9 Weird, Forgotten Holiday Specials Part 1
Certain TV specials have become as much a part of the holidays as mistletoe and candy canes. What would Christmas be without Charlie Brown and his pathetic tree, the Grinch and his dog Max, or Rudolph and his abusive father? Much poorer, is the answer I would offer.
But not every TV special has become a classic. In fact, most of them have been left on the trash-heap of seasonal drek. Which is where they, arguably, deserve to be. Here’s part 1 of 3 of “9 Weird Forgotten Holiday Specials”.
1.) Ziggy’s Gift (1982)
Do you remember Ziggy? Was it a comic strip? I don’t remember seeing it in any actual newspapers, just clippings posted in co-worker’s cubicles circa-1987.
Well, Ziggy got his own holiday special in 1982. “Ziggy’s Gift” sees Ziggy take a job as a street Santa collecting money for a shady con operation. Ziggy, along with all the other phony Santa con-men are rounded up by the police but, somehow, Ziggy is the hero of the story because of reasons.
This mess actually won an Emmy that year and, presumably, was never seen by human eyes again.
2.) B.C.: A Special Christmas (1981)
B.C. was (is?) the comic strip about cavemen living B.C. As in, “before Christ”. Maybe you’ve noticed the timeframe conundrum already. Believe it or not, “B.C.: A Special Christmas” wasn’t even the first holiday special about cave people living before Christ. That honor goes to The Flintstones who anachronistically celebrated the birth of Christ several tens of thousands of years before the actual event, or 1977, depending on how you look at it.
The special includes Santa, Christmas trees, music from “The Nutcracker” and, right before the end, an appearance by the Star of Bethlehem and the Magi. So…I guess after that special they changed the name of the strip to “A.D.” ?
3.) Rapsittie Street Kids: Believe in Santa (2002)
This CGI nightmare was aired on the WB in 2002 and then, for over a decade became what’s known as a “lost film". Then, miraculously, someone discovered a copy in 2015. The discoverer is still being sought so that he or she can be brought before a tribunal in the Hague to answer for his crimes against humanity.
The computer animation in RSK:BIS was not cutting edge in 2002. Actually, it wouldn’t have been cutting edge in 1002. It looks like somebody downloaded some clip art on Windows 95 , forgot about it until 2000 and then somehow merged it with the first generation The Sims.
Who even ARE the Rapsittie Street Kids? Apparently, they weren’t an existing franchise or property. I could almost understand turning something that was already successful, like “Garbage Pail Kids” or “Ms. Pac Man” , into a holiday special as a horrible, cynical attempt at a cash grab. But the real horror here is that these characters were created specifically FOR this! Also, what does the word “Rapsittie” refer to? Is it a play on the word “rhapsody”, like it going to contain classical music. HA! You wish! It’s actually a play on the words “rap” and “city”. The special opens with the kind of rap you would expect from the Poppin’ Fresh Doughboy in a Pillsbury commercial from the late 80’s. These are, honest to the God that I used to believe existed, the VERY FIRST lyrics of the very first song in “Rapsittie Street Kids: Believe in Santa”.
“ It was the week before Christmas that I’m talkin’
I spent the day with my grandma, walkin’ “
Adding to the insanity of this terrible, crappy mess is the all-star cast. That’s right. ALL. Star.
The voice talent includes Mark Hammill, who stared in the greatest SCI-FI movie of all time AND Nancy Cartwright who stars in the most successful and long-running animated TV show of all time. I don’t have any proof of how they got these fabulous talents to be a part of this debacle but I sincerely hope their children were returned safely to them.