Pretty Much Pop: A Culture Podcast #24 Considers Holiday Viewing: What’s Canon?

Join Mark Lin­sen­may­er, Eri­ca Spyres, and Bri­an Hirt for a spe­cial “snake draft,” where we take turns pick­ing the hol­i­day films and TV spe­cials that we think are (or should be) part of Amer­i­ca’s year­ly view­ing tra­di­tions.

Were I to list all the shows and films we men­tion, that would give away our picks now, would­n’t it? Com­pare your intu­itions about what is clas­sic or sem­i­nal or over-rat­ed with ours!

Here are some arti­cles with most of the like­ly sus­pects to get you warmed up:

We did NOT before­hand actu­al­ly look at IMD­B’s Top 25 Christ­mas Movies or their Great­est Christ­mas Spe­cials list, but YOU cer­tain­ly can. Nei­ther did we look this rank­ing of the var­i­ous ver­sions of A Christ­mas Car­ol by Dave Trum­bore. While we’re at it, here are times where TV shows ripped off It’s a Won­der­ful Life.

Oth­er ref­er­ences and infor­ma­tion: 

When does A Christ­mas Sto­ry take place? 1940; read triv­ia about that film. The Dare Daniel pod­cast has a bru­tal take-down of the lit­tle-seen 2012 sequel  that serves as a great sub­sti­tute for actu­al­ly view­ing that pile of garbage.

You can watch the quick ver­sion of the very fun­ny Riff­trax run­ning com­men­tary on the Star Wars Hol­i­day Spe­cial on YouTube or buy the whole thing. Did George Lucas real­ly want to smash all copies of it as Mark said?

Bri­an refers to this arti­cle, “Diag­nos­ing the Home Alone Bur­glars’ Injuries: A Pro­fes­sion­al Weighs In” by Lau­ren Hansen.

It’s actu­al­ly the Thanks­giv­ing Char­lie Brown spe­cial that has been blast­ed as racist, not the Xmas one. Here’s an arti­cle about the his­to­ry of Franklin being includ­ed in the strip.

When­ev­er dis­cussing or watch­ing It’s a Won­der­ful Life, I can’t help but think of the Sat­ur­day Night Live “lost end­ing” to the film.

This episode includes bonus dis­cus­sion that you can only hear by sup­port­ing the pod­cast at This pod­cast is part of the Par­tial­ly Exam­ined Life pod­cast net­work.

Pret­ty Much Pop: A Cul­ture Pod­cast is the first pod­cast curat­ed by Open Cul­ture. Browse all Pret­ty Much Pop posts or start with the first episode.

Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.