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December 3, 2012 6:35 PM   Subscribe


 
How the heck did you find this?
posted by ChuraChura at 6:43 PM on December 3, 2012


A friend linked it on Facebook and I've been unable to stop watching it.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:46 PM on December 3, 2012


I never thought I'd hear someone on Sesame Street say "you look like an idiot".
posted by DU at 6:48 PM on December 3, 2012 [13 favorites]


She definitely could reach all the way to the nickle seats with those pipes...
posted by jim in austin at 6:48 PM on December 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Nice find....

And, Imogene Coca as well.....
posted by HuronBob at 6:55 PM on December 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


In the sidebar, there is another version of the same bit (recorded off VHS) . . . that goes on to the next bit, featuring Michael Jackson. And a Smother's Brother (as a Christmas ghost). Now I need to track down this whole thing....
posted by anastasiav at 7:06 PM on December 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


Yes you do, anastasiav.
posted by Melismata at 7:10 PM on December 3, 2012


Well, now I'm in the g-d Christmas spirit!

Also, isn't it funny how you never saw Ethel Merman and Nikita Kruschev in the same room together?
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 7:13 PM on December 3, 2012 [6 favorites]


That's not her; it's the guy from Striker's combat patrol that thinks he's Ethel Murman.
posted by xedrik at 7:15 PM on December 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


I love this.
posted by sweetkid at 7:22 PM on December 3, 2012


Who new Oscar was so bad-arse as to ruin Christmas?
posted by Mezentian at 7:35 PM on December 3, 2012


Ethel Mermen is a freaking goddess.
posted by koeselitz at 7:53 PM on December 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


"Imogene – 'smatter? You look like an idiot."
posted by koeselitz at 7:55 PM on December 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


roomthreeseventeen, you have made this Gen X gay's Christmas.
posted by roger ackroyd at 7:57 PM on December 3, 2012


From the Muppet wiki:

The special incorporates many elements of the classic story "A Christmas Carol". To win round the typically grouchy Oscar into the Christmas spirit, celebrity guest stars portray the ghostly visitors. Anne Murray appears as the Ghost of Christmas Past, who shows Oscar his childhood; Imogene Coca plays the Ghost of Christmas Present; and Dick Smothers is the Ghost of Christmas Future. The special also includes a crippled kitten named Tiny Tim, to whom Oscar grows sympathetic.
posted by roger ackroyd at 8:03 PM on December 3, 2012


Rats! I was thinking you meant the other Annie.
posted by Twang at 8:03 PM on December 3, 2012


That was awesome. Ethel Merman looked like one of my grandma's friends, with the coat and scarf and hair rinse and bags under her eyes... like a real person in their mid-60's, which you don't see much of on TV these days. And the voice! Anyway, thanks for this.
posted by not_on_display at 8:58 PM on December 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


This pleases me.
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:03 PM on December 3, 2012


Fuck this is fantastic.

I don't even really know how it happened but somehow 12 or so years ago back when I was in keyboarding class and we all figured out how to dick around secretively on the internet I found myself some livestreaming old-timey music channels and got weirdly hooked. Al Jolson, Doris Day, etc. etc. and of course Ethel. I was particularly fond of the version of 'Down in the Depths' featuring fantastic Mrs. Merman and at family get-togethers have been known to belt it out in my best Ethel impersonation.

I am so big Ethel fan and I haven't seen this. It will be added to the repertoire and sung at Christmas. Thank you.

MANHATTAAANNNNNNN I'M UP A TREEEEEEEEEEE
posted by six-or-six-thirty at 9:07 PM on December 3, 2012


We used to have a much beloved public radio morning music show here in the Twin Cities, which played basically anything they could find in their vast library. Every so often they dig up some Ethel number, and they would always preface it by issuing an Ethel Merman Alert from the National Weather Service, complete with accompanying EAS siren. Apparently they had gotten a few complaints over the years.

More on this Sesame Street Holiday Special
posted by wheelieman at 9:43 PM on December 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


1) I hate that song 2) The Sesame Street actors look like they're trying desperately to keep a pleasant look on their faces during the number 3) I freakin' loved that whole damn thing anyway. Something about her voice and delivery. It's not *beautiful* per se, but damn, I admire anyone with a voice so sure, powerful, and strong. Rock on, Ethel. A hero is you.
posted by smirkette at 11:17 PM on December 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Bob and Marie were so... young!
posted by mazola at 11:42 PM on December 3, 2012


From now on, I am going to watch this before bed every night.
posted by bicyclefish at 12:00 AM on December 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


More on this Sesame Street Holiday Special

Needs more Itchy, Lumpy and Mala.
posted by Mezentian at 1:26 AM on December 4, 2012


New. Ringtone. Acquired.
posted by J.W. at 3:46 AM on December 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh hell yes. Nevermind the nickel seats - I think you could hear her out in the lobby with those pipes. It's really the platonic idea of a "belt out the showtunes" voice. And a serious trouper - Elaine Stritch was able to understudy for Merman for a run of a show while also being on stage in another show because Merman never actually needed an understudy.

Trivia: in the original musical "Annie", the song "Tomorrow" was originally put in the show to cover a 2 minute scene change.
posted by rmd1023 at 4:51 AM on December 4, 2012


Now I need to track down this whole thing....

Now available on DVD
posted by cottoncandybeard at 6:27 AM on December 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'd pay $100 cash money to hear Ethel do "It's the Hard-Knock Life," the best song from that show.

Meanwhile, while watching the clip, I was half-dreading reading the comments, thinking, "Oh shit, Annie + Merman is going to attract all the super haters." Au contraire, nearly a whole thread of impeccable taste!
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:58 AM on December 4, 2012


You know how Twitter has an Emergency Puppy for when you're feeling blue? I'd much prefer an Emergency Ethel Merman.

Who's the Ethel Merman for our time? Maybe Celine Dion? But she's unappealingly insipid instead of awesomely brassy.
posted by Nelson at 9:16 AM on December 4, 2012


Emergency Ethel, for when you and Fozzie are feeling down.
posted by FelliniBlank at 9:45 AM on December 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


My mom gets sentimental tears in her eyes when she hears Ethel's rendition of "God Bless American." (Just reporting something I've seen that I can't begin to understand or explain.)
posted by she's not there at 10:41 AM on December 4, 2012


I read a wonderful story about Merman somewhere, and found a version here:
Ethel loved dirty jokes and told them often. She swore during rehearsals and meetings. While rehearsing with Loretta Young for Young’s TV show, she was told she would have to pay $1 for every swear, because Loretta was a sanctimonious prude, even though she had a child with Clark Gable out of wedlock. Anyway, Ethel’s dress didn’t fit, and she said, “Oh shit, this damn thing’s too tight.” Young pursued her with the swear jar and said, “Come on Ethel, put a dollar in. You know my rules.” Merman retorted, “Ah, honey, how much will it cost me to tell you to go fuck yourself?!”
posted by goofyfoot at 2:00 PM on December 4, 2012 [4 favorites]


My main takeways from this are that there are people in the world named Leslie Uggams and Dickie Smothers, and Dickie Smothers appears not to be in porn.
posted by Mezentian at 4:31 PM on December 4, 2012


Who's the Ethel Merman for our time? Maybe Celine Dion? But she's unappealingly insipid instead of awesomely brassy.

The answer is Patti LuPone, who is not shy about her voice or her opinions.
posted by booksandlibretti at 2:25 PM on December 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


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