“Something Special” by James Jay Schifrin


Did you ever wonder why there were so many holiday special on TV? Since July 4, there must have been 487 of them, and we still have ten more watch days until Christmas.

Some specials have been on more than all of the “Brady Bunch” and “Perry Mason” re-runs combined. Some specials even feature people who are still alive. One special this year showed Anne Murray’s family reunion in Nova Scotia. Have you ever met anybody who can even fi8nd Nova Scotia on a map?

There are animated specials like “The Roadrunner-Godzilla Christmas Special” in prime time. That’s for kids to watch. They have pretentious warm family specials like the “Sonny and Cher Christmas Special” Divorced couples should watch that. And the “Slim Whitman Christmas Special” will surely be followed by a year’s commercials for the “Slim Whitman Christmas Special” record album.

By now you probably thing you’ve seen every possible Christmas special there is. Which only proves you haven’t seen next week’s “TV Guide.” Imagine the “Elvis Pfresly Christmas Special,” with special guest stars Billie Jean King and Anita Bryant. On pay-TV, “The Prince Charles and Lady Diana Christmas Special” will feature Jackie O singing Christmas carols in front of a fireplace full of burning money. Orson Wells will host the :Weight Watchers Christmas Special.”  And on “60 Minutes,” Mike Wallace will expose Santa Claus as a fake.

But these specials do serve one purpose. Bad as they are, you begin to year for the regular TV programming.

image057This op-ed column first appeared in the Mt. Washington Press on December 16, 1981.