Advent Calendar House - TV Holiday & Christmas Specials

Santa, Baby!

Episode Summary

The last ever Rankin/Bass Christmas special flew under the radar. Guests: Tim Babb, Andre Bennett

Episode Notes

🎄It’s 2001, and a magical partridge is sending me on a coat drive for some kind of Karate Kid-style Santa training.  

Hop in our light blue ’54 convertible and buckle up as we take you on a joyride through the very last and most forgotten Rankin/Bass Christmas special, featuring a mostly black cast starring Patti LaBelle, Gregory Hines, and a criminally underused Eartha Kitt as a talking cat.  


🎙 Guests:  

Andre Bennett (Cult Cinema Cloister, Philadelphia Championship Rock Paper Scissors).  

Tim Babb (Can’t Wait for Christmas Podcast).  


💬 Topics & Tangents:  

1. This special was co-written by Suzanne Collins, who went on to write “The Hunger Games.”  

2. The other co-writer, Peter Bakalian, also has a book series. It’s called “The F.A.R.T. Diaries.”  

3. Patti LaBelle in Philadelphia’s “Get to Know Us” tourism campaign, 1985.  

4. Patti LaBelle on “Sesame Street” singing “How I Miss My X.”  

5. IMDb’s photo gallery for “Santa, Baby!” is full of high-quality promotional images.  

6.’s first look at “Santa, Baby!” from December 2001.  

7. Gregory Hines in “The Muppets Take Manhattan” and “Running Scared.”  

8. Rankin/Bass finally includes “The Twelve Days of Christmas” and “Jingle Bells” in a Christmas special.  

8. Natalie Toro (Samson) lists “Santa Baby!” on her bio page.  

10. Andre’s uncle co-wrote K-Ci & JoJo’s “All My Life.”  


📼 Commercial Break:  

McDonald’s “Wake Up” Breakfast Commercial featuring Patti LaBelle, 1990.   

Can’t Wait for Christmas, the podcast dedicated to keeping the spirit of Christmas alive all year round.  


“Santa, Baby” © 2001 Perisphere Pictures, Inc.