Only Fools And Russell Hartys

I didn’t see this when it popped up last Christmas, so apologies if you’ve already seen it. There was a time before Only Fools And Horses was the tune-in event come Christmas, and so they were relegated to appearing on other shows instead.  After the end of series 2, in 1983, that meant this happened on Russell Harty’s Christmas special.

Anyone know if this was written by John Sullivan?

The Seinfeld Christmas Episodes

Outside of one particularly iconic episode, Seinfeld isn’t remembered for its Christmas stories, and never had an actual special festive episode. For the most part, the season was hinted at only through set dressings, and plots about present giving.

The Red Dot has mention of a Christmas office party, and the central plot device is a gift George gets for Elaine, but in typical Costanza style, he does it on the cheap and tries to pretend he is effusively generous. We also find that George is left-handed. Jason Alexander considers this scene a defining moment for the character …

The following season chose to focus on Jerry sticking his finger up his nose, but is more memorable for Kramer’s photo of Elaine for her Christmas card.

In The Race, Kramer gets a job as Santa, then converts to Communism. The Gum barely mentions Christmas at all, while The Andrea Doria is at least thematically about the holiday spirit.

Of course, it’s The Strike that everyone remembers, but I don’t know why.

Festivus is a real thing, that writer Dan O’Keefe’s father invented, including The Airing Of Grievances.

Christmas Radio Times Covers

It’s out today (in my region), the new bumper edition of The Radio Times, just in time for Christmas. Yesterday we had a look at the one that was released in the year of my birth, but here it is again.

I think the first one I really remember though is this one, from 1982.

And for sure, this one has stuck in my mind ever since 1985.

Though this one from 1984 is rather … ominous and scary (maybe it’s an Orwell reference).

The one from 1989 was boring. So boring in fact, it burned itself into my memory.

But I think it’s the 1991 …

And the 1992 ones …

That really encapsulate the covers for me. And 2007 is just adorable.

My First Christmas Day Television

Using the always useful BBC Genome Project, let’s have a look at what was on TV for my very first Christmas on Earth. I would have been laying in a manger, surrounded by cuddly farm animals, wondering why a star was moving across the heavens and the world wasn’t coming to an end.

Having been dumped in front of a screen to fend for myself, this is what I would have seen.

Appropriately, the day’s viewing began with Star Over Bethlehem, because Noel Edmonds hadn’t been invented back then. Well, he had, but they hadn’t stuck him up Post Office Tower yet.

I probably would have slept through until The Bear Who Slept Through Christmas came on.

I doubt the film National Velvet would have been more entertaining than my rattle, but the opening credits of Are You Being Served? might have caught my attention at 1.40pm.

Noel Edmonds finally turns up and pops up for a turn on Top Of The Pops, before my burping during The Queen. I would have had a nap during Billy Smart’s Christmas Circus, ready to sit and watch (and dribble) The Wizard Of Oz, and giggle through Basil Brush’s Through The Looking Glass special.

After Songs Of Praise and The Generation Game, it was time for Mike Yarwood and then Morecambe & Wise.

Anyway, here’s a thumb through the 1977 Christmas Radio Times.


Watergate Jokes

For no obvious reason, I’ve been thinking about Watergate and the scandal that bought down a Presidency. So I thought I’d look for some contemporary comedy about the whole affair.

Here’s Johnny, marking the fifth anniversary of Nixon’s resignation.

And that’s pretty much all I could find.

So I guess there was only ever one joke performed on TV about Watergate.