Radio Ho Ho Ho
December 17, 2011 10:48 AM   Subscribe

Next Saturday, I've got three hours of radio time to do whatever I want, as long as it's holiday related - it's my holiday special! Please help me put together an awesome playlist.

We've got all the usual suspects, the huge drawer full of every Christmas CD you can think of, and every holiday cover by every rock/indie/soul/etc. band ever. I'm looking for ideas for other stuff - classic comedy routines, old commercials with a holiday feel, old-time radio sketches ... basically, anything that would delight you if you heard it come out of your radio while you're cooking on Christmas Eve.
posted by jbickers to Media & Arts (32 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Slade's "Merry Christmas, Everybody" is probably the single best Christmas song written.

They Might Be Giants has an absolutely hilarious song called "Christmas Cards", but I can't find it on Youtube. It might be hard to find; it was on a holiday EP, if I recall correctly. However, under no circumstances should you play "Santa's Beard" by them. That song is terrible.
posted by LSK at 10:54 AM on December 17, 2011 [1 favorite]

I would be thrilled to hear anything from the California Raisins Claymation Christmas, especially the Here We Come a-Waffling song/skit.
posted by CheeseLouise at 10:56 AM on December 17, 2011 [1 favorite]

Bill Murray's apocalyptic A Christmas Carol promo from Scrooged. Your life might depend on it.
posted by roger ackroyd at 10:59 AM on December 17, 2011

Some of the answers to my question about seasonal monologues may give you material. Miko's suggestion of Jean Shepherd's reading of the chapter that inspired "A Christmas Story" is a good one, as is ninazer0's "12 Days of Christmas" (the gifts just.won't. stop., and Gobnait slowly loses his mind amid the generosity).
posted by MonkeyToes at 11:05 AM on December 17, 2011

Since your profiles says you are in KY and I know growing up in southern IN I never heard this song and thus find it hilarious each year I hear it now (unlike the other Boston-ites I know who grew up with it and find it annoying) Dominic the Donkey!
posted by katers890 at 11:05 AM on December 17, 2011

John Henry Faul's Christmas Story
posted by timsteil at 11:15 AM on December 17, 2011


also, Auld Lange Syne - Chris Bathgate (my nephew, playing my mother's 1936 Dobro, which I gave him.)
posted by timsteil at 11:21 AM on December 17, 2011

I assume you have Tom Waits - Christmas Card from a Hooker in Minneapolis? If you need it with less gravel Neko Case does a cover
posted by edgeways at 11:27 AM on December 17, 2011

Let's see what insane object I shall lay on thee. . . you may know this, but in case you don't, let me highly recommend the spoken word Babs Gonzalez' Be Bop Santa. I heard it for the first time a couple years ago and now Christmas isn't complete without it. Have a cool merry Christmas and don't get knocked out.
posted by mygothlaundry at 11:31 AM on December 17, 2011 [1 favorite]

How about something off of Afroman's A Colt 45 Christmas album?

It's nowhere near family friendly, but it's riotously funny.
posted by AMSBoethius at 11:38 AM on December 17, 2011

Santa Claus, Go Straight to the Ghetto - James Brown
Merry Christmas Baby - Otis Redding
Christmas - The Who
Merry Christmas from the Family - Robert Earl Keen
posted by Andy's Gross Wart at 12:09 PM on December 17, 2011 [1 favorite]

I suggest counterprogramming.

Three hours of NOTHING BUT SLAYER.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 12:17 PM on December 17, 2011 [4 favorites]

(What Are You Doing) New Year's Eve? -- any version, though I like Rufus Wainright's the best.

The Maccabeats' Candlelight

Tom Lehrer's Hanukkah in Santa Monica

Barenaked Ladies' Hanukkah, Oh Hanukkah

Finally, if humor's what you want, there's nothing that says holidays to me like Vinyl Cafe's Stuart McClean's various:

Dave on the Roof
Dave Cooks The Turkey; Polly Anderson's Christmas Party (I have the record, but can't maneuver the mp3 at the moment)
Stuart McClean's 2009 Christmas Special, Parts 1, 2 and 3
posted by The Wrong Kind of Cheese at 1:04 PM on December 17, 2011

The original Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don't Be Late) with Alvin, Simon, and Theodore (1958). The song was very successful, reaching #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 Pop Singles chart, selling over 4 million copies in seven weeks, and winning three Grammys.

Stan Freberg's Christmas Dragnet (1953), for those who remember Jack Webb and the Dragnet theme, dun da dun dunnn, this is a funny parody. Freberg's Hollywood career began in 1944, spanning animation, records, radio, tv, and films.
posted by exphysicist345 at 1:31 PM on December 17, 2011

Make room for good ol' Pearlie Mae! Five Pound Box of Money

Try her on that money!
posted by droplet at 2:18 PM on December 17, 2011

Do a mix of wacky, weird and also beautiful. I love Christmas music, but the all-christmas station plays the schmaltziest, least-inspired versions ever recorded.

