As always, I slapped together an improvised Christmas special during the first hour or two of Christmas day. Desperate for inspiration after these many years of doing this, I decided to do the most obvious thing possible and exactly follow the format of every Rankin-Bass animated Christmas special. NO REFUNDS!




THE HORRIFYING CHRISTMAS THAT WASN'T

An animated Christmas spectacular!


Copyright (C) 2007 James "Kibo" Parry


(FADE IN.)

SCENE 1.  INTERIOR SANTA'S WORKSHOP

(Two ELVES and HUEY are working in a sweatshop,
stapling safety warnings onto shoddy teddy bears.)

    FIRST ELF
    Hey, Huey!

    SECOND ELF
    Yeah, hey, Huey!

    HUEY
    Stop picking on me!  You guys are
    meanies!

    FIRST ELF
    We'll stop picking on you if you
    just become a real elf.

    HUEY
    I'm not an elf, I'm a hobbit, and
    there's nothing wrong with that!

    SECOND ELF
    Why did you say there's nothing
    wrong with Shat?

    FIRST ELF
    Hey, look, Huey likes William Shatner!

    HUEY
    I do not!  You misunderstood me!

    FIRST ELF
    Ha ha, it's Huey the misunderstood hobbit!

    SECOND ELF
    Huey, Huey, the misunderstood hobbit!

    HUEY
    It's not fair that I'm a hobbit and
    you're not!

    FIRST ELF
    Huey, the misunderstood hobbit!

(There is an ominous rumble.)

    SECOND ELF
    What was that?

    FIRST ELF
    I don't know.  It happened right when
    I pointed out that Huey, the misunderstood
    hobbit is Huey, the misunderstood hobbit.

(There is a double rumble.)

    SECOND ELF
    Uh-oh!  I think you said that too many
    times!  It's becoming the title of his
    very own Christmas special!

    HUEY
    Yay!  After everyone see this special,
    I will be misunderstood no more, and
    everyone will love the way I --

    NARRATOR
    (rudely interrupting; voice-over)
    Tonight, and every Christmas from
    now on, it's "Huey, The Misunderstood
    Hobbit!"  Another treasure from the
    vaults of Rankin-Bass!

    FIRST ELF
    Now look what you did!

    SECOND ELF
    It's all his fault!  Get him!

(The two ELVES beat HUEY to death.)

    NARRATOR
    "Huey, The Misunderstood Hobbit"
    is brought to you by -- wait, I've
    just been told that the sponsors
    have withdrawn because Huey's dead.
    Well, that sure ruins Christmas
    for everyone... except narrators!
    At last, I'm free!  Free to narrate
    whatever else I want!  I can achieve
    my lifelong goal of hosting "The New
    All-New New Twilight Zone"!  It's new!

(CUT TO:)

SCENE 2.  REDONE "TWILIGHT ZONE" TITLE SEQUENCE

(Various elements of the original "Twilight Zone"
title sequence are floating around, except that
now it's all been updated to make it more awesome,
so now when "E=Mc^2" goes flying past it's in
a futuristic computer font like the one at the
bottom of your checks.  Also, it says "E=Mc^2000".)

    NARRATOR
    You're entering a dimension not of space
    and time but of color, flavor, texture,
    noise, gravity, wiggliness, wetness,
    dryness, moistness, semi-moistness,
    fluffiness, and odor.  A dimension whose
    only boundaries are those of the mind
    and DNA and chaos theory and quantum
    mechanics and artificial intelligence
    and the exciting new iPhone from Apple.
    You are entering... "The New All-New New
    Twilight Zone".

(MUSIC STING.  DISSOLVE TO:)

SCENE 3.  EXTERIOR CITY STREET.

(We see a twelve-foot length of sidewalk, because
that's all the budget would allow us to build.
ALBERT EINSTEIN is in the middle of it, walking
in place while holding a bag of groceries with
a stalk of celery sticking out the top.  For some
reason there is a string lying along the length
of the sidewalk.)

