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?