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 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.  


🎙 Guests  

 Brandon Medley (@brandmed, Star Weirdos).  

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


💬 Topics & Tangents:  

1. 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.

2. Paul Frees voices of 8 different characters in this special, if you count animal noises.  

3. 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.  

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

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

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

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

8. Our definitive versions of the song.  

9. 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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Full show notes with links at