    NARRATOR
    (voice-over)
    Submitted for your approval:  One perfectly
    ordinary human being, named Albert Einstein.
    Little does he know he has just stumbled
    into the most horrifying situation ever --
    a remake of a revival of a remake of a revival
    of "The Twilight Zone".

(MUSIC STING.)

(EINSTEIN continues walking in place.)

    EINSTEIN
    I am having a splendid day!  Just me
    and my bag of groceries!

(EINSTEIN keeps pretending to walk.  Suddenly the
string becomes taut and slowly drags a newspaper
vending box into frame, to make it look like EINSTEIN
is moving.  It is dragged completely across the set
and off the other edge of the screen.)

    EINSTEIN
    That reminds me!  I forgot to read today's
    newspaper before I went shopping!  I'd
    better go back.

(EINSTEIN keeps walking in place, but now a long
pole pushes the newsrack back into frame behind
him as if he is backing up.  The pole pushes it
next to him and leaves it there.)

    EINSTEIN
    Now to read the headline!

(He bends down.)

(CLOSE-UP newspaper headline:  "NUCLEAR WAR DESTROYED
ALL LIFE ON EARTH YESTERDAY.  YOU DIED.")

    EINSTEIN
    Oh no!  Did you see that, groceries?
    Apparently the two of us are not only
    the only two survivors, but we're dead!
    I guess I'd better buy that newspaper!

(He sets the bag of groceries on the newsrack and
rummages through his pockets.)

    EINSTEIN
    I'm out of change!  Oh well!

(He picks up his groceries and cheerfully strolls
out of frame, whistling.  The newsrack just sits
there.)

    NARRATOR
    When mankind's hubris becomes too great,
    even the greatest scientists must remember
    that newspapers aren't free.  In other
    words, the eight morals of this story were --

    GRUFF VOICE
    You're fired!

    NARRATOR
    What?

    GRUFF VOICE
    You heard me, you're fired.  You were
    supposed to be narrating that stupid
    Rankin-Dumbass toddler cartoon and not
    making up crazy crap about some dumb
    old dead professor talking to celery.

    NARRATOR
    But you can't fire me, it's Christmas!

    GRUFF VOICE
    Then you're retroactively fired as of
    last month.  Give back all the pay
    you received since then and go home.

    NARRATOR
    I don't have to take this abuse from
    you.  I'll go somewhere that I'm wanted.

    GRUFF VOICE
    Fine, just get outta here so we can
    end this show, people at home been looking
    at a picture of a newspaper box for
    five minutes now.  And while you're
    going, we'll have the Foley guy make
    the sound of a door hitting your ass
    on the way out.

(Sound effect:  An aluminum baseball bat smashing
a coconut inside a 55-gallon drum.)

(CUT TO:)

SCENE 3.  INTERIOR SANTA'S WORKSHOP

(The two ELVES have finished cutting up HUEY's
corpse, and are gift-wrapping the pieces.)

    FIRST ELF
    This leg should fill up a stocking nicely!

    SECOND ELF
    Just draw a Pokemon on it and kids will
    love it.

    NARRATOR
    (voice-over)
    Testing... testing... ahem... We now
    return to "Huey, The Misunderstood Hobbit!"

    FIRST ELF
    (rolling his eyes)
    Oh, great, he's back, that guy who never
    shuts up.

    SECOND ELF
    (whispering)
    Quiet, I think he can see us!

    NARRATOR
    That's right, I can see you!  I see all!
    And we're going to make this the greatest
    Christmas special ever!  It's "Huey, The
    Misunderstood Hobbit!"

    FIRST ELF
    He's still dead.

    NARRATOR
    And then a Christmas miracle happened!
    Huey came back to life!

    FIRST ELF
    (after a pause)
    How are we supposed to play that?

    SECOND ELF
    Yeah, who's writing this crap?  I knew
    this was going to be a lousy Christmas
    what with all the real writers on strike.

    NARRATOR
    No, really, Huey came back to life!
    Look, you can see him moving!  Kids,
    he's okay!

