Advent Calendar House - TV Holiday & Christmas Specials

The Leprechauns’ Christmas Gold

Episode Summary

Banshees have weirder rules than Mogwai. Guests: Michael DiGiovanni, Michael May. Find show notes at

Episode Notes

🎄 Sail back to 1981 with us as we dig up Rankin/Bass’s penultimate and possibly most obscure stop-motion Christmas special ever, which may or may not only exist because they had the rights to use Christmas in Killarney and needed someplace to put it.  


🎙 Guests:  

Michael DiGiovanni (Classic Film Jerks, Pop Culture Retrofit, @theatomicgeeks).  

Michael May (, Sleigh Bell Cinema, Mystery Movie Night, AfterLUNCH, @michaelmaycomix).  


💬 Topics & Tangents:  

1. Ken Jennings (the voice of Dinty Doyle, not the Jeopardy! guy) in the short-lived Epcot Center attraction, The Astuter Computer Revue.  

2. Mag the Hag’s entrance reminds me of Rita Repulsa in the opening of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.  

3. Blarney Kilakilarney and his wife are a poster Irish couple and the reason everyone’s advice at your wedding is: “Never go to bed angry.”  

4. This special keeps adding new rules about how both banshees and rainbows work, like they’re Mogwai.  

5. The Leprechauns’ “phantom island of Tralee” shares a name with an actual mainland town in Ireland, but is closer to Dursey Island, population (as of 2016): 4.  

6. The only thing many remember about this special is its Nightmare Face reveal that a beautiful woman Dinty finds washed ashore is the banshee in disguise.  

7. According to the Christmas Specials Wiki, Arthur Rankin said a promotion was planned involving prizes buried in random places around the United States for children to dig up, but was abandoned for safety concerns.  

8. Jack O’Lantern, from Rankin/Bass’s Festival of Family Classics TV series, featuring a leprechaun disguised as a pumpkin.  


📼 Retro Commercial Break:  

Gremlins Gizmo Plush Pet, 1984.  


“The Leprechauns’ Christmas Gold” © 1981 Rankin/Bass Productions.  

Full show notes with links at  
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