Ok, so the "Wonderful Life" page was supposed to be the last, but I found some extra webspace and decided to string this out for a full twelve month series. Anybody got a problem with that? Good.
"Good", however, doesn't exactly describe this month's topic. In fact, "HUH???" only starts to describe it. What we have here is a look at some depictions of Santa Claus that makes one wonder what those in charge were thinking. If they were thinking at all.
In this list, I'm not going for things like Billy Bob Thornton's "Bad Santa", or various slashers in Santa suits of crap cinema past. I'm commenting mostly on Santas that either tried to be true to the spirit of Santa and missed, or went for comedy, but were just "so wrong" - while still being funny - that they deserved mention.
That said, here we go in reverse order of wrongness...
Face it, was there any series more consistently "wrong" and simultaneously hilarious than "Married With Children"? MWC had several Christmas episodes, all classics in their own right. But Santa took a proverbial beating several times. Whether Al was forced to play the role to get present money for his ungrateful brood, or if a mall Santa should parachute to his death in the Bundy backyard, it's all so very, very wrong. Amazingly, there is a bit of warmth at the center of it all...if you search extremely hard for it
Try not to get eyestrain while you're looking...
Man, it's a good thing that Kathy Ireland is pretty. Otherwise "Once Upon A Christmas" would be just too insipid to watch. The plot is just as juvenile as most Christmas flicks settle to be. The performances wouldn't hold up on the old "Batman" series. Worse, Douglas Campbell's Santa is even a whinier bitch than Mickey Rooney's in "The Year Without A Santa Claus".
Did I mention that Kathy Ireland is pretty...???
Can't say that about Charles Durning, though...but I'm sure he's a nice guy...
I taped this movie "It Nearly Wasn't Christmas" off The Disney Channel a few years back. Haven't been able to watch it all the way through. Even the time it took to collect this vidcap was painful.
Can't blame Durning for this, even though his isn't the most Kringle-like Santa I've ever seen. Anytime you mix a script featuring a Santa feeling sorry for himself (two in a row here, if you're paying attention) with Osmonds behind and in front of the camera, and toss in Bruce Vilanch as an elf, pain is required to follow.
Durning shows up in another flick with a theme I despise; a current Santa must pass on his duties to another. In "Mr. St. Nick", Durning's term is up and son Kelsey Grammer must - albeit reluctantly - take over the mantle.
Mind you, this is actually quite watchable. Not a classic, but not a waste of time by any means. It's included here because in my opinion, Grammer just isn't Santa material.
Mrs. Grammer, on the other hand...
In a 1995 episode of "Frasier", the former Camille Donatacci graces her real-life hubby's character with a bit of holiday cheer.
Do I really have to explain why this falls under the category of "wrong"...? Or why it's nonetheless naughty and nice...???
God bless us, every one...
Here's a Santa that won't give you coal. Hot lead, maybe. Coal, no.
Unless it's already ablaze and administered by a red-hot poker...
From "Futurama", John Goodman voices a robotic St. Nick that deals out just desserts to those that have been naughty or nice. Wanna guess how many meet the "nice" criteria...???
Oddly, in this episode, Santa really doesn't lead in the "things that are just wrong" category. Still hilarious, nonetheless.
But very, very wrong.
Now, for the very definition of "very, very wrong":
To quote Sam Kinison: "OHHH! OHHHHHH! OHHHHHHH! OHHHHHHHH!!!"
Good lord, this is horrible. They could've cast Bill Goldberg instead of Whoopi Goldberg and not really lost much.
Haven't watched "Call Me Claus" all the way through, but this was more painful than snagging the Durning clip.
Again, the Santa-succession theme rears its ugly head. Add to that an apparent need to "expand" the character of Santa to that of not-just-a-white-guy and throw on top of that a star's vanity, and this is too much of a mess for me to sit through.
Very, very, very unwatchable.
Y'know, I hate to end things on such a low note...soooooooo...
I feel much better now...
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