    FIRST ELF
    He's dead!

    NARRATOR
    He's dancing a happy dance!

    FIRST ELF and SECOND ELF
    (together)
    He's dead!

    NARRATOR
    Don't make me come down there!

    SECOND ELF
    Down from where?

    NARRATOR
    I'm God!  I'm up here in Heaven and
    I'm gonna come down there and kick your
    butts if you don't make kids happy
    this Christmas!

    FIRST ELF
    You're not the real God.  You're a scab
    God.  The real one's on strike 'cause
    they didn't pay him royalties when they
    released "The Ten Commandments" on DVD.

    SECOND ELF
    Yeah, he wrote that film all by himself.
    I bet you ain't wrote nothing.

    NARRATOR
    Behold!  The amazing wacky dancing antics
    of Huey, The Misunderstood Hobbit!

    FIRST ELF
    The only good thing I can say about this
    special is that Rankin and Bass are probably
    saving a fortune on the animation.

    SECOND ELF
    Yeah, look how I've been wrapping the
    same dismembered torso for ten minutes
    now.  See?  Three frames of my hands
    folding the paper around the bloody
    torso, and two frames of me putting the
    duct tape on it.  Then repeat.  This
    barely qualifies as animation.

    FIRST ELF
    It's like we're in a freakin' "Archies"
    episode or something.

    NARRATOR
    You are not!  We're doing a heartwarming
    Christmas special!

    FIRST ELF
    Did he just say he has heartworms?

    SECOND ELF
    Yeah, let's misunderstand him to say
    "heartworms"!  That makes him Narraty,
    The Misunderstood Narrator!

    NARRATOR
    Am not!

    SECOND ELF
    Listen, he just said he is!

    NARRATOR
    No I didn't!

    FIRST ELF
    And you know that newspaper in the stupid
    "Twilight Zone" scene?  The headline said
    "NARRATOR DROWNS IN CREAMED CORN!"

    NARRATOR
    That's just plain -- glub!  (drowning noises)

    SECOND ELF
    Whaddaya know, it worked!

    FIRST ELF
    Never underestimate the powers of "The
    Twilight Zone".  It's more powerful than
    Santa and Rudolph combined.

(CUT TO:)

SCENE 4.  INSERTS

(Spinning newspaper.  Headline:  "NARRATOR
DROWNS IN CREAMED CORN.  CORPSE IDENTIFIED
AS UNTALENTED.")

(Another spinning newspaper.  Headline:
"WRITERS' STRIKE CONTINUES, ALL CHRISTMAS
TV PROGRAMS REPLACED BY REALITY SHOWS.")

(CUT TO:)

SCENE 5.  INTERIOR OPERATING ROOM

(SANTA is strapped to a medical table.  Trays
of scalpels and forceps are all around.)

    REPLACEMENT NARRATOR
    Santa's on the table, the instruments
    have been sharpened, and we're about
    to release the raging chimp!  It's
    "Monkey Makeover"!

(A screaming CHIMP jumps onto the table, grabs
a scalpel, and starts hacking away at random
while SANTA screams.  Fortunately, most of the
blood is covered by the "MONKEY MAKEOVER" logo
in the middle of the screen.  It has a cute
cartoon monkey.)

    REPLACEMENT NARRATOR
    And if you enjoyed this episode of
    "Monkey Makeover", tune in next week
    for our Christmas special!

(EINSTEIN bursts in.)

    EINSTEIN
    Stop the operation!  This is madness!

(The CHIMP jabs the scalpel at EINSTEIN,
and a big kung-fu battle ensues.  Eventually
EINSTEIN gets the CHIMP in a headlock.)

    EINSTEIN
    Wait, what's this string for?

(He picks up a string that's lying on the
floor and pulls on it.  A newspaper vending
box trundles into view.  The headline wins
"CHIMP WINS XMAS FIGHT WITH EINSTEIN."

    EINSTEIN
    No!  It can't be!  I'm not taking
    orders from some spurious old-media
    publication!

