It’s time again for our annual holiday blog! And this year, The Lincoln Center staff wants to contribute to your holiday cheer by sharing our favorite holiday episodes or TV specials. Enjoy!
Pee-Wee’s Playhouse Christmas Special
Jack: A few years ago, I rediscovered Pee-Wee’s Playhouse Christmas Special from the ’80s. You can catch it on Netflix. While the special itself is completely odd (shocking, I know), the introduction is so over the top that it is a must-see for any fans of American kitsch and pop culture. It is both total send-up and love letter to all of the classic network holiday specials of yore.
Perfect Strangers “A Christmas Story”
Eddie: The holiday season definitely evokes a lot of memories and when it comes to TV series themed episodes, there is certainly no shortage. I could suggest the oft-forgot I Love Lucy Christmas, or pretty much any Home Improvement Christmas episode, but I have to give a throwback to the TGIF days. Friday’s in my house were a time for family, pizza, a Blockbuster movie rental, or better yet…sitting down for the comedy block of TGIF goodness. One of my all-time favorite series in that lineup has to be Perfect Strangers, and the holiday episodes left no shortage of laughs, cries, and seasonal-themed moments.
The episode that stands out the most must be Season 2, Episode 11, “A Christmas Story”. Obsessed with Christmas, Myposian Balki drives his Cousin Larry stir-crazy with everything you might or might not expect, from finding the ‘perfect’ gift, to Christmas Tree disasters, carolers, and last-minute shopping; ultimately this episode adds up to 22-minutes of holiday joy and amusement.
Doctor Who “A Christmas Carol”
Robin: My favorite Christmas TV episode was the Doctor Who special, Series 6 with Matt Smith, called “A Christmas Carol” which was a twist on the Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, only with aliens, spaceships and fish. Great episode and very much the spirit of Christmas!
The Office & Parks and Rec
Todd: I love The Office Christmas parties! Hard to choose just one though. Also Parks and Rec! Since those can kind of be grouped together. 😊
Buffy the Vampire Slayer “Amends”
Rachael: It’s a tough choice between the Lizzie McGuire holiday episode “Aaron Carter’s Coming to Town” and the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode “Amends.” I think I have to say “Amends” is the winner—it’s a bit dark, but it tells a beautiful story of redemption and forgiveness, then has the quintessential holiday special ending: a snowfall in the heart of Southern California. It’s great any time of year, really.
The OC “The Best Chrismukkah Ever”
Megan: To anyone feeling nostalgic for early-2000’s teen soap-dramas this holiday season, look no further than The OC’s holiday episode, “The Best Chrismukkah Ever.” Seth Cohen combining his love for Hanukkah and Christmas to create the “greatest super-holiday known to mankind?” Pure magic.
Lizzie McGuire “Aaron Carter is Coming to Town”
Tara: The Lizzie Mcguire “Aaron Carter’s Coming to Town” episode!!
Good Luck Charlie: It’s Christmas!
Taylor: Every year my husband and I watch Good Luck Charlie: It’s Christmas! while decorating our tree. We started the tradition while in college and have watched it every year since! (I guess it’s technically a movie BUT it is a part of the TV series Good Luck Charlie!)
A few staff members didn’t have TV holiday favorites so they want to share some music, movies and comics with you!
Bruce Springsteen & E-Street Band “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”
John: At Christmastime in 1976 I saw Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band at Winterland Auditorium in San Francisco. Bruce’s rendition of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” was a holiday highlight. It featured Bruce, Clarence Clemons and Steve Van Zandt hamming it up in a skit where they acted like boys awaiting Santa’s arrival and then seeing him and his reindeer land on their roof. Their little one-act concluded with the song’s performance—the audience joining in. This was my third Springsteen show. I was an early adopter who first heard him at the gymnasium at Santa Clara University. It was certainly the most joyous. As always at his shows, no matter how big the audience, I felt as if he were singing directly to me and he aimed his musical infusion of holiday spirit right at my heart. Thanks, Bruce and E-Streeters for a Merry Christmas over 40 years ago.
Liz: I still watch Die Hard (the original) every Christmas. I worked in the building that it was filmed in.
Calvin and Hobbes
DJ: I know this probably makes me sound like an old man, especially since it isn’t even a tv show, but I always loved rereading Calvin and Hobbes. Something about them always struck home for me.
Burl Ives and family favorites
Cathie: Burl Ives has a Christmas album I play along with a variety of others including one my son made of my grandson’s favorite songs.