Make Your Writing Funny – Funny Christmas Special Inspirations

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on December 9, 2010 in Writing
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Christmas is just about the corner, and since a lot of people seemed receptive to my last article about comedy inspirations, I figured I'd bring you some more in time for the holidays. These are a few of my favorite Christmas specials, movies, and episodes. Not only are they fun, but they can help give you the inspiration to write something of their caliber on your own.

1. The Simpsons: Skinner's Sense of Snow

The Simpsons have a few episodes dedicated to Christmas (especially its first episode) but this is one of my personal favorites. When the kids of Springfield get snowed in their school and Principal Skinner tries bringing order, the kids overrule him and start running amok. The plot's kinda...off, but the jokes are great and the ending scene is randomly hilarious. Watch this if you want to learn more about weaving funny lines into your stories.

2. A Christmas Story

I tend to watch the end of this movie first and catch the beginning later. Hey, it's always on marathon - works fine for me! You know the tale behind this one - a boy named Ralphie desperately wants a Red Ryder BB Gun for Christmas even though everyone keeps telling him he'll shoot his eye out. And, of course, you remember the leg lamp, the kid sticking his tongue to the pole, the decoder ring, the furnace...the film does a great job making comedy through all of these little details and events and the character's reactions to them. Watch this if you want to learn more about populating your stories with funny little occurences.

3. National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

Watching this film has become a recent tradition for me every Christmas whenever I visit my aunt's house. I never want to, but after I'm dragged into a seat surrounded by the family and start watching, I get reminded every time that this is a great film. Chevy Chase is absolutely insane as Clark Griswold, and probably one of my favorite examples of a comic character - he just wants to give his family a perfect Christmas, but takes it waaaay too seriously, which results in tons of hilarious bits. Watch this if you want to see great examples of comic characters in fictional stories.

4. Blackadder's Christmas Carol

This is a new favorite of mine. Blackadder is a British series about several reincarnations of a sarcastic schemer named Edmund Blackadder who is always trying to increase his status despite the antics of the stupid people surrounding him. In the special, this Blackadder is kind and gives almost everything away, leaving him and his servant Baldrick with nothing. But, once he's visited by the Spirit of Christmas and shown that his descendants will become powerful if he becomes mean, Blackadder adopts his familar persona and gives all the idiots he knows what they deserve. Watch this if you want a great example of a snarky antihero.

These are just a few of my holiday favorites. What are your favorite funny Christmas specials?

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Matt Willard

Matt Willard's bio begins with witty phrasing that succinctly illustrates his stance as a humorist. It is then followed with a clever sentence that illustrates what he does in his spare time. The bio concludes with a shameless link to his Twitter profile, paired with an off-hand comment that alludes to his success with women. Laughter.

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6 Comments

  1. Diana December 9, 2010 Reply

    Snarf! You hit nearly all of mine… ESPECIALLY Black Adder. Too bad Monty Python didn’t do a Christmas Special. Watch that for how to be funny with brilliance, yet come off looking completely ridiculous. It’s cheesy, but I love Elf with Will Ferrell. Watch that for physical comedy done with heart (not a writing thing, but still wonderful for a belly laugh.)

  2. Dann Alexander December 9, 2010 Reply

    Check out Bowser and Blue Christmas Special on Youtube. These Canadian guys are really great. They rip Christmas a new one.

  3. Rebecca Garland December 10, 2010 Reply

    I’m a total girly girl on this one, but I love Love Actually at Christmas. It’s so damn clever with tons of subtle and situational humor in with some more serious (and cheesy) stuff.

  4. Debra Stang December 10, 2010 Reply

    I watched Black Adder’s Christmas Carol for the first time last year and laughed so hard I nearly wet my pants.

    Another of my holiday favorites is We’re No Angels–the old one with Humphrey Bogart. I love it because the humor is subtle and intelligent. You have to listen to every line to catch all the jokes. I watch it every year, and I still find humorous moments that I missed before.

  5. Dann Alexander December 10, 2010 Reply

    Love Actually is my fourth fav movie of all time. It is one of the best written scripts, ever.

  6. Marianne Carter December 23, 2010 Reply

    I watched Black Adder’s Christmas Carol for the first time last year and laughed so hard I nearly wet my pants. Another of my holiday favorites is We’re No Angels–the old one with Humphrey Bogart. I love it because the humor is subtle and intelligent. You have to listen to every line to catch all the jokes. I watch it every year, and I still find humorous moments that I missed before.

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