(EINSTEIN flings the CHIMP out the window.
He then starts unstrapping SANTA.)
    
    SANTA
    Thanks, Einstein!  But I'm afraid
    I won't be delivering any presents
    this year!  Tell the kids Christmas
    is cancelled because Santa's missing
    too many organs...

(SANTA dies.  We know this because a little
animated ghost with a Santa hat rises out
of his body.)

    EINSTEIN
    Looks like it's up to me to save
    Christmas!

DISSOLVE TO:

SCENE 6.  EXTERIOR SANTA'S WORKSHOP

(In front of the garage at the North Pole,
EINSTEIN is hitching the nine REINDEER to
the sleigh.  RUDOLPH is in front.)

    RUDOLPH
    I wish I could remember how to
    make my nose light up!

    EINSTEIN
    No time for that now, Rudolph!
    We've got to deliver all the toys
    in the world, within the next
    three hours!

    RUDOLPH
    Aw, can't we do it in four?

    EINSTEIN
    No, three!  Otherwise kids everywhere
    will be cranky and histrionic, unlike
    normal children!

(EINSTEIN climbs into the sleigh.)

    EINSTEIN
    Now, mush!  On Donner, on Cupid!
    On Dander and Vixen!  On Sprinkles,
    on Montel, on Something and Something!

    RUDOLPH
    Don't forget me, the perkiest of all!
    I'm Rudolph!

    EINSTEIN
    Yeah, and on Rudolph!

    DONNER
    (quietly)
    That's what she said.

    EINSTEIN
    Hey, shut your face and fly!

(The sleigh takes off.  They soar through the
air.  RUDOLPH's nose begins to glow bright red.)

    RUDOLPH
    I'm flying!  And hey, my nose is
    glowing!

    EINSTEIN
    No!  Don't!  That's deadly gamma
    radiation... piercing every cell in
    our bodies...

(Blood starts trickling from EINSTEIN's ears
as the sleigh spirals downwards like a flying brick.)

SCENE 7.  EXTERIOR DETROIT

(In a freight yard, a train is idling.  It has a
flatbed car with an open tank on top, labelled
"WORLD'S LARGEST VAT OF CREAMED CORN."  Distantly,
we hear screaming.  It gets louder.  The sleigh
falls into frame and crashes on the ground in
front of the vat.  At the moment of impact, the
ten screams stop.  Then, after a moment, the vat
bursts, deluging EINSTEIN and the REINDEER in
creamed corn.  The screaming resumes, then fades away.
RONALD McDONALD enters.)

    RONALD McDONALD
    Remember, kids, never touch creamed corn,
    celery, or any other vegetables.

    NARRATOR
    You've been watching "The Horrifying
    Christmas That Wasn't", the greatest
    Christmas special ever to air during
    a writers' strike, starring --

    GRUFF VOICE
    Hey, I fired you!  Get lost already!

    REPLACEMENT NARRATOR
    Yeah, beat it, creep!

    RONALD McDONALD
    If I may interject a plea for sanity...

    GRUFF VOICE
    No, you're fired too, and your hamburgers
    taste like doggie beds!  Everybody get
    outta here, I'm taking over!

(FADE OUT.)

SCENE 8.  SOLID BLACK SCREEN

    GRUFF VOICE
    And that's how I, the man with the
    gruff voice, saved Christmas by
    cancelling this really terrible
    Christmas special before you were
    forced to watch the second half of it.
    Oh, also, that newspaper headline
    was true -- the world really did
    blow up yesterday and you've been
    dead all day.  See you next year!

(CUT TO:)

SCENE 9.  INTERIOR LIVING ROOM

(A LITTLE GIRL and her parents are watching a
solid black TV screen.)

    LITTLE GIRL
    Daddy, can he really see us?

    DADDY
    No, sweetheart.  Now go help Mommy set
    the table for our Christmas dinner.
    We're having creamed corn.

(MUSIC STING.)

THE END

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December 25, 2007
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