Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town: And He's Gonna Stay in Prime Time Forever
|"Santa Claus is Comin' to Town" (1970).|
After years of seeing spectacular ratings for their holiday shows, the company had no trouble lining up top talent to do the voices. Whereas "Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer" had Burl Ives as narrator/character, and "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" had Boris Karloff, for "Santa Claus is Comin' to Town" they lined up several legends of Hollywood: Fred Astaire as S.D. Kluger the mailman, Mickey Rooney as Kris Kringle/Santa Claus, and Keenan Wynn as the Winter Warlock.
|That is one fine caricature of Fred Astaire.|
|Kris and the Kringles.|
|He looks very Germanic.|
|She's kinda cute.|
|Winter Warlock is scary!|
|I like this panel of the four main characters.|
"Santa Claus is Comin' to Town" also is completely secular, negating any religious influence on the holiday season in place of Jolly Old Saint Nick and presents. This is contrary to the most popular seasonal specials that at the very least nod in the direction of the religious roots of the holiday, such as "A Charlie Brown Christmas and "Rudolph." People, in general, may not be as religious as they once were, but an awful lot still are religious, and many others at least want to think that they are when the holidays spin around. You have to show a little respect, kiss the ring as in "The Godfather."
Furthermore, it's not clear that children especially care where Santa comes from as long as the old man is all right and makes his annual rounds, or at least care enough to make this show as memorable as the other top Christmas specials. Finally, the Winter Warlock is a bit scary for some small children and that hurts the special's reach just a tiny bit.
|Where's the sled?|
|Come to my house!|
|Fred is the perfect narrator.|