the grumpy fellow he is, decides against this commercialised approach to picking his favorite shows much to the dismay of his readers who laugh at him until his dear friend tells him what Christmas shows are all about.
With that, the final ten and all the rest.
16: Rankin/Bass Stop Motion Animated Specials (1964 - ????) It was too hard to slice and dice these shows as they are truly classics. The Island of Misfit Toys would be found on a Pop Culture Globe for sure. For a complete list…check out the Wikipedia entry.
17: Bad Santa (2003) Hilarious and completely politically incorrect, Bad Santa is like Festivus. It’s the Christmas movie for the rest of us. Brett Kelly steals this flick from everyone as The Kid aka Thurman Merman. If you went through and just cut every scene out except for ones involving him, you would die from laughing.
18: “Christmas Party” The Office (2005) Speaking of inappropriate. A boss that buys an obscene amount of alcohol for an office Christmas Party, institutes a “Yankee Swap” when he’s disappointed by his gift, and takes a picture of a topless, drunken coworker can only mean one thing, Emmy nomination. For a breakdown of the Secret Santa gift exchange, go here.
19: Santa Claus: The Movie (1985) Only earning back half of its estimated budget made it a flop and harsh reviews from critics won’t make Santa’s nice list, but I still like this film. For anyone who loves origins and back stories it does really well and is in depth as an Star Fleet Manual on the Enterprise. The imagery of the North Pole makes you want to move there or at least go there for a ski trip. It’s got a trippy over sized toy look to it. I’m in agreement that Lithgow’s B.Z. doesn’t go far into evil territory and is more cartoonish, but it’s a kids’ Christmas movie. Plus, look the film as a business major. You have Santa Claus’ tried and true method of producing toys with optimal satisfaction ratings, and along comes Patch. While he’s a visionary along the lines of Henry Ford, his methods beget shoddy workmanship and customer dissatisfaction which nearly results in fatalities.
20: “Noël” and “Bartlett For America” The West Wing (2000 and 2001) Episodic television is hard to rank in terms of Christmas themed offerings as most long running shows have several from which to choose. However, “Noël” is an exception because it sets up a recurring event when Josh suffers from PSD after being shot in the season opener. Leo tells Josh a story about a guy stuck in a hole and how people walk by offering suggestions of help but not actual help until the guy’s friend jumps in the hole with him. When he admonishes his friend for doing such a stupid thing, the friend says, "Yeah, but I've been down here before, and I know the way out." A year later, when Leo’s alcoholism is brought into question during the investigation of the President’s non disclosure of his M.S. during the re-election, Josh refers to the parable in regards to helping Leo out of the line of fire.
21: While You Were Sleeping (1995) Christmas with family is all about misunderstandings, miscommunication, and general chaos. So, what happens when the man of your dreams nearly dies in your arms and he doesn’t even know you exist? Pose as his fiancée and get to know his family. Simon-esque obstacles prevent Lucy from coming clean to the Callaghans and she ends up falling the brother of her now comatose fiancé. Randy Edelman’s soundtrack is excellent on this one and the best scene of the movie is a “blink and you’ll miss it” sight gag involving a paper boy with balance issues.
22: Lethal Weapon (1987) Suicide and depression go hand in hand for the holidays. How comforting? And even though Christmas in LA is rather uneventful weather wise the movie touches on several themes of holidays, family, and life. Oh, who am I kidding? It’s one of the best action movies of all time. I had to include it. The film being set at Christmas is incidental.
23: Silent Night Deadly Night (1984) The threat of being naughty will get you a lump of coal is taken to a whole new level. Here, you’re liable to get an axe in the head. Truly a guilty pleasure for any horror-phile. The fact that Billy says “NAUGHTY” when he chooses to kill someone cracks me up the most. There are so many bad Christmas puns to be used it’s worthy of being a classic.
24: Elf (2003) While Will Ferrel’s man-boy on screen charm is starting to wear thin, this movie is perfect for his shtick. The pure joyful moments that Buddy feels when he believes that the things that occur in a store during Christmas are part of his real world experience are excellent. And answering the phone, “Buddy, the elf, what’s your favorite color?” cracks me up every time. Yeah, James Caan seems out of place and Zooey Deschanel looks like she’s lost…she’s not, she’s rather great in this film as an acerbic and dry humored store employee…everyone works well, and having Bob Newhart on screen is always a treat.
25: “Bedtime for Sniffles” (1940) Staying awake for Santa is not an easy task, especially with all kinds of signs like a poster for tires that says, “Time to retire” and features a child in a sleeping gown, carrying a candle, and yawning. Another good moment that has been seared into my memory is Sniffles falling asleep on a bristly brush providing what looks like five O’clock shadow.
The rest of the best:
Star Wars Holiday Special (1978)
Edward Scissorhands (1990)
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001)
Batman Returns (1992)
All I Want For Christmas (1991)
Santa Clause Trilogy (1994-2006)
Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (1964) I highly recommend the MST3K version
Reindeer Games (2000)
Trapped in Paradise (1994)
Mickey’s Christmas Carol (1983)
Love Actually (2003)
The Holiday (2006)
“Woodland Critter Christmas” South Park (2004)
"A Very Special Family Guy Freakin' Christmas" Family Guy (2001)
The Ref (1994)
Unaccompanied Minors (2006)
Eight Crazy Nights (2002)
Have a Merry Christmas and every other Winter Holiday known to Human Resources....
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