Television Quiz / A Christmas Carol, TV adaptations

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Can you name the A Christmas Carol, TV adaptations

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Year, and Title of EpisodeSeriesHint
1962Possibly the first animated Christmas special.
One of the first TV shows to adapt Dicken's classic.
A nearsighted bumbler voiced by Jim Backus.
1967
“Humbug Not to Be Spoken Here”
Ad exec has problems with grumpy client who
thinks Christmas is “crass commercial nonsense.”
His wife, a witch, sends the misanthropic Mr. Mortimer to the North Pole to meet Santa.
Not a conventional version, but that’s what happens to holiday traditions in mixed marriages.
1970
Scrooge Gets
An Oscar
Slobby sportswriter refuses to be in his roommate’s play (A Christmas Carol.)
Anger reaches a peak when ex-wife sends a singing telegram about late alimony.
Dinner of meatloaf, chili, & liverwurst causes a nightmarish recreation of the Christmas Carol.
Almost a Mad-magazine-style parody, played out
on a bare stage with cartoony sets & minimal props.
1975
Ebenezer _____
“We ain’t got no money to be spending on no foolishness,” a habitually
cranky junk-dealer complains when his son talks about decorating the tree.
Dreams a ghost takes him to his boyhood in St. Louis
(“You’re the spirit of St. Louis!” he gasps),
to a family party in the present, and to a future where he has no friends.
He wakes up in a more generous mood.
1976
A Bionic
Christmas
Carol
Mustachioed cyborg deals with 2 Scrooges in this loose adaptation.
Boss forces him to work the holiday, investigating grouchy electronics manufacturer
Horton Budge whose products are failing space agency inspections because
his workers are disgruntled—especially his nephew Bob Crandall.
Cyborg dresses up as Santa, shows doped-up Budge how bad off the Crandall's are.
Budge emerges from his chemically induced fog, but shows no interest in helping.
Then sees a book of Christmas carols from the night’s adventure, realizes it wasn’t a dream.
1978
Special
Not a series, but an hour-long special.
W.C. Fields as Scrooge, Paul Lynde as Bob Cratchit, Richard Nixon as Marley
(tapes instead of chains), Humphrey Bogart, Peter Falk, Peter Sellers, play the ghosts,
Johnny Carson as Scrooge’s warm-hearted nephew & Truman Capote as Tiny Tim.
Yet none of those stars were in the show. Name the person behind all of them.
1980
Bah Humbug
Radio-station manager eats a Christmas brownie made by a perpetually stoned morning DJ
and slips into a reverie, being visited by the usual procession of time-traveling ghosts,
who convince him he should give Christmas bonuses to the staff.
1983
A _____
Christmas Carol
Staunch Republican raised by two ex-hippies, thinks the only thing worth celebrating about Christmas is mass consumption. Dreams his sisters, playing the ghosts show him how much he loved Christmas when he was a little boy, and how in the future, he’s destined to become a bald fat cat while his family lives in squalor.
1984
Another Song
For Christmas
“Angel on probation” & his mortal sidekick use divine aid to help ruthless used-car dealer
“Honest” Eddy stop bilking money from poor slobs who can only afford the down payments.
Angel comes to Eddy at night, takes him on a trip through his personal history, reminding him
of his humble roots, showing him those he’s swindling are no different than he used to be.
The “no money down” deal is born.
1985
A _____
Christmas
Carol
Reprisal of an animated series, shows that even in a world with flying
rocket-cars and robot maids, there will always be mean old bosses.
Father is ordered to work late on Christmas Eve.
Their dog (who has swallowed a Sprocket from the company the father works for) is sick.
In an unexpected twist on Dickens, though, the boss’s inevitable visit from three ghosts
reveals he’s pretty unchanging: He was a jerk as a kid, is a jerk, and will be a jerk.
But he’ll be a poor jerk, because after the dog dies, the family will sue him for all he’s got.
So Boss saves Christmas for the family after all, for the sake of his space-pocketbook.
1985
Christmas Carol II:
The Sequel
CBS tried to revive an anthology series with an 89-year-old
comedian serving as host for a different story each week.
Series only lasted 13 weeks, but turned out a Christmas episode,
imagining what might’ve become of Scrooge one year later.
He is a total sap, has given away almost all of his money, and people take advantage of him,
so the ghosts return to teach Scrooge that while the Christmas spirit is all well and good,
there’s no reason to be a sucker.
1986
Xmas Marks
The Spot
Given their job description, it’s no real surprise what the animated stars of this show do
to Scrooge's ghosts when they travel through time to Victorian England: They bust ’em!
When they return to the present, they find that preventing Scrooges change,
they’ve inadvertently created a culture in which no one likes Christmas.
The gang heads back in time and plays the part of the ghosts for Scrooge, using 20th-century
devices like magnesium flares and a View-Master to stand in for actual ghostly sorcery.
