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I LOVE TELEVISION

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Here’s the problem with Christmas TV specials: THERE ARE NO NEW ONES. There are newish Christmas movies and shows featuring such ass-brains as Tony Danza and that straw-chewing hillbilly Toby Keith – BUT THEY DON’T COUNT. Why? Because these specials don’t feature creepy wooden puppets like in the old Rankin/Bass animated specials, such as Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, The Year Without a Santa Claus, and the classic Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town.

These specials are widely considered to be unfawkwithable because they always include the most primal element of the holidays: HORROR. No one would give two craps about Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town if it weren’t for that horrifying Winter Warlock cackling, “I’ve GOT you, Kris Kringle … AND I’M NEVER LETTING YOU LEAVE!! BRAA-HAA-HAA-HAAAAA!” And what about Rudolph? That would be a just another boring story about a handicapped deer if it weren’t for the monstrous and mildly retarded Abominable Snowman (“Err … err … RRRAORWWW!”)

Unfortunately, these two classics have already come and gone for another year, and this week we’re getting down to the real dregs of the season’s holiday specials. For example: The Little Drummer Boy (ABC Family, 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 13). While this one is also a creepy-wooden-puppet classic, with a nasty ethnic villain (Ben Haramed), it’s waaaaaay too “Jesus-y” for my taste. Nothing slows down the fun of Christmas like that boring, drag-ass Nativity story. I’ll wish Jesus a happy birthday and everything (might even send him an eCard), but maybe this year he could celebrate with family and friends and leave the rest of us out of it? Thanks.

Then there’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas (Cartoon Network, 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 16) – which is the very awesome cartoon, not the idiotic live-action Jim Carrey version. If I were Jesus, I’d be all up in Jim Carrey’s grill on that one: “Yo, Jim! What the hell? Don’t you think I have enough problems without you bringing this crap to the game?” But like I said, the cartoon version is great, even though it doesn’t feature a single creepy wooden Abominable Snowman. (Err … err … RRRAORWWW!)

So what do we need? Obviously, some new creepy-wooden-puppet specials – with 75 percent less “Jesus.” And since no one else will step up to the plate with new ideas, once again the onus falls upon ME. I’m happy to do it – just put the freaking check in the mail.

OK, here’s my idea: FERGUSON, THE CHRISTMAS DONKEY. There’s this donkey named Ferguson, see, and he’s got the syphilis. That means everybody hates him, OK? So he starts begging for change outside the mall, and a fairy guy gives him a magic tongue depressor that gives him X-ray vision. So all the kids, they start hiring him to look inside their presents under the tree! And they’re like, “Yo, Ferguson! We’re so happy that we know what we’re getting for Christmas, we don’t care that you got the syphilis!” Then an abominable snowman comes in and tries to kill the kids, but Ferguson kills him first with his syphilis. THE END.

Err … err … RRRAORWWW!

steve@portlandmercury.com

THIS WEEK ON THE BOOB TOOB

THURSDAY, Dec. 13

9 p.m. CW SUPERNATURAL

Sam and Dean investigate murders in which the victims were yanked up through the chimneys. Santa’s got an alibi, yo!

9 p.m. NBC 30 ROCK

It’s Christmas, which means Liz Lemon’s a-hole brother (Andy Richter) stops by for his annual gloat.

FRIDAY, Dec. 14

8 p.m. NBC IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE

(Movie, 1946) Poor hallucinogenic Jimmy Stewart is such a schmuck, even his angel is a homeless person.

9 p.m. VH1 BEST YEAR EVER

The hilarious staff of Best Week Ever counts down the most ridiculously dumb stuff of 2007!

SATURDAY, Dec. 15

9:30 p.m. NBC SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE

This week: “The Best of Chris Farley.” If the strike doesn’t end soon, we’re gonna get “The Best of That Guy No One Remembers From 1983.”

SUNDAY, Dec. 16

8 p.m. CBS SURVIVOR: CHINA

Season finale! Season finale?! I don’t even remember this show being on!

9 p.m. HBO EXTRAS

Series finale! Funny bloke Ricky Gervais turns in his very last episode of this entertainment-biz satire.

MONDAY, Dec. 17

8 p.m. NBC CLASH OF THE CHOIRS

Debut! Michael Bolton, Patti LaBelle and Nick Lachey put together amateur choirs to see who’s best. This is gonna be a cage match, right?

9 p.m. VH1 I LOVE NEW YORK 2

Season finale! Professional man-hunter New York chooses her fave guy – and this time, IT’LL BE TRUE LOVE.

TUESDAY, Dec. 18

8 p.m. DIS THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS

(Movie, 1993) The last of the great creepy wooden puppet Christmas specials.

9 p.m. PBS INDEPENDENT LENS

Ralph Nader is the subject in this documentary appropriately titled An Unreasonable Man.

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 19

8 p.m. CBS FROSTY THE SNOWMAN

A child’s snowman comes to life – thanks to the powers of the OCCULT!

8 p.m. CW CROWNED

This week in this mother/daughter beauty pageant, the moms must somehow squeeze into bathing suits. Bring the Crisco.


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