Advent Calendar House - TV Holiday & Christmas Specials

The Stingiest Man in Town

Episode Summary

Rankin/Bass’s unoriginal crack at A Christmas Carol. Guests: Michael DiGiovanni, Michael May. Find show notes at

Episode Notes

🎄 On another Scrooge Sunday edition of the Advent Calendar House, we fly back in time to 1978 to revisit Rankin/Bass’s turn at A Christmas Carol.  


🎙 Guests:  

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

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


💬 Topics & Tangents:  

1. This is specifically an adaptation of a 1956 production on The Alcoa Hour starring Basil Rathbone as Scrooge. Rankin/Bass uses most of the songs from that special.  

2. The original Stingiest Man in Town on Sleigh Bell Cinema.  

3. Michael May’s annual coverage of scenes from this and other Christmas Carol adaptations.  

4. Sonny Melendrez (Bob Cratchit) in You and Me, Kid.  

5. This has my all-time favorite, super creepy version of Marley’s face appearing on Scrooge’s door knocker.  

6. This special gets older Belle completely wrong.  

7. Tiny Tim has skinny robot legs.  

8. The eldest Cratchit sibling, Martha, is Debbie Clinger of the Clinger Sisters, a.k.a. Superchick from the Krofft Supershow host band Kaptain Kool and the Kongs.  

9. Rankin/Bass should have made a south seas-themed special called Christmas Island. (Hi from the future! We ended up exploring this idea on AfterLUNCH.)  

10. Scrooge’s grave morphing into a giant devil face is a reminder in hindsight that this special was animated in Japan by Topcraft, the predecessor to Studio Ghibli.  


📼 Retro Commercial Break:  

Glad Trash Bags Commercial starring Tom Bosley, 1981.  


“The Stingiest Man in Town” © 1978 Rankin/Bass Productions.  

Full show notes with links at  
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