December 27, 2019

Around the dial

Just because Christmas Day has passed doesn't mean Christmas itself is over; in fact, the Twelve Days have just started, so we're going to keep with Christmas content, starting with David at Comfort TV, who recalls the warm memories that come from those great Kraft commercials that used to run on specials around this time of year. "Because nothing says holiday magic like processed cheese, described by the soothing narration of Ed Herlihy."

Continuing the theme, Perry Como was the longtime host of Kraft Music Hall on television; this clip at Television Obscurities is from one of his earlier shows, when Perry hosted a 15-minute show three times a week. Regardless of when, it's a reminder of why Perry Como was one of America's favorite singers and television personalities of the time, and how his Christmas shows were always a staple of the season.

One of the signature aspects of Rankin/Bass animation has been the celebrity-turned-Anamagic character that appears in so many of the company's specials—think Burl Ives, Fred Astaire, James Cagney, and others. But, as Jodie reminds us at Garroway at Large, the Master Communicator himself appeared in Anamagic once, in the lesser-known Christmas special Jack Frost, which also starred Robert Morse and Buddy Hackett.

At A Shroud of Thoughts, Terence has two Christmas-themed stories; the first gives us some background on the unlikely success of one of the most-loved of all Christmas specials, A Charlie Brown Christmas; the other is a list of five Christmas-themed movies that TCM should run every year. No arguments here.

That's about it for a light week, but come on back tomorrow for the final TV Guide review of the year. TV  


  1. Because the Guides allow us to span TV generations, the fact that Dave Garroway had a role in 1979 on Jack Frost extends the '50's almost into the 1980's. Impressive and nostalgic at the same time. Somehow I think fans of Garroway have to appreciate this paean to one of TV's early pioneers just a month away from Reagan's inauguration.

  2. Interesting that McCann, Erickson was mentioned re: A Charlie Brown Christmas. McCann, of course, was the rival ad agency always vilified in "Mad Men" ("black Irish vs. Draper, Cooper, Sterling, and all the rest of the Wasps). Playing the seven degrees (or less) of separation, Robert Morse does VO for Jack Frost in 1979, goes on to play Burt Cooper in Mad Men who has a running war with McCann, Erickson throughout the series. Strange connections connect as we enter the 2020's....

  3. ..and a nuns were harmed during the analysis and reasoning presented in my first two comments...

  4. ..or processed Kraft cheese (aka Velveeta)


Thanks for writing! Drive safely!