1988
B____ Christmas Carol
Inversion: Ebenezer B____ is kind & generous to a fault.
Ghost shows him his ancestors & descendants.
Lesson learned: Mean people thrive, good people get used.
And as for poor cripple “Tiny Tom” Scratchit? After he gets back, he suggests
to Mrs. Scratchit that she “scoop him out and use him as a houseboat.”
1989
For Whom The
Jingle Bell Tolls
Spoiled rich college girl complains Xmas is a hassle: Ghosts show her, she will live & die alone.
Marley in the form of her mother, with a necklace of credit cards, wants to teach her daughter
not to be shallow & materialistic—though she whispers that ghosts are not 'our kind of people.”
1989
Season’s Greetings
From Al Floss
Critically acclaimed, low-rated sitcom about a flunky becoming the agent for a famous actor.
This episode is a direct rewrite of another series “Bah Humbug.”
Mean boss takes a look at how his business has changed & comes to the conclusion that even in the cutthroat world of show business, compassion and a personal connection go a long way.
1990
A Little Miracle
Hero jumps into the body of the valet to miserable
millionaire Michael Blake, decides to “Scrooge him.”
Can only use what’s on hand, so they gather items & friends from his past,
to remind him about where he’s come from and where he’s headed.
End result is the same, even if the process is less supernatural—aside from the whole
leaping-through-time-and-space-and-entering-people’s-bodies thing, of course.
1992
Halloween IV
Spooky twist: In a foul mood because her daughter has to work on Halloween,
mom decides to forego celebration and mopes at home, passing out candy to kiddies.
One of the kids is a ghost, who takes her back through her life
so she can remember just how much Halloween means to her.
The ghosts of present & future show her that if she doesn’t hang onto the Halloween spirit,
she’ll forfeit her “cool mom” status & become as big of a square as her own mother.
1994
Shofar, So Good
Yom Kippur in Alaska: Grouchy Jewish doctor fires assistant (took a vacation) &
refuses to aid local man rebuild house (burned down when he was smoking in bed).
Rabbi Schulman's spirit shows him scenes from earlier episodes:
Reminder of the lessons in becoming a better person that he’s ignored over 5 seasons.
Doc visits present (sees misery of Marilyn & Hayden) & future (leaves Cicely, nobody misses him.)
He wakes on Yom Kippur determined to be nicer—not so hard, since this was the show’s last year.
1994
Special
Near-feature-length animated special has a swollen-headed father
playing Scrooge in a community play while dealing with anger.
The conceit of having his spirit be changed along with Scrooge’s is admirably meta.
Weird running gag has people puking their guts out from “The Bedrock Bug”
making one ask whether the writer had eaten a bad Brontosaurus Burger.
1995
Huh-Huh-Humbug
Working Christmas Eve, teen pot head dreams of being the boss, with his principal as his employee.
In his dream, he is watching pornography when the spirits arrive.
They show him he’s wasted his life on the couch & will die a virgin.
He sees his principal's desperate family divide up a stolen burger, and finds it hilarious.
He's annoyed the future doesn’t have enough killer robots.
He is almost reformed by the thought of never scoring, but when his friend wakes him,
all he can remember is that he was the boss, and he got to watch porn.
“That’s cool,” says his friend.
1996
A Solstice Carol
In this pre-Christ Christmas episode a town has banned Winter Solstice celebrations.
Senticles, a toymaker, puts on a red suit and a fake beard & sneaks goodies down chimneys.
A young couple and their glowing baby wander the road looking for shelter.
But the show centers on the main characters who, pretending to be The Fates,
visit the embittered king and show him that his life has veered way off-course.
1999
Fall On Your Knees
WB dramedy: cheerleader, nastier than usual, &
geeky girl forced to live together at parents engagement.
Cheerleader sniping at everyone (Christmas = an elevated suicide rate & credit-card debt.)
Ghosts show her, her alcoholic mother never held her, & that she used to be a pudgy little kid that other children picked on, and how the unpopular kids now all fear her, but still toast her at Christmas.
Wakes up in tears, a changed woman, & gives some of her most prized possessions to the geeks.
Then Christmas passes and she goes right back to being a villain again.
2002
Cybernetic Ghost Of Christmas Past From The Future
Show starts out with a “Christmas Carol” theme, then got restless and bored, and veers away.
Title character visits the teens neighbor Carl to remind him of a Christmas back in 1968
when Carl’s father gave him a square of burba carpet that Carl intended to play with—
“I’m flyin’ around in Egypt-land!”—but that his dad meant for them to boil and eat for supper.
Since it’s February, the ghost-robot disappears for a bit, only to come
back and claim responsibility when Carl’s swimming pool fills with elf blood.
Then Glenn Danzig shows up. Merry Christmas?

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