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Ted Forth’s Guide to Long-Forgotten Holiday Specials

Posted in Uncategorized by cesco7 on December 19, 2011

Much like a recently orphaned nine-year-old who is left not only to look after his younger siblings but also the day-to-day operations of Exxon Mobil, Christmas Day has far too much riding on it for just one holiday. Marketers need Christmas to succeed on a financial level because Kwanzaa has yet to live up to its promise as a cash cow. Parents need Christmas to succeed on an emotional level if only to prove that the family can occasionally be a focal point for love and giving, not just during televised wife swaps. And children need Christmas to succeed because, well, if some poor kid in a manger could score both frankincense and myrrh the very least today’s kid should expect is a Nintendo 3DS.

But for Ted Forth he only needs Christmas to succeed on a family entertainment level. And now thanks to Netflix and YouTube, not only can we repeatedly enjoy such accomplished and acclaimed holiday chestnuts as The Grinch, A Charlie Brown Christmas and Santa Claus in Coming to Town but also such little-known and rarely-aired programs like:

A Q*Bert Christmas
Straight from the 1980’s—when arcade game characters such as Pac-Man and Donkey Kong appeared on everything from cartoons to Sunday TV political roundtable discussions—comes this confused retelling of “The Gift of the Magi” in which the mute title character sells his favorite watch only to wind up evading coiled snakes on a multi-colored pyramid in the dark, foreboding abyss. But what the special loses in regards to O. Henry’s poignant storytelling flair and bittersweet sense of irony it more than makes up for with a cataclysmic ending straight from the “Game Over” sequence in “Missile Command.”

Frosty the Businessman
Everybody’s favorite gelid jolly man returns yet again, this time in search of regular employment and a credit history. Thanks to the impressive networking skills of the now-grown and successful venture capitalist Karen from the first cartoon, Frosty is soon up to his eyeballs in mind-numbing hedge fund activism, corporate raiding, “poison pill” boardroom defenses and SEC inquiries, all culminating in an exhaustively detailed proxy fight set to the catchy holiday ditty “ValueAct Capital LP vs. Acxiom Corp.” While parents may find themselves at a loss to explain the mechanics of “chastity loans” and “standstill agreements” to their thoroughly dumbfounded children, working adults everywhere will no doubt will be tapping their toes to a percussive score that perfectly captures Frosty’s celebrated joie de vivre slowly being drummed out of existence by the relentless beat of corporate life.

Donny the Dreidel Saves Ramadan in Time for St. Nick–A Multicultural Holiday Special
Good intentions beget grave consequences in an all-inclusive program from 2000 that not only manages to inadvertently insult three of the world’s major religions but also features Kelly Ripa and a clearly uncomfortable Elie Wiesel performing a duet of “O Holy Night” to klezmer music.

A Quotidian Christmas
Mom heads back to the stationary store after people she had long written off as friends send her a Christmas card. Dad begrudgingly realizes that apparently no one else can be bothered to go shopping for gifts he can give his wife. A coworker decides the office holiday party is the perfect occasion to showcase their lightening celerity with alcohol consumption. An in-law concludes that this year the entire family is going to celebrate the holidays her way. A child’s greed is once more overindulged, resulting in low self-esteem and crippling dissatisfaction later in life. A sibling goes ballistic over the proper placement of dessert forks. No one waters the tree.

Girls Gone Wild Christmas Carol
Ebenezer Scrooge is a despicable old miser with a heart as warm as a dying ember and a life as cold as the thin gruel he dines on nightly. That is until one Christmas Eve when he’s visited by wave after wave of nubile college girls just dying to flash their funbags for the camera and your holiday cheer. Watch Ebenezer’s unexpected guests jingle their bells and check out the boughs on Holly as these fun-loving freshmen doff their tees and drink until their hearts are pumping Cuervo Gold. This is your chance to re-experience a festive favorite or just spot your daughter gyrating topless to Nelly. Also of note: “Girls Gone Wild Meet Oliver Twist,” in which a poor orphan is forced to eke out a pitiful existence as a street urchin…until he’s picked up by a Range Rover packed with 15 of the most stacked sophomores ever to appear outside of a Russ Meyer film.

It’s the big week! Watch every single employee at Santa’s Workshop have a collective heart attack at Angry Santa Elf on Twitter!
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3 Responses

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  1. Robert said, on December 19, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    I told my sons that one of the things I love about Thanksgiving is that nobody ever has to save it, or rescue it, or learn the true meaning of it. The fourteen year old proceeded to act out the last one:
    “You have to learn the true meaning of Thanksgiving!”
    “It’s in the name!”

    Hil does have a point; Santa’s lack of dedication can be a problem sometimes.

  2. Usual John said, on December 19, 2011 at 11:51 pm

    I like the way that the Sally Forth and Medium Large sensibilities came together. This is a great strip.

    Fun fact: Poison pill defenses and standstill agreements are real things. Chastity loans are not.

  3. Zac said, on December 23, 2011 at 12:40 am

    I’ve been shopping around a Christmas special where Santa cancels Christmas, but it doesn’t matter because all of the parents already bought all the presents, but so far none of the major networks have expressed any interest in “The Year Santa Learned his Place.”

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