🎄 It’s the 50th episode of the Advent Calendar House, so it’s time to address the spotted elephant in the room and tackle the 1964 Christmas special that put Rankin/Bass on the map and into our hearts.
💬 Topics & Tangents:
1. Is Santa really this big of a jerk or just hangry?
3. Mashable’s 12 ‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer’ facts.
4. Burger King and Hallmark’s Rodney Reindeer plushes, which at one point doubled as stockings.
5. Rudolph almost had huge, glowing eyes instead of a red nose, and all I can think of is the terrifying original version of Mr. Snuffleupagus.
6. The rare and expensive Santa’s Castle play set, which includes Santa and Mr. Claus’s maybe queen-size bed.
8. The first mention of Santa having a wife was in a short story by Philadelphia missionary James Rees in 1849.
9. The mystery of the head elf’s suddenly changing voice: Wikipedia claims it’s intentional, but we’re not buying it.
10. Carl Banas, the voice of the head elf, was also the original voice of Sweetums in Tales from Muppetland: The Frog Prince.
11. Fame and Fortune, a song that replaced We’re a Couple of Misfits as Rudolph and Hermey’s duet from 1965 to 1997.
12. You can meet characters from this version of Rudolph at SeaWorld, Busch Gardens, and Sesame Place.
13. Arthur Rankin Jr. explains why Dolly’s on the Island of Misfit Toys on NPR’s Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me.
14. Santa’s still “skinny” on Christmas Eve, but fattens up by that night. What did he eat?
15. The original ending included Yukon Corneilius finding a peppermint mine, later replaced by popular demand with the scene of Santa stopping to pick up the misfit toys.
“Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” ©1964 Rankin/Bass Productions.
Closing music: “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” by the California Raisins, from Will Vinton’s Claymation Christmas Celebration.