If you want to be really evil, play as many versions of Little Drummer Boy (per-rum-pum-pum-pum) and 12 Days as possible. gaaaahhhhhhh.
posted by theora55 at 4:06 PM on December 17, 2011

From the John Waters Christmas CD, "Happy Birthday Jesus" by Little Cindy. Awesomeness! You can hear it on YouTube, but I don't know how to add a link.
posted by tomjoadsghost at 4:10 PM on December 17, 2011

Came in to say Here We Come a-Waffling...
posted by bjgeiger at 4:10 PM on December 17, 2011

Oh, don't even get me STARTED. I look around for all kinds of wacky-ass Christmas music.

Rap suggestions:
Bootsy Collins' Christmas Is Forever.
Christmas in the Ghetto.

Music to stab yourself in the head with:
You could play Christmas Shoes if you want people to stab you...and then play a recording of Patton Oswalt ripping on it.
Followed by playing Billy's Chriistmas Wish (possibly the only thing worse than Christmas Shoes) and/or She Named The Pony Jesus (about Easter, but seems to be spoofing).

You could just go to and play nothing but versions of it...

You could look for the creepiest versions of "Baby, It's Cold Outside" ever and play those. I think Miss Piggy is the worst, but John Lithgow is pretty creepy too.

Grandma Got Molested At The Airport is always appropriate this time of year. There's also Grandma's Christmas Dinner.


Christmas Griping by R.E.M. Mmm, homicide feelings.

Shouldn't Have Given Him A Gun For Christmas. Wins for chorus that gets stuck in your head. Between this one and "Don't Shoot Me Santa," I got inspired to make a "Violent Christmas" mix.

You Ain't Getting Shit For Christmas. Wow. The pain and agony in this one. And yet, we all sympathize.

Overall recs:
Jonathan Coulton has a few, ditto Weird Al, there's also Bob Rivers, Dr. Demento...

You could always play songs from the Community Christmas episodes... ( is your friend here.)
I'm Spending Christmas With A Dalek is just so wrong.

If you can find it, "Dang It, I'm Vixen."

On the "more decent" side, there's Jack Johnson's version of Rudolph, in which Rudolph calls all of the other reindeer out on their shit and gets an apology.

December Is For Cynics. Self-explanatory.
The Dan Band, "I Wanna Rock You Hard This Christmas."

Various songs from "Love Actually," but particularly "Christmas Is All Around." Bonus points if you put up clips of Billy Mack talking about it.
South Park's Christmas album.

Christmas Duel.
* Carol of the Bells by Dan Hicks and the Hot Links.
posted by jenfullmoon at 5:12 PM on December 17, 2011 [2 favorites]

Is there a radio-friendly version of Dick in a Box?
posted by CarlRossi at 5:21 PM on December 17, 2011 [1 favorite]

The Kinks - Father Christmas
posted by XhaustedProphet at 7:17 PM on December 17, 2011

Here's a link to Little Cindy's Happy Birthday Jesus.

My personal favorite, also from John Water's Christmas album, is this alternate take on I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus.
posted by marsha56 at 8:02 PM on December 17, 2011

I found Dang It, I'm Vixen over here on MySpace. You can also listen to a short sample on Amazon or buy the whole song for 99 cents.
posted by marsha56 at 8:16 PM on December 17, 2011 [1 favorite]

Nobody has mentioned Jingle Rock Bell yet?
posted by mimi at 5:40 AM on December 18, 2011

David Bowie and Bing Crosby's Little Drummer Boy is sublimely weird.

The Pogues' Fairytale in New York is also awesome.

NORAD does a Santa Tracker that is pretty delightful. When my mom was a kid, they used to listen to it on the radio. It's all online now, of course, but they may still do broadcasts or you might be able to find vintage broadcasts.
posted by elizeh at 9:21 PM on December 18, 2011

And if you're looking for non-musical programming, David Sedaris' Holidays on Ice is probably available on audio.

If profanity is allowed, Lewis' Black's bit on having to go onstage at a USO show following Amy Grant and Vince Gill is hilarious.
posted by elizeh at 9:26 PM on December 18, 2011

I second the inclusion of fake "location updates" on where Santa's sleigh is (instead of traffic reports), and also the Bob & Doug "12 Days of Christmas."

My all-time favorite "Silent Night" was originally written in German (named "Stille Nacht"). Could you play it and other original-language versions of popular Christmas carols?
posted by wenestvedt at 6:54 AM on December 19, 2011

I love Jazz Musician's Christmas.
posted by kristi at 2:09 PM on December 21, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks, all. In case anyone is interested, here's what I ended up playing. (Not reflected on that list are the movie clips and short spoken-word bits, like the Scrooged clip, that sort of thing.)
posted by jbickers at 11:15 AM on December 27, 2011

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