Advent Calendar House - TV Holiday & Christmas Specials

The Little Drummer Boy

Episode Summary

Young Conan the Barbarian meets baby Jesus. Guests: Michael May, Brandon Medley. Find links and complete show notes at:

Episode Notes

On this episode of the official holiday podcast for people who hate all humans — which, in 2020, is most of us — we dance to the beat of our own drum back to 1968 and back into the Rankin/Bass universe for their stop-motion follow-up to Rudolph.  


🎙 On This Episode:  

Mike Westfall (@fallwestmike), cross-eyed juggling stereotype.  

Brandon Medley (@brandmed), king of the desert showmen, from Star Weirdos.  

Michael May (@michaelmaycomix), one of the wise men, but I forget which one, because they all sound the same to me, of, Sleigh Bell Cinema, AfterLUNCH, and Mystery Movie Night.  


💬 Topics & Tangents:  

• This was Romeo Muller’s favorite Christmas special he wrote for Rankin/Bass. Also, that link on Rankin/Bass’s website is from 2003 and looks like it hasn’t been touched since 2003.

• Podcast favorite Paul Frees provides the voice of 8 different characters in this special, if you count animal noises.  

• The song, originally called Carol of the Drum, was written more recently than I’d thought — in 1941 — and first recorded in 1951 by the Trapp Family Singers, the family that inspired The Sound of Music.  

• Aaron’s origin story is the same as Conan the Barbarian’s.  

• Here’s an isolated version of One Star in the Night, without the narration.  

• Burl Ives wouldn’t have felt out of place narrating this special, since he’d go on to narrate one about another caravan.  

• There are way more shepherds here than in any Nativity scene I’ve ever seen.  

• The special also mixes up its kings, at least as they’re traditionally named.  

• Our definitive versions of the song.  

• Young Brandon insists on adding the Little Drummer Boy to a church Nativity pageant.  


📼 Retro Commercial Break:  

Kentucky Fried Chicken: Christmas Carol (1989). 


🎤 And Now, These Messages:  


Feliz Christmas, Merry Navidad.  

“The Little Drummer Boy” © 1968 Rankin/Bass Productions.  

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