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Christmas Trivia, Fun and Games

The three months at the end of the calendar year represent most retailers’ best hope for a successful year. Many do as much business then as in the preceding nine months. And that business revolves around the celebration of the birth of a Child more than two thousand years ago. So, in the spirit of the season, let’s take a brief look at interesting tidbits, back stories and other oddities that have developed during those years.

Meanwhile…

Here is a short Christmas quiz game on the alternative lyrics to “12 Days”:

The variant that ends up with “3 French toasts, 2 turtlenecks and a beer in a tree” is attributed to a comedy team from:
   a. Yale
   b. France
   c. Canada

In 1959 a popular satirist complained of the over-commercialization of Christmas in his version called “Green Chri$tma$” It ends with “5 tubeless tires, 4 quarts of gin, 3 cigars, 2 cigarettes and some hair tonic on a pear tree.” His name was:
   a. Bob Newhart
   b. Stan Freberg
   c. Alan Sherman
Not long afterwards another satirist wrote his version that ended with “Statue of a naked lady with a clock where her stomach ought to be, Simulated alligator wallet, Calendar book with the name of my insurance man, Green polka dot pajamas, and a Japanese transistor radio (a Nakashuma, the Mark IV model – that’s the one that’s discontinued – in a leatherette case with holes in it so you can listen right through the case and a wire with a thing on one end that you can stick in your ear and a thing on the other end that you can’t stick anywhere because it’s bent.” He was:

a. Bob Newhart Santa
   
b. Stan Freberg Santa
   
c. Alan Sherman Santa






(Answers: C, B, C)
(and special thanks to Wikipedia)

Another cultural evergreen…

A Charlie Brown Christmas (and other Christmas TV Specials)

Back in the days when there were only three networks to watch, every major variety show, even dramatic shows, had Christmas specials. Lawrence Welk, Andy Williams, even Jack Webb’s Joe Friday on Dragnet managed to get in a Christmas message. The all-time popular Christmas shows, though, were the ones broadcast in 1970 and 1971 by Bob Hope. They were the 12th and the 26th most-viewed television programs in history, topping the last episode of Cheers and a bunch of Super Bowls (the most-watched ever was the last episode of M*A*S*H*).
Perhaps the longest-running Christmas show, A Charlie Brown Christmas, won an Emmy from the Television Academy of Arts and Sciences for its original broadcast during the 1965-66 season:. Bob Hope’s Christmas Special won an Emmy that year, too.
Written by Dianne Weller

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