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Christmas with Jim Henson, John Denver, and The Muppets
December 24, 2010 10:39 AM   Subscribe

While elusive on broadcast or cable television, YouTube has the holiday specials you're looking for. John Denver & The Muppets: A Christmas Together (Part 1 2 3 4 5 6). The Christmas Toy (Part 1 2 3 4 5). A Muppet Family Christmas (Part 1 2 3 4 5).
posted by hippybear (22 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

 
Not on YouTube, but no Christmas is complete without a requisite rendition of Hark the Herald Angels Sing: Charlie Brown Christmas (also with ads on Hulu or ABC, expires Dec 31)
posted by jng at 10:59 AM on December 24, 2010


Christmas Comes But Once A Year might be my favorite.
posted by papayaninja at 11:01 AM on December 24, 2010


Betamaxmas is still around, too!
posted by starman at 11:01 AM on December 24, 2010 [3 favorites]


Sadly, Emmet Otter's Jug Band Christmas remains impossible to locate easily online.
posted by hippybear at 11:02 AM on December 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


I had no idea the John Denver special had never been released on video. More music licensing issues, I assume? That's just awful, the way so many terrific shows from that era can't be released (or have to be edited) because of things like that. Of course, I don't think musicians should be screwed out of their royalties just because nobody anticipated video and DVD and so forth; I just wish they'd come up with a solution that would let people see and appreciate great shows like this as they were originally intended to be seen.
posted by Gator at 11:02 AM on December 24, 2010


I bought Muppet Family Christmas on DVD last year. Word of warning to anyone planning on doing the same: the US version is missing probably 20 minutes of footage, because they couldn't get the rights for some of the songs. It's a disaster. Buy the foreign version instead.
posted by specialagentwebb at 11:03 AM on December 24, 2010


I had the John Denver and the Muppets: A Christmas Together album when I was a kid. It remains one of my favorite Christmas records of all time.

My parents still haven't forgiven my uncle for giving it to me.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 11:18 AM on December 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oh, and...

FIVE!

GOOOOLD!

RINGS!
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 11:20 AM on December 24, 2010


BA DUM BUM BUM!
posted by Gator at 11:22 AM on December 24, 2010 [5 favorites]


Back in high school I was a bona-fide muppet freak (which only served to further alienate me from my peers who had long since grown out of such childish things). Old video tapes of these specials were like manna to me. Fortunately, I had a best friend who was into as much high weirdness as I was, and even better, his parents were barely-reformed hippies who had boxes full of such wonders as Asterix comics, old videotaped holiday specials (ever seen the Charlie Brown Normandy Beach special?) and imported Euro music magazines.

A great tradition between me and my friend was to watch the claymation special and as many other cheesy 80's specials as we could on Christmas Eve. The campy joy of the Pee Wee Special or the weird surreal qualities of the ALF special were (and are) as much a part of the holiday season to me as eggnog and chocolates may be to others.

My friend would invariably repeat one line as we began the John Denver special, and it still make me laugh to this day: "It's the muppets and John Denver, and they carry his granola-munching ass." So I'm sending him these links tonight, and once again, John Denver's slack, granola-munching ass will be carried by our good friends the muppets. Thanks!
posted by 1f2frfbf at 11:35 AM on December 24, 2010


ever seen the Charlie Brown Normandy Beach special?

What Have We Learned, Charlie Brown? Featuring part of the beautiful In Flanders Fields, recited by (of course) Linus. One of the few things capable of making my father cry. Always choked me up too, actually. Very beautiful tribute, and very unfortunate that it's never shown on TV anymore (used to be a Memorial Day special). And not available on video or DVD except as used VHS tapes, apparently.

posted by Gator at 11:46 AM on December 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


I remember "Christmas Comes But Once a Year" - we had it on a Classic Christmas VHS. I think there were 3 small movies on it. We used to love watching those over and over. I think one of the other stories was about 2 bear cubs that got lost and Santa had to help them find their way home or something. Wow, that was a long time ago!
posted by garnetgirl at 11:46 AM on December 24, 2010


I had the LP of the John Denver/Muppets Christmas album--I had no idea it was from a special. This is teh awesome!
posted by smirkette at 11:52 AM on December 24, 2010


And please, who could forget the Star Wars Holiday Special?
posted by bicyclefish at 12:53 PM on December 24, 2010


The Muppet Family Christmas is my absolute favourite Christmas special. We bought it on VHS one year and were sorely disappointed to find that a few scenes, notably Fozzie's song with the Snowman and the Muppet Babies' "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" had been cut out, I think because of rights issues. My mom loves Emmet Otter, and we have it on video, too. I've since managed to get digital versions of the complete versions of each and watch them both every year.
posted by synecdoche at 1:15 PM on December 24, 2010


1f2frfbf:Old video tapes of these specials were like manna to me.

Manna manna?
posted by dr_dank at 1:37 PM on December 24, 2010 [4 favorites]


Betamaxmas is still around, too!

Wow. I am home sick and completely mesmerised. Thank you.
posted by phooky at 1:51 PM on December 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


hippybear: Sadly, Emmet Otter's Jug Band Christmas remains impossible to locate easily online.

You may have seen this.
posted by hanoixan at 2:25 PM on December 24, 2010


I have. Never before have I seen a drum rolled so many times.
posted by hippybear at 3:12 PM on December 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


The stop-motion classic, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
posted by Houstonian at 6:27 PM on December 24, 2010


Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol 1 2 3 4 5 6
posted by Thorzdad at 5:31 AM on December 25, 2010


Here's my own favorite. Click, click, click!
posted by JHarris at 5:23 PM on December 25, 2010


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