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Tag: Happy Holidays (21-30 of 340)

'Rudolph,' 'Charlie Brown,' and 'The Grinch': Will the great American trilogy of Christmas specials work on a newcomer?

In the pantheon of great Christmas specials — the yuletide-themed adventures trotted out by the networks each year, usually animated, typically with a theme song so iconic that children can sing the lyrics before they learn how to speak — three titles reign supreme. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, A Charlie Brown Christmas, and How The Grinch Stole Christmas! all debuted close to a half-century ago — in 1964, 1965, and 1966, respectively — and they still air each year to respectable ratings, to say nothing of the massive cultural footprint they’ve all left behind. However, one EW staffer has managed to avoid ever seeing these holiday classics…until now. In Part One of our chat, Darren Franich — Holiday Special Superfan and ugly Christmas sweater aficionado — prepares newbie Hillary Busis for the festival of yuletide cheer that awaits.

Darren Franich: Hillary, I’ve been watching these Christmas specials since before I was able to formulate any conscious thoughts. I could probably quote them verbatim. Actually, my family kept a massive VHS collection of tape-recorded Christmas specials, so if pressed, I could probably even quote the commercials that played during the 1986 airing of A Charlie Brown Christmas. (I definitely recall that Santa Claus really enjoyed Coca-Cola, which is why I’ve never liked Pepsi.) I remember these specials more vividly than most actual memories from my life — possibly because my life doesn’t have fun hyper-descriptive theme songs. So before we watch this trilogy of Yuletide cheer, I want to ask you: How much, exactly, do you know about them? Do you know why it’s important that Rudolph has a red nose? What kind of music do you think is on the soundtrack of A Charlie Brown Christmas? And what do you think is the plot of How The Grinch Stole Christmas? READ FULL STORY

Gingerbread Downton Abbey construction will mesmerize and amaze you -- VIDEO

Cookie artist Curtis Jensen just made your gingerbread house look like the servants’ quarters.

Every year, this marketing director from Utah creates an elaborate mini-building using just gingerbread, icing, candy and the occasional inedible structural support. In 2011, Jensen tackled Notre Dame; this winter, he set his sights on Downton Abbey, the formidable estate at the center of Julian Fellowes’s eponymous drama.

Whether you watch the show religiously or still think it’s called Downtown Abbey, you’ll be entranced by this video of Jensen’s methodical construction — a time-lapse clip hypnotically scored by an extended version of the Downton Abbey theme song.

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Cut 'SNL' bit skewers 'Elf on the Shelf' -- 'I'm a little friggin' narc!' VIDEO

Ever been creeped out by the lyrics to “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”? (You know who else sees you when you’re sleeping? Murderers.) If so, you may enjoy this cut SNL bit — in which a shrunken Bobby Moynihan plays an Elf on the Shelf, the seasonal sprite who exists solely to tattle on kids so that they won’t get any Christmas presents. In the elf’s words: “I’m a little snitch, Seth, and I love it!”

The segment may not have been strong enough to make it past Saturday’s dress rehearsal — but the video is totally worth watching, if only for Moynihan’s joyous flailing and infectious “weeeee!!”s. Plus, he’ll probably get a cut of gummi worms for every view — and you wouldn’t want to deprive the guy of candy, would you?

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Attention: You may want to watch 'Chicago Fire' this week

I consider this a PSA to people, like me, who really wanted to like NBC’s Chicago Fire but found the premiere lacking heat. Things definitely get hot in this week’s Christmas episode (Wednesday, 10 p.m. ET) between Severide (Taylor Kinney, pictured) and Renee (Sarah Shahi), the woman he saved last week when a live electrical wire had her trapped in her car. The tease in the promo below is steamy enough that I’m already hoping Shahi sticks around for a while. (Presumably the promo is referring to the fire when it says the hour’s final two minutes will “take your breath away,” and not this.)

Another reason to tune back in if you dropped off: Casey (Jesse Spencer) is now single and almost kissed Dawson (Monica Raymund) last week when he came over to her place to replace a window. (They got interrupted because Casey had to go save another firefighter who’d just gone on longterm disability from committing suicide.) This week, Casey escorts Dawson to her cousin’s fancy holiday party, and they have another opportunity… READ FULL STORY

Martin Short hosts tonight's 'Saturday Night Live': Talk about it here!

When SNL alumni return to play host, one of two things tends to happen: The show is either a season highlight that skillfully mixes old and new (see Maya Rudolph or Jimmy Fallon‘s shows from last year; seriously, see them), or it’s an unfortunately stagnant walk down memory lane (sorry, Dana Carvey). So which of these fates will befall Martin Short tonight?

