With the holidays officially upon us (even you Grinches who complain about Christmas Creep can't deny it), I thought the weekly Friday Dance Party might take on a holiday slant, at least in these pages. Scroll down and you will find a goofy clip which has a deeper meaning for me this time of year. You might recognize it as a song from Mr Magoo's Christmas Carol, one of those early 60s TV perennials to which boomers like me are attracted. I remember, as a kid, eagerly awaiting its broadcast each year. Though I was not a fan of Mr Magoo, there was something about this show which attracted me. When I grew older, I realized I loved the thing so much because it's a little Broadway musical, written in fact by Jule Styne and Bob Merrill (the writers of Funny Girl, among many others). The songs have the same bounce and sophistication as actual show tunes. Along with Jim Backus, the voice cast includes Jack Cassidy and Morey Amsterdam.
The program disappeared for a long while. Its lousy animation, and the fact that the Magoo character dropped out of fashion, are probably to blame. It never achieved the stature of other Christmas themed cartoons like Rudolph or The Grinch. But when it was released on video, I snapped it up, and have enjoyed it ever since. My great friends Scott and Drew are also admirers of this little charmer, and we had a standing tradition of gathering every year, usually the Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend, to sip champagne, nibble munchies, and watch the show together.
That routine is lost to us now, as we live on separate coasts, but I still plug the DVD into the player at some point over Thanksgiving weekend and raise a glass to that tradition. So, in honor of all those wonderful evenings we spent together (and as always, a nod to Larry's Friday Dance Party), enjoy the following clip.