"A Colbert Christmas" Still The Greatest Gift of All!

By Sarah Carlson | TV Reviews | December 12, 2012 | Comments ()


We've all got our favorite Christmas-themed special/TV episode/movie that we turn to this time every year for comfort. From "How the Grinch Stole Christmas!" to Die Hard to "Abed's Uncontrollable Christmas" from "Community" Season Two, there are options for every kind of taste out there. My favorite Christmas movie will always be The Muppet Christmas Carol. For TV episodes, my money is still on sob-inducing "In Excelsis Deo" episode from "The West Wing" Season One. But for specials, my pick is one that doesn't seem to get as much love as it deserves. My Facebook news feed is clogged with accolades for "A Charlie Brown Christmas" or debates on whether Love Actually is actually any good or not, but for some reason, no one is citing Stephen Colbert's seasonal offerings -- which include Willie Nelson singing about offering marijuana to the newborn Jesus Christ -- as their favorite holiday treat. This omission is unacceptable.

"A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All!" first aired four years ago on Comedy Central and is a silly, sweet throwback and twist on Christmas specials of yesteryear, complete with low-budget effects and celebrity guest spots. Various artists stop by the cabin where Colbert, in character as the Colbert of "The Colbert Report," is trapped -- they're somewhere in "bear country," and those abominations of nature are out to get him. All he wants is to escape so he can go film his Christmas special, but wouldn't you know that the visits and musical numbers make a pretty great special themselves.

Comedy Central obviously thinks the special is still great because the station is airing it again this year on ... um ...

Screen shot 2012-12-11 at 8.54.41 PM.png

Welp, set your DVRs now! Or better yet, buy the DVD or the album. The songs are the best part, and it should never be forgotten that the album once helped put Kanye in his place. The untraditional and ridiculous "A Colbert Christmas" is a welcome addition to the Christmas entertainment realm.

Colbert's kick-off for the special belongs on every Christmas playlist:

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
A Colbert Christmas: Another Christmas Song
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogVideo Archive

Jon Stewart, bless his non-musical heart, makes a pitch for Hanukkah:

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
A Colbert Christmas: Jon Stewart
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogVideo Archive

Elvis Costello stops by:

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
A Colbert Christmas: Colbert/Costello Duet
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogVideo Archive

And seriously, Willie Nelson sings about pot:

Feist has a cute song likening angels to call center reps, and John Legend's ode to nutmeg is delightfully dirty. The best number, however, belongs to Toby Keith, an artist who had frequented "The Colbert Report" before the special and didn't mind poking fun at his "We'll put a boot in their ass/It's the American way" reputation. Why Fox News hasn't adopted this as its official War on Christmas theme song, I'll never know.

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
A Colbert Christmas: Toby Keith Sings
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogVideo Archive

Colbert brings it all home, however, when he corals the guests for a little peace, love and understanding. Those are sentiments we can all get behind, no matter our beliefs.

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
A Colbert Christmas: Peace, Love and Understanding
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogVideo Archive

Merry Christmas, to bears and all.

Sarah Carlson is a TV Critic for Pajiba. She lives in San Antonio.

Are you following Pajiba on Facebook or Twitter? Because every time you do an angel does the Paul Rudd dance

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Comments Are Welcome, Jerks Will Be Banned

  • Geoff Casavant

    I learned the Willie Nelson song on guitar, and we play it every Christmas season. My daughter very quickly learned the Colbert "Are you high? Dude man, dude" part, and thus no end of joy.

  • Pajiba_Pragmatist

    There was this odd Michael Buble' Christmas special on the other night. First, I realized that I am only vaugely aware of who or what a Buble' is, but Second, it was a bizarre lip-syncing throwback to 70's christmas specials with "special guest stars" and an apparently fake live audience. For goodness sake Rod Stewart and Elmo both sang duets!

    The lip-syncing was really awful. In one song Buble' forgot which verse he was in, and you see him with a closed mouth, and an "s"sound coming from the TV. Poor Rod Stewart clearly couldn't hold the notes for as long as his studio-self did, several times the mic was at his hip, and yet he was still magically holding the note.

    So while Colbert may be one of the best throwback specials, there appear to be others around!

  • AudioSuede

    Yes yes yes, I LOVE this special. The DVD special feature that kills me? The yule log made of burning books. Fucking hilarious.

  • Pants_are_a_must

    Are you kidding me? This was an instant classic chez Pants Palace. Every year on December, the whole soundtrack ends up on my playlist, and I have to watch the Special at least once.

  • TheAggroCraig

    Muppet Family Christmas > Muppet Christmas Carol

  • Gumbercules

    Sesame Street, the Muppets, and the Fraggles all together FTW!

  • Monica


  • AudioSuede

    Seriously, who lets these folks out of the house?

  • linnyloo

    Hear hear!

  • KatSings

    I ADORE this special and own it. Maybe I'll watch that tonight.

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