If there’s any justice, it’ll be Option #1. Sure, it’s a given that Short will bring back a few of the characters he played during his brief time on SNL in the ’80s — but because he’s such a spry, dynamic performer, it seems unlikely that he’d be content to break out his Jerry Lewis impression and call it a day. I truly think that having Short around will inspire Saturday Night Live‘s current team to push themselves. His presence also means that cameos from his famous friends and former cast mates — Billy Crystal? Christopher Guest? Tom Hanks? Steve Martin?! — are as inevitable as Ed Grimley’s cowlick.

It also doesn’t hurt that this is SNL‘s last show of 2012 (and, if the Mayans are to be believed, SNL’s last show ever); generally speaking, the cast and writers like to go out with a bang. Oh, and I haven’t even mentioned musical guest Paul McCartney yet.

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'The Big Bang Theory' react: The gang plays Christmas-themed Dungeons & Dragons

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Image Credit: Monty Brinton/CBS

On the twelfth day before Christmas, the universe sent to me a Rajtastic episode of The Big Bang Theory.

After a string of storylines centered around the BBT lovebirds in which Raj was reduced to the role of cast jester, our favorite astrophysicist returned with a bang tonight. While the boys played up the geek stereotype while simultaneously playing Dungeons & Dragons, Koothrappali joined the gals, who were reaffirming some stereotypes of their own by sporting scant apparel, for a girls night out. Southern California — where women can dress down all four seasons of the year. This Christmas-themed episode was no “Bath Item Gift Hypothesis,” but it was hilarious and heartfelt, nonetheless. READ FULL STORY

John Travolta floats the idea of a 'White Christmas' remake -- co-starring Olivia Newton-John

All was merry and bright at SiriusXM yesterday, when John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John stopped by for a town-hall event in the satellite radio giant’s human terrarium. The pair beamed, complimented each other, and discussed both their careers and their new Christmas album, all while snugly encased in a plastic-walled room within Sirius’s New York headquarters. They were clearly delighted to be in each others’ company — and in the company of Didi “Frenchy” Conn, who moderated the event (and even did the Hand Jive to entertain the audience before it began).

Unsurprisingly, the giddy fans from New Jersey, Staten Island, and Brooklyn who got to ask Travolta and Newton-John questions weren’t quite as probing as certain people were after seeing the music video for John and Olivia’s new Christmas single, “I Think You Might Like It.” (Travolta boasted that he’s heard the clip called “the video you have to see and can’t stop watching.” Agreed.) But Travolta did make one tantalizing statement when asked if he and Newton-John might ever star in another movie together:

“I have an idea for that,” the Oscar nominee began.  READ FULL STORY

Martin Short and Fred Armisen butt heads in 'SNL' promos -- VIDEO

Who knew humble Canadian Martin Short was such a diva? The Saturday Night Live grad is returning to Studio 8H this weekend to host the show’s last episode of 2012 — provided NBC’s lackeys can get his freaking salad order right.

As long as there are no snafus, though, it looks like Short’s big, schticky brand of comedy will be a surprisingly good match for SNL‘s more low-key, absurd players, as embodied by Fred Armisen in these new promos. Watch all the way through to catch the awesome moment when Armisen and Short just barely keep themselves from breaking into giggles:

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Happy Hanukkah! 8 memorable clips for 8 crazy nights

RUGRATS-CHANUKAH

L’chaim, chaverim: Chanukah/Hanukkah/Chhaaannukkahhh is finally here!

Maybe the Jewish Festival of Lights, which begins tonight at sundown, isn’t as culturally dominant as Christmas, or as glitzy as New Year’s Eve, or as charmingly quaint as Boxing Day. Maybe it’s a holiday that nobody even really knows how to spell. (I grew up using no “c” and two “k”s, so that’s what I’m going to stick with for the rest of this post.) Still, it’s impossible not to love an occasion that exalts fried food, present-giving, and the menorah (or hanukiah, if you want to get technical), a celebratory candelabra that can be either sophisticated or silly.

And even though Hanukkah is much less visible in pop culture than other holidays, it’s still been immortalized on screen at least eight notable times — one for each night of the festival. Great miracles happen after the jump:

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Tracy Morgan rants against 'Twas the Night Before Christmas' with Jimmy Fallon -- VIDEO

Jimmy Fallon’s holiday gifts just keep on comin’!

Holiday pajama-clad Fallon and Tracy Morgan read “Twas the Night Before Christmas” yesterday on Late Night. Well, Fallon read the holiday classic while Morgan, staying true to his 30 Rock alter ego, played the part of Scrooge by making pessimistic and irrelevant side notes. He somehow steered the topic of discussion to pimps, penises, and bedroom activities. Fallon is straight-faced throughout the segment, but struggles to keep his cool once Morgan recites his phallic poem.

Watch the video below (and be prepared for the flood of Saturday Night Live memories): READ FULL STORY

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