Stocking Stuff

David Bowie and Bing Crosby singing together in front of Christmas tree

Christmas arrived at The Late Show with David Letterman a day early. Dave is always preempted on Christmas Eve so that CBS can air Mass, but this time the fabled meatball was toppled from the Ed Sullivan Theater’s Christmas tree on the night before the night before the Night before Christmas — when Dave rammed into the tree on a go-kart. He was trying out toys again with Shannon Eis.

A clip of the joy ride is up at the show’s website now; I don’t know how long it will last.

I got actual belly laughs from the cold open of the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson that followed (not yet online). Craig presented his robot skeleton sidekick Geoff Peterson with a Christmas present amidst some particularly choice repartee. I’m not always a fan of Ferguson’s lowest humor, but this was funny, off-the-cuff material. [Warning: Dried camel testicles.]

As I was taping Dave and monkeying around with das Internet, my TV was still on
the local ABC station and I caught an enjoyable segment on Nightline about the weird, haunting, classic David Bowie & Bing Crosby duet from Crosby’s 1977 Merrie Olde Christmas special. I’d only recently learned that the “Peace on Earth” counterpoint had been written expressly for the special, during recording, when Bowie reportedly asked whether there was there was an alternative to “Little Drummer Boy”. ABC News’ David Wright interviewed composers Larry Grossman, Ian Fraser, and Buz Kohan for the fascinating scoop.

Earlier this month, Michael Cavna looked at the genesis of beloved holiday special
A Charlie Brown Christmas in a Washington Post article. Cavna’s interview subjects include producer Lee Mendelson and Jean Schulz, widow of Peanuts creator Charles Shulz, although sadly Mr. Schulz himself, animator Bill Melendez, and composer Vince Guaraldi are no longer with us.

Having access to cyberspace last night was particularly appreciated so that I could
play a personal message from Santa Claus himself courtesy of beloved termagant and frequent Blam’s Blog commenter Joan Crawford, which hopefully she won’t mind my sharing with you. [Update: The video’s no longer there.]

And just so we don’t forget the other bearded guy around whom this holiday was built (um, not counting Saturnalia), I thought I’d link to an exclusive interview that He — or His Dad, or the part of Himself that is His Dad; I’m not really sure how that all works — gave The Onion in the wake of unspeakable tragedy, whose message still holds true today. [Warning: Some coarse language and possibility to offend.]

Coming full circle, The Late Show with David Letterman’s Holiday Quarterback Challenge airs tonight. As I said a year ago here, Dave’s last pre-Christmas show has become one of my favorite yuletide traditions. First, Dave has on a standard guest; tonight it’s Amanda Peet, who always ends up flirtatious and sincerely, adorably laughing. Then Jay Thomas — whom I know mostly from this, Mork & Mindy back in the day, and the awesomely cast but mostly forgotten Love & War — comes out to tell a story about meeting Clayton Moore, TV’s original Lone Ranger, and to take turns with Dave trying to knock the meatball off the top of the Late Show Christmas tree with a football. Finally, Darlene Love brings the house down, backed by Paul Schaffer & The CBS Orchestra and various session musicians.

This post was a bear to publish and proof that Blogger, Comcast, Linksys, and Virgin Mobile all deserve coal and switches from Pelznikel (not enough to discourage them from ever trying, mind you, just enough to encourage them to get on the darned stick). I’ll return with more holiday musings if the fates allow.

Screencap © 1977 ITC Entertainment.

Related: Stocking Stuff (2009) Nick of Time Stocking Stuff (2011)


  1. [Warning: Dried camel testicles.]

    Aha! Reverse psychology! Interest piqued!
    Nice collection o' stuff as always, Blam; sorry you're having so damn much trouble putting together an awesome blog.

  2. PS: The Clayton Moore story was especially good this year.

    VW: expipond — A small body of water used for atonement.

  3. the weird, haunting, classic David Bowie & Bing Crosby duet

    I don't know if it was just his voice, his glassy eyes, his snaggleteeth, or what, but until he got, well, kind-of old, Bowie was even scarier dressed "straight" than he was as Ziggy Stardust or Aladdin Sane.

  4. I can't believe how well Santa knew both of us. You with your shower- peeing, me with my wonderful ways.

    VW: Witty and Handsome

    Psst, Arben, you remind me of the babe...

  5. Uh, Babe Ruth?
    I can assure you I'm all man.

  6. Psst, Arben, you remind me of the babe...

    Ooh! Ooh! Am I the babe? ^_^

    I can assure you that I have no man in me at all (well, on rare occasions if the right one is around, but mostly I'm a full-on lesbo).

    VW: runcess — After-lunch playtime where you're not allowed to walk.

  7. LOL! This is the most wonderful misunderstanding I've come across in a dog's age.

    What I was referring to was David Bowie in Labyrinth and I was hoping to have a quotation interaction with you. Because I am so desperately, desperately lonely...


    :D I kid, I kid!

    It would have gone like this:

    "You remind me of the babe"
    "What babe?"
    "The babe with the power"


    Saying someone reminds you of Babe Ruth is the a wonderfully ambiguous comment. It could be a great compliment or you could say it with malice in your heart. I like that a lot.

    And El Que! Hahaha! Thank you for that.

    And you're absolutely the babe, as if you need to hear it from this guy.

  8. Goddamn extra 'the' in my comment - I could kick you!

    VW: Redizoot - Prêt-à-Porter zoot suits.

  9. That video from Joan was too hilarious! Very belated Merry Christmas!

    @Joan What power? The Power of Voodoo! Who do? You do! Do what? REMIND ME OF THE BABE!

    VW: counk - to fall asleep on the couch

  10. @Rebecca!


    I honestly am thrilled whenever I successfully and randomly get to do that with someone. Thank you!

  11. "You remind me of the babe"
    "What babe?"
    "The babe with the power"

    How did I miss that? I luvs me the Labyrinth and that sequence in particular.