1964: Rudolph Rides for the First Time
On this day, during the foggy night, the Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer TV special flew for the first time on NBC in 1964. The stop-motion, herky-jerky animation is still king 50 years later. The reason being of course is that the special is laid out like a mini Broadway show with great music and a story with a real plot, unlike many of the other holiday specials that have come and gone over the years. The special was created by Rankin/Bass who also produced the classics Frosty the Snowman and Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town. It was narrated by a snowman voiced by Burl Ives, and none of today’s viewers have any idea who he was.
1995: Queen’s Last Album
It was on this day in 1995 that the band Queen released its last album, Made in Heaven. It included tracks that featured Freddie Mercury’s last recordings which were recorded in 1991, the same year that the singer had passed away. It became the band’s ninth number-one album which sold 20 million copies across the world.
2009: A Jim Carrey Christmas Carol
Directed by Robert Zemeckis for Disney, this umpteenth film of A Christmas Carol used the same motion capture technique that Zemeckis has used for The Polar Express. The film starred Jim Carrey who not only played the role of Ebenezer Scrooge, but he also played the roles of Ghost of Christmas Past, Ghost of Christmas Present and Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come. It also starred Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Bob Hoskins, Robin Wright Penn and Cary Elwes. Carol was released in theaters on this day in 2009. Unfortunately, it received mixed reviews and while it did fairly well at the box office, initially, the film ended up costing the studio over $50 million.
- 1900: Agnes Moorehead (actress)
- 1948: JoBeth Williams (actress)
- 1955: Steven Wright (comedian)
- 1958: Nick Park (animator)
- 1967: Judd Apatow (film director)
I write about pop culture, arts and entertainment in the greater Seattle area.