Friday, December 23, 2016

Show Notes: Holiday Special

*Rankin-Bass' The Leprechaun's Christmas Gold aired December 23, 1981...and then, as far as we know, not too many times afterward until ABC Family resurrected it each year.

*I complain in this episode about holiday specials airing earlier and earlier each year, and in fact, A Charlie Brown Christmas was on December 1 on ABC this year. However, it was also on last night--a respectable December 22. Rudolph was on Saturday, December 10, which is acceptable, but why do they bury these on the weekends now?

*When Mike refers to Rudolph's Shiny New Year as the Avengers of Rankin-Bass, he means Rudolph and Frosty's Christmas in July, a 1979 special teaming the two title stars and also featuring Santa Claus and Jack Frost.

*Star of The Leprechaun's Christmas Gold Art Carney is, of course, best known for his role as Ognir Rrats' father in the NBC TV special Ringo. Peggy Cass, who plays Blarney's wife Faye, was a star of stage, screen, and games shows. Dinty Doyle is voiced by Ken Jennings (not that one). It seems like Dennis Day, who had been in two previous Rankin-Bass specials, would have been a natural for this role.

*Kilarney is a real place: Located in southwestern Ireland, it is still going strong. In fact, according to Wikipedia, "In 2011, it was named Ireland's tidiest town and the cleanest town in the country by Irish Business Against Litter."

*The Family Circus panel debuted in 1960 and is still running today under the stewardship of creator Bil Keane's son Jeff. It is in over 1,500 newspapers. Unofficially, it's been ridiculed in over 1,500 blogs.

*The ages of the kids in the Family Circus are as follows: Billy, 7; Dolly, 5; Jeffy, 3; PJ, Zero-1.

*Kukla, Fran, and Ollie was an unscripted puppet show created by Burr Tillstrom and airing from 1947-1957 on several different outlets. The show was technically simple but remarkably sophisticated.

*Check the YouTube playlist for promos and clips featuring many of the shows and stars mentioned in this week's TV Guide game, plus several full-length Christmas specials!

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