Wednesday, November 10, 2010

With Apologies To Rankin/Bass Productions

With the holidays approaching, I have been thinking about those Rankin/Bass Christmas specials I grew up with. You know the ones: “Santa Claus is Coming to Town,” “Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” “A Year Without a Santa Claus.” They used those retro-looking stop-motion puppets. Today’s current crop of youngsters still watch and enjoy them every year.

The other night, a friend of mine challenged me to design a Rankin/Bass version of the unfolding “Relax” robocall scandal. Here’s what I came up with. Enjoy:

Name: “Rudolf’s Robocall Christmas”

Plot Summary: Newly minted lawyer Rudolf must save Christmas by protecting the elves from Orange Julius, a villain who wants to trick them into thinking all the work has been done for Christmas by using robocalls telling them not to show up at Santa’s Toyshop.

Puppet characters (most of whom first appeared in prior Rankin/Bass productions) would resemble and be voiced by the following:

Narrator:                          Joe Steffen (a la Burl Ives in the original "Rudolf" special)
Rudolf:                              Doug Gansler
Orange Julius:                  Julius Henson (Puppet clad in an orange jumpsuit).
Santa Claus:                     Greg Massoni
Hermie the Elf:                 Andy Barth
Heat Miser:                      Mike Miller
Cold Miser:                       Mike Busch
Mother Nature:                 Rhonda Russell
Father Time:                      Jervis Finney
Yukon Cornelius:               Paul Schurick
Mayor of Southtown:        Ben Cardin
New Year Baby:                Henry Fawell
Abominabumble:               Craig Chesek
Fred Flintstone:                 Bernie Marczyk (Through special permission of Hanna-Barbera)

Songs would include:

“A stocking full of subpoenas”
“Dial dial do, dial dial don’t”
“Ribbons, bows, and depositions”
“That’s suppression, I’m guessin.”
“A trip under the sleigh”
“Telephone” (performed by special guest puppet Lady Gaga).


  1. Stealing Fred Flintstone for Bernie from Joe was shameless!

  2. Anon @ 11/11 @ 4:47:

    Neither Joe nor I originated the Bernie as Flintstone concept. It was already widely used back when we were all in the State House.

  3. At least Hanna-Barbera has a true legacy! they made all their animation in house right here in the U.S.A. until the 80s. where as Rankin/Bass so called "animagic" process was done for them by the Japanese although they admitted it. the very people who bombed us in 1941!