How Murray Saved Christmas Is presented completely in rhymes. I watched it not once, not twice, but three times. The special takes place in a small little town, where all residents are holiday characters including the April Fools’ Clown. The town has a silly name of Stinky Cigars and all of the holiday characters sing about candy bars.
This little known Christmas special is no mere Christmas filler. It’s irreverent and stars the late great Jerry Stiller. He plays Murray Weiner, the owner of the local Holiday Diner.
All this rhyming is making me want to curse. I think I will just stop already with the rhyming in verse.
It is a musical like many Christmas specials and the “Work Work Work” number makes me smile. “We work work work work work work with great endurance. We never miss a day of work because we don’t have health insurance.” You feel sorry for the elves and Santa is a harsh master who charges for hot coco. It’s a depressing workplace. It does make you wonder, “Are the elves really slaves? Would there ever be an elf uprising or at least an Elf union?” These issues come up in many specials that take place at Santa’s Workshop.
Edison Elf is more annoying than Bryony from Arthur Christmas and less bright and earnest than Hermey from Rudolph. He gets the story rolling by punching Santa with his newest invention the Jack in the Boxer, knocking Santa out from delivering the toys. It couldn’t happen to a better Santa. He is so mean spirited and unlikeable.
Doctor Holiday, played by Jason Alexander, sings a song covering all of Santa’s diagnoses and prognoses. The way he is drawn and portrayed in his musical number is grotesque.
Santa’s workshop is in total chaos. “Who will replace Santa?” , the residents ask , Columbus?” Murray delivers lunch and Edison decides that Murray is the guy who will take out the sleigh and the reindeer and deliver the toys.
Murray is kind of clueless when it comes to Christmas. He doesn’t even know the names of the eight flying Reindeer. “On Dumbo and Jumbo,on Mason and Dixon, on Cosmo and Cramer and Richard M. Nixon.” I particularly like the Cosmo Kramer joke being a Seinfeld fan.
I love the rhymes. I can’t put them all in this blog or I would just copy and paste the entire transcript.
“His pants that were lose went straight to his knees. “Murray Weiner” was stitched on his silk BVDs.” He says mournfully, “I’m going to jail.” . But he comes up with a quick story to satisfy the lad.
This special is very bi-polar. Parts are incredibly funny and sweet and others mostly involving Santa stink like rancid deer meat. His storyline isn’t funny. The jokes that bomb could fill a list. The scene in the convenience mart is borderline racist.
We learn more about what made Murray such a malcontent. He was a milkman who the face of Milkman Day. This holiday ended and he got depressed. he out the love of his life, Mrs. Liberty. All he was left was his sharp deli knife.
In another stupid scene Murray and Edison are stopped by the police. The police officer gets knocked out by the Jack in the Boxer and this scene mercifully ceases.
“Oh not another musical number!” I keen with a scream. If the Easter Bunny raps one more time, I will burst my own spleen.
Queen Hanna of Banana Land???? This is just sad. Santa and the policeman , both delirious, fighting over which one is queen is just bad.
When Murray talks or sings this special is a delight. But when the focus is on other characters this special is a fright. My favorite line, “You gave me the best gift of all, a brand new me.” is simply divine.
The special premiere in 2014 on NBC. Now, you can see it on AMC. I had fun writing this blog. Rhyming can be quite addictive. I am sorry but I don’t have a rhyme that makes sense for addictive.