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December 22, 2009 5:10 AM   Subscribe

For television stations around the world, December is the season of the Christmas tape. Unlike ordinary blooper reels, Christmas tapes (also known as goof tapes) are produced as entertainment for the staff Christmas party, with the intention that they will never be seen by the general public. Tropes of the genre include cruel practical jokes, after-hours misuse of the studio's green screen, in-jokes about unreliable equipment, sarcastic assessments of colleagues' work habits, and the usual piece-to-camera screwups. The B-B-C's tradition of in-house production, however, has ensured that its Christmas tapes contain such oddities as indecent daleks, Nazi weather presenters and on one occasion, a rather bad sci-fi film. Most links mildly NSFW.
posted by embrangled (8 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite

Heh. My Dad used to tell stories of seeing these BBC tapes back in the day when he used to visit various BBC studios & engineering depts. Along with the Norwegian train journey, I have his Xmas day viewing ;-)
posted by i_cola at 5:46 AM on December 22, 2009

Most links mildly NSFW.

Which is sort of ironic when you think about it.
posted by Naberius at 6:44 AM on December 22, 2009

The honker will haunt your dreams.
posted by Rhomboid at 7:04 AM on December 22, 2009 [1 favorite]

My favourite Christmas tape is the one by the cast of Rainbow, a British children's show. They did one filled with double-entendres which has been called the "Rainbow Plucking Orgy."

Not safe for the humour-impaired, or old maiden aunts. Get your Twangers ready.. One skin, two skins, three skins...
posted by Hardcore Poser at 7:40 AM on December 22, 2009 [1 favorite]

My dad used to work for the BBC (as I've mentioned before) and he used to bring home the Christmas tapes, dubbed onto VHS. Along with the outtakes and flubs mentioned here, they would also occasionally contain what I can only describe as soft-core set pieces - presumably made with BBC equipment and facilities (and presumably hired talent) for the entertainment of the technicians.

The existence of these tapes was well-known to the on-air talent and there are numerous examples of presenters screwing up and then, trying to make the best of it, turning to camera and wishing the videotape operators ("VT") a Merry Christmas.

Lorraine Chase actually managed to mess this up once too though - she tripped over her lines, turned to the camera, winked and said "Merry Christmas, VP!"
posted by kcds at 7:49 AM on December 22, 2009

Not a Christmas tape, this may have actually been put together for the White House Correspondents' dinner or some such.... some very familiar American network news faces here
posted by evilcolonel at 12:42 PM on December 22, 2009

Oh, crumb
posted by evilcolonel at 12:43 PM on December 22, 2009

We used to do this at one place I worked. There was one camera guy who'd always stray his pans on the pretty girls. Every show we'd subclip those out (and other mis-takes), capture them at the end of the year and madness ensued.
posted by filmgeek at 5:40 PM on December 22, 2009

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