El Bicho's Hive

A Collection of Reviews Covering the Worlds of Art and Entertainment alongside other Snobbish Ramblings.

Friday, December 12, 2008

A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All!

If someone has been naughty, A Colbert Christmas makes a great replacement if you can’t get your hands on any coal.

There is trouble right from the get-go. Once the DVD is in the player, the marketing weasels at Comedy Central in their infinite dumbness force the viewer to have to get through four raunchy minutes of advertising before a menu appears. At least, you can fast-forward past it. No doubt unsuspecting parents will be pleased with Cartman’s cursing and Ms. Garrison’s lesbian sex.

A Colbert Christmas spoofs celebrity Christmas specials from television’s past, filled with music and hosted by the likes of Andy Williams and Bing Crosby. Unfortunately, the creative team didn’t stop at parody and created their very own dreadful holiday show that is very short on laughs. The special’s premise finds Stephen Colbert unable to get to his New York studio to tape a Christmas special with Elvis Costello because he is trapped in his mountain cabin due to a bear outside.

Colbert is in luck, though, because guest stars pass through his cabin. Toby Keith performs a song about winning the War on Christmas. Willie Nelson appears as the fourth wise man in Colbert’s manger decoration bearing marijuana for Baby Jesus. Jon Stewart stops by trying to convince Colbert to celebrate Hanukkah. John Legend sings about the glory of nutmeg. Feist shows up as the angel on the Christmas tree and informs Colbert about his wait until the next representative can handle his prayer. The songs have occasional amusing lyrics, but barely created smiles where Colbert and his program usually deliver laughs.

The best parts were everyone singing Costello’s “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding” and the appearance of Santa Claus, which are linked to each other (Who knew Santa could handle a knife so well?), but they come at the end of the show after having to suffer so much mediocre material. Bah, humbug.

The Special Features include a video Yule log of burning books, Stephen’s 25-Day Advent Calendar, Shocking Alternate Endings (three of them), and a bonus song: “Cold, Cold Christmas.”

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