There are a few pop culture experiences that I feel like I have a partial ownership in, those that I’ve been with since the beginning.  I’m a little bit bemused at the upcoming end of ‘Hellblazer,’ seeing as how I bought issue #1 off the stands back in 1988, and I vividly remember the spring of 1991, when the HBO Comedy Channel went dark and the on-screen message promised the impending launch of the brand-new “CTV: The Comedy Network!”  These days, that network is still around (albeit known as Comedy Central) while most of the truly ground-breaking stuff that I used to love (Short Attention Span Theatre, MST3K and the late, much-lamented Higgins Boys & Gruber) is seemingly gone forever.  Still, every once in a while I feel a twinge of nostalgia for the annual MST3K Turkey Day celebrations, or the Saturday Night Live Merry-Thon that marked the real beginning of my holiday season for several years.  I fondly remember the Holiday break of 1992, spent in the company of Joel & The Bots, Penn and Teller and a lovely young lady who is now a fortyish soccer mom of three.  Meeeeeemooorieeeeeeees!!!

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) may be old, but at least doesn’t remember a lot of it, asking:  What lost holiday pop culture traditions do you miss the most?

The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.

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6 Comments

  1. December 22, 2012 at 11:41 am — Reply

    Turkey Day was the best! I wish MST3K could just come back one day a year for that…

    As a kid the holiday specials (Rudolph, Peanuts, Frosty) were really special, because there was no kid-centric prime time programming. These days in the 24-7 era of kids programming they don’t seem so special anymore. Time marches on…

  2. Hannah
    December 22, 2012 at 12:59 pm — Reply

    Fox used to put on Thanksgiving marathons of That 70’s Show, I miss those. Sitting around with my freinds in a turkey coma watching the marathon is one of my fonder memories.

  3. December 22, 2012 at 1:23 pm — Reply

    Although it only happened for a few years, Sci-Fi Channel’s Forever Knight Valentine’s Day Marathon. I also miss the old MST3K Turkey Day.

    I miss the thing most of my local stations used to do where they would air a bunch of syndicated cartoons that the station didn’t usually air on holidays for most of the day. I’m not sure if they were testing pilots or just using up a chance to air something that they had the rights to air but never had the time slot, but back then it was usually a good way to find a new series to get interested in or finally see something that I never had before. It was a nice back before we had cable (and before there were so many cartoon-centric channels aside from Nickelodeon and Disney Channel).

  4. December 22, 2012 at 2:51 pm — Reply

    I miss the special programming the local stations would show on weekends near the holidays (like the old SFM Holiday Network movies).

    I also miss the monster movie marathon WOR used to have. Every Thanksgiving they’d show King Kong, Son of Kong, and Mighty Joe Young, then the day after they’d show King Kong Escapes, King Kong vs. Godzilla, and then another Godzilla film

    And it’s funny, but I miss the old Ronco and K-tel type Christmas commercials.

  5. Rob
    December 22, 2012 at 4:45 pm — Reply

    There used to be a DJ on BBC Radio 1 called Jo Whiley and every year she would invite a celebritiy on to read a classic Christmas story, Jake Shears reading The little Match Girl, Dave Grohl on The Night Before Christmas but the first and my favorite was Jah Rule doing the The Grinch. It shouldn’t work, the whole thing should be cheesy as hell but it never failed to put me in a festive mood.

    A couple aff years ago she moved on from radio 1 and since then Chirstmas has lost just a little bit of it’s magic. :(

  6. Oldcomicfan
    December 22, 2012 at 10:43 pm — Reply

    I agree with the fellow above: I miss the days when the non-cable, non-pay TV networks showed the same holiday specials every year. It was a tradition in our family to NOT watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade (after all, it was just a parade steeped in commercialism that was meant to hype Macys [specifically] and New York City [in general] neither of which had any relevance to those of us out here on the west coast, plus it had nothing to do with the holiday of Thanksgiving) but we watched Rudolph and the animated holiday specials religiously. I used to love the commercials which had the Norelco Santa sledding through the drifts, which were done in a style to match the animation of the special. The last special I remember seeing with any frequency was the animated “Grinch” narrated by Boris Karloff, but I haven’t seen that one since the lousy live action movie came out, similar to the way, back in the early 80s, the song “Jeremiah Was A Bull Frog” replaced “Joy To The World” on the radio during the Christmas Season even thought it wasn’t a Christmas Song (but because it did contain the phrase “Joy to the world” in it a lot of idiots considered it a Christmas song). Both are a case where something good was replaced with something terrible which only virtue was that it was newer. Bah Humbug! I’ve replaced the tradition of watching these old animated specials, which aren’t shown very often any more, with watching the George C. Scott version of The Christmas Carol. Scott makes the most realistic Scrooge I’ve ever seen. It’s kind of weird seeing David Warner (The Klingon Chancellor in one of the Star Trek Movies and the baddie in Tron) playing Bob Cratchet.

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