Through the magic of Tivo, I’ve been recording the ghost of Christmas past in the form of sitcom Christmas episodes. Not sure why, but I felt a compelling need to do this. I was definitely a TV kid. I remember the thrill we felt when a UHF station launched in Pittsburgh, adding hours of sitcom reruns and cartoons to our limited viewing options. And it’s not unusual for strange commercial jingles to bubble up out of my subconscious and strangle me for hours at a time. (He’s the mystical magical Burger King, he can do most anything …)
Christmas was always a special time for us. Mom and Dad pulled out all the stops. I remember watching Christmas specials on a little black and white TV that was perched on a “TV cart” on wheels so it could be rolled around the house. The holiday crunch at the Post Office kept my father working late, and I remember trying to stay up till he got home. We’d bide our time watching Christmas specials and wearing, sorry to say, outfits much like the ones my brother and I don in the 1967 photo above (that’s Blackie with us; even then I was a dog nut). Even more embarrassing is that my most vivid TV image from the time is that Norelco spot where Santa rides and electric razor through the snow. I thought that was the coolest thing I’d ever seen.
There’s no method here. Just madness. I’m not trying to list all of them. Just the ones that for one reason or another, struck a chord with me. I’m steering clear of Christmas specials, preferring instead to focus on sitcoms with a Christmas theme of some sort, however tenuous it might be.
So here’s an index of the shows. I’ll expand it as I upload new ones. Use the comments to let me know what I’ve missed or where I completely missed the symbolic significance of Fred Sanford’s Christmas diatribe.
Beverly Hillbillies (misfire)
Beverly Hillbillies (direct hit)
Beverly Hillbillies (direct hit II)
The Andy Griffith Show
Sanford and Son
The Partridge Family
Married … with Children
Santa Claus Conquers the Martians