Blogger John Scalzi remembers the 10 Least Successful Christmas Specials. Who among you lit types could forget “An Algonquin Round Table Christmas” (1927)?
Alexander Woolcott, Franklin Pierce Adams, George Kaufman, Robert Benchley and Dorothy Parker were the stars of this 1927 NBC Red radio network special, one of the earliest Christmas specials ever performed. Unfortunately the principals, lured to the table for an unusual evening gathering by the promise of free drinks and pirogies, appeared unaware they were live and on the air, avoiding witty seasonal banter to concentrate on trashing absent Round Tabler Edna Ferber’s latest novel, Mother Knows Best, and complaining, in progressively drunken fashion, about their lack of sex lives. Seasonal material of a sort finally appears in the 23rd minute when Dorothy Parker, already on her fifth drink, can be heard to remark, “one more of these and I’ll be sliding down Santa’s chimney.” The feed was cut shortly thereafter. NBC Red’s 1928 holiday special “Christmas with the Fitzgeralds” was similarly unsuccessful.
And if you like that, how could you possibly resist “Ayn Rand’s A Selfish Christmas” (1951), “A Muppet Christmas with Zbigniew Brzezinski” (1978), or “Noam Chomsky: Deconstructing Christmas” (1998)? You’d have to have a heart of stone. Link via Colby, with whom I have to agree when he says he’d really like to see a bunch of these. Round up the cast of Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle posthaste!
Uhh…on second thought, let’s round up the cast of Best in Show instead.