Thursday, December 23, 2010

A Viral Christmas

Posted By on Thu, Dec 23, 2010 at 6:49 AM

Grizzly Man
  • Discovery Films
  • Grizzly Man

A German auteur's take on a holiday classic?

A duet of comedy duos doing Drummer Boy duets?

Charlie Brown Christmas mash-ups?

You know it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas whe friends start decking your Facebook walls with posts of their favorite viral Christmas links.

One of the most inventive this year is this elaborately staged Christmas card from Funny Or Die's Will Farrell and Jonn C. Reilly, re-enacting the David Bowie/Bing Crosby "Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth" duet, complete with the corny set, and awkwardly-staged banter. ("I'm not as old as I look.")

While the original is utterly bizarre—the Farrell/Reilly piece is a faithful recreation. Playing things straight—until the end—has the effect of highlighting how gauche the original really is. Having seen and heard it so often, I had lost sight of this.

Little Drummer Boy

The Real Thing

Not to be outdone, Jimmy Fallon and Jack Black offer a Blue Men-performance art take on the holiday classic.

Jack Black and Jimmy Fallon's Little Drummer Boy

An emerging minor internet trend for film nerds, is a series of pieces with faux narration by German auteur Werner Herzog. Inspired by his philosophical musings that distinguish docs like Grizzly Man and Encounters at the End of the World, delivered in a delightful Teutonic staccato (to hear actual Herzog narration, visit here, these readings imbue their subjects with an ominous sense of forboding.

Werner Herzog's "The Night Before Christmas"

Arguably one of the greatest "Saturday Night Live" sketches of all time, this clip so effectively (and affectionately) skewers the conclusion of one of my favorite (holiday) films, that I can no longer watch It's a Wonderful Life without chuckling to myself as I hear the line in my head, "Well what are we waiting for, let's go get him!" (It's worth noting that the original film lets Potter off the hook. Presumably, he'll get his soon enough, right? I mean, didn't Clarence and Joseph SEE Potter steal the money? Wouldn't it have been easier to point this out to George instead of staging such an elaborate charade? But I digress...) That this clip is introduced by Tribble-coiffed William Shatner, and features a terrific turn by the late Phil Hartman, adds to its all-time classic status:

It's a Wonderful Life Lost Ending

Of all the Charlie Brown mash-ups, this is my favorite. Maybe it's because the Hey Ya! got played out, but I think it has more to do with the perfectly synched emphatic Lucy sequence. Laughter every time:

Heavy Metal Christmas

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