Around this time o’ year way back in 2009 and 2010, I did a series of posts under the banners of Holiday Horrors and Holiday Triumphs, with at least one example of each for every day in December leading up to Christmas Day. I chickened out trying to do that again this year because I feared running low on material, but I think there are still some gems buried in the earlier posts that could do with some new exposure, if I do say so myself.
In that spirit, please enjoy any and all of these Holiday Horrors/Triumphs of years past, whether you’ve just been hipped to Scratchbomb or you want to reread these classics of yesteryear because they’re so awesome. Hubris!
Christmas Ads from 1985, Pt. 1 (12/4/09) and Pt. 2 (12/8/09): A passel of commercials from around the 1985 holiday season, featuring robotic Alex Karras, Bill Murray commenting on Bugs Bunny, and Bob Newhart telling you to just say no. Plus, McDonalds really, really, REALLY wants to emphasize the hotness of their hot hot food.
Local 1980s News Teasers (12/16/09): A collection of bumpers for local NYC news in the 1980s, a true gauntlet of horror, especially considering these all aired around the holidays. For real.
KRAMPUS! (12/18/09): Still one of Scratchbomb’s most read posts evar! Once upon a time, Santa was trailed devil horned goat-footed trickster demon who beat bad kids and dragged them to hell. Merry Christmas!
Pee-Wee Christmas! (12/18/09): A celebration of the criminally underrated Pee-Wee’s Playhouse Christmas Special. Who else but Pee-Wee could offer an imprisoned Frankie and Annette, kd lang having a psychotic break, Little Richard trying to skate, and Grace Jones being Grace Jones?
“Low Tidings,” The Flapjack Christmas Special (12/22/09): Another unjustly overlooked holiday offering from an unjustly overlooked show, Flapjack, one with an oblique but sublime perspective on Christmas, religion, and sack beatings.
Candy Claus (12/1/10): I found what might be the worst animated Christmas special ever, a show so bad it may rob you of the will to live. Enjoy!
The He-Man and She-Ra Christmas Special (12/6/10): Remember how you loved He-Man when you were a kid? Well, it was garbage. Peep this special and I dare you to tell me otherwise.
O’ Christmas Pete (12/6/10): A look back at The Adventures of Pete and Pete‘s Christmas special, an odd, joyous, and beautiful piece of television.
Crazy Eddie Christmas Ads (12/8/10): Pretty much what it says, folks. If you’re too young to remember these commercials, revel in the glory days of local advertising run by maniacs.
Jean Shepherd Christmas Shows: Shep is known mostly now for being the man behind A Christmas Story, but here are a few posts on some holiday-themed radio shows from his heyday in that medium. We have “Uncle Carl’s Gift” (12/8/10), “Christmas Gifts” (12/15/10), and “Earliest Christmas” (12/20/10).
Portraits of Krampus (12/10/10): A look at the phenomenon of Krampus postcards, which sprang up across Europe in the late 1800s/early 1900s.
Phineas and Ferb Christmas Vacation (12/10/10): If you don’t have a kid, you may not have been exposed to Phineas and Ferb just yet. If not, you’re missing out, because it’s one of the best things on TV, kids’ show or not. Their holiday special is amazing and highly quotable; the phrase “You’re Feliz Navi-dead to me!” is now part of our family lexicon.
Pokemon Christmas Medley (12/13/10): I’m a little too old to have been into Pokemon when it blew up, so to be fair, I can’t look at this with the same lens of nostalgia that younger folk can. But holy balls, is this medley awful.
The Pee-Wee Herman Show on Broadway (12/14/10): On taking my daughter to see Pee-Wee on Broadway. Spoiler alert: It was awesome.
A Wish for Wings that Work (12/17/10): Apparently, there was a Bloom County animated special, a Christmas special no less. And it was kind of amazing.
Egg Nog = BRUTAL (12/19/10): A teen metal band sings about egg nog on public access cable. What else do you need.
We Wish You a Turtle Christmas (12/20/10): Did you notice above that I said “Candy Claus” was the worst animated Christmas special ever? That’s because this is the worst Christmas special ever, and possibly the worst thing ever. Read/watch this and then try to prove me wrong.
The Chrisfits (12/21/10): There is a Misfits “cover” band that repurposes the songs of Danzig et al and turns them into Christmas carols. It is as amazing as it sounds.
Deep Cuts from Rankin/Bass (12/22/10): After Rudolph, Rankin/Bass made some truly weird Christmas specials. Here are but a few.
Santa Claus and the Ice Cream Bunny (12/24/10): With the aid of Rifftrax, I make it through one of the worst films ever made, one I’m not entirely convinced was made on this planet.
A Very Special Scratchbomb Christmas Post (12/24/09): A look back at my own odd route to celebrating the holiday. I spent most of my youth not-quite-celebrating Christmas, yet still celebrating it in a way that shaped my appreciation of the holiday, because…look, just read it, okay? I’m kind of proud of this one.