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Saturday, December 10, 2005

UB's top 5 Christmas Specials: # 4 The Simpsons Christmas Special

While the Simpsons is not far from becoming the longest running show in television history, the first full length episode they ever did was The Simpsons Christmas Special (later named Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire) in the winter of 1989.

The show begins with the Simpson family rushing to the annual school Christmas spectacular where we meet Lisa who appears wearing a witch doctor mask and grass skirt, juggling flaming torches as one of the "Santas of Many Lands".

Next up is Bart's class to sing Jingle Bells (a song written in Medford, Massachusetts). Of course Bart opts for the less traditional lyrics: "Jingle Bells, Batman smells, Robin laid an egg. Batmobile broke its wheel, the Joker got awa-augh!" Bart gets yanked of stage.

After returning home Homer gets to work on the decorations, while Bart and Lisa work on their letters to Santa. Here is Lisa's list:

Homer's lame Christmas lights...

The Flanders house...

Marge takes the kids to the mall with the "Christmas cash", when Bart wanders off into a tattoo parlor (doesn't every mall have one?). After seeing a tattoo of "Mother" Bart decides it will be the perfect gift. When Marge catches him with "Moth" in the middle of the job she is forced to use the "Christmas cash" on laser removal. With no money for presents, Homer is forced to work part time as a department store Santa.

A blonde-haired Barney: I got me a part-time job working as a Santa down at the mall.

Homer: Wow. Can I do that?

Barney: I dunno. They're pretty selective. [belch]

Homer is asked to name Santa's reindeer:

Dasher...Dancer...Prancer...Nixon...Comet...Cupid...um...Donna Dixon?

Donna Dixon...

Donna Dixon in "Spies Like Us"...(Second from the left) "Doctor, Doctor...Glad I'm not sick."

Homer returns home and greets Patty and Selma. They note that there isn't a Christmas tree, and Homer says he was on his way out to get one. He drives past signs that read "All trees $75", "$60 and up'", "Christmas trees, slightly irregular, $45", heading instead for a sign that says, "No trespassing." He chainsaws a tree and carries it to the car one step ahead of the guard dogs and gunfire.

The kids are impressed. Selma inquires after the birdhouse in the tree. "Do I smell gunpowder?"

Of course Bart eventually sits on Santa's (Homer's) Lap...

Bart: Hey Santa, what's shakin', man?

Homer: [as Santa] What's your name, Bart...ner? Uh, little partner?

Bart: I'm Bart Simpson, who the hell are you?

Bart yanks off Homer's beard, and Homer takes Bart aside. He explains why he is working as Santa, to which Bart replies: You must really love us to sink so low.

Bart and Homer go to pick up Homer's pay for the Santa gig and discover it is next to nothing.

Homer: Thirteen bucks? Hey, wait a minute.

Clerk: That's right. $120 gross, less Social Security...

Homer: Yeah.

Clerk: ... less unemployment insurance ...

Homer: But...

Clerk: ... less Santa training...

Homer: Santa training?

Clerk: ... less costume purchase...

Homer: Wait a minute...

Clerk: ... less beard rental...

Homer: But...

Clerk: ... less Christmas Club.

Homer: But...

Clerk: See you next year. [closes the window]

Stuck again with no money for Christmas presents, Homer and Bart follow Barny to the track to bet Homer's check on one of the dogs.

Homer, Bart, and Barney arrive at Springfield Downs. In the fourth race, there's been a scratch. The replacement is a dog named Santa's Little Helper. Homer figures, with a name like that, it can't lose. The odds are 99-to-1. The race starts and Santa's Little Helper is way behind...

Bart: Don't worry, Dad. Maybe this is just for suspense before the miracle happens.

SLH doesn't even make it to the finish line.

Bart: It doesn't seem possible, but I guess TV has betrayed me.

Outside, Homer and Bart go through the discarded tickets in search of a winner. Suddenly SLH's owner tells the dog to scram, and SLH leaps into Homer's arms.

Bart: Oh, Dad, can we keep him?

Homer: But he's a loser! He's pathetic! He's...

SLH: [licks Homer's face]

Homer: ... a Simpson.

Homer and Bart arrive home and show the family SLH, and Lisa is ecstatic.

Lisa: "So love at first sight is possible!"

Bart: :And if he runs away, he'll be easy to catch!"

Marge says it's the best gift of all, something to share their love, and frighten prowlers.

So Christmas is saved for the Simpson family. The show ends with this classic Christmas carol...(Thx to this Simpsons site)

[Abe at the piano, Maggie riding SLH side-saddle]

All: Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer, Had a very shiny nose, And if you ever saw it, You would even say it glows.

Bart: Like a lightblub!

Homer: Bart!

All: All of the other reindeer, Used to laugh and call him names.

Lisa: Like Schozola!

Homer: Lisa!

All: They never let poor Rudolph, Join in any reindeer games.

Bart: Like strip poker!

Homer: I'm warning you two!

All: Then one foggy Christmas Eve, Santa came to say,

Marge: Take it Homer!

Homer: err... Rudolph, get your nose over here, so you can drive my sleigh...today.

Grandpa: Ohh, Homer...

All: Then all of the reindeer loved him, And they shouted out with glee: Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer, You'll go down in history!

Bart: Like Attila the H- ugh, urk! (Bart gets choked by Homer)

Homer: You little... grrrr!

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