My Week with Christmas Vacation

Christmas 2002

 

Monday   --   Tuesday   --   Wednesday   --   Thursday   --   Friday

 

 

Natashianity

Friday, December 13

 

At last, at last, as our final holiday special, Kynan and I get to watch the new DVD, Elmo's World: Happy Holidays. This is a big treat for both of us, because we're the original members of the Elmo Boosters Club for Extremely Secure Adult Men. So wrap up warm, sit in front of the fire, and have a very merry Christmas, Chanukah or Kwanzaa, as applicable...

 

 

Kynan

 

Yay, it's Elmo's World! All is right with the world. That's a lovely opening, isn't it, tracking through Sesame Street and into Elmo's apartment. I didn't realize that Elmo's World was all him sitting in the living room and drawing the picture. Has that been established before? 

 

Danny

 

I don't know; it seems obvious, but it never occurred to me either.

 

Kynan

 

Elmo's World has a context now.

 

Danny

 

Actually, something I really like is that they made sure Dorothy's fishbowl was in the shot of Elmo's apartment, just to establish that Dorothy is real. 

 

Kynan

 

How many of those do you think they go through in a year?

 

Danny

 

What do you mean? It's Dorothy.

 

Kynan

 

But goldfish only live for about six minutes. They probably used up twelve Dorothys just shooting this special. 

 

Danny

 

I have no idea what you're talking about.

 

Kynan

 

Oh, right, never mind. Hello, Dorothy!

 

 

 

 

Kynan

 

Elmo's thinking about Christmas today...

 

Danny

 

Yeah, no kidding. He's actually thinking about Christmas of 1996, when he sold a gazillion Tickle Me Elmo dolls. 

 

Kynan

 

Oh, that sounds nice. I'm thinking about that too. Yay, it's Noodles! Is it all right with the people at home if I just spend the whole day saying yay? 

 

Danny

 

Who cares, it's Christmas. Yay Noodles. I love the special Elmo's Worlds, cause you get three Noodles at once. Which is your favorite Noodle?

 

Kynan

 

Oh, I don't know... My head says Mr Noodle, cause he's Bill Irwin and he's a comedy god, but my heart says Mr Noodle's brother, Mr Noodle. 

 

Danny

 

Yeah, I know, I feel the same way. He's so vulnerable and sweet. I actually also love Mr Noodle's sister, Miss Noodle. Every time she's on, I just can't take my eyes off her facial expressions. Here, watch: She does this cool thing where she does a really broad happy grin, and then when she makes a mistake, it just turns seamlessly into this blank, confused grimace. I think she's amazing. 

 

Kynan

 

Silly Noodles! Write down that I'm actually laughing out loud at this part... When the Noodles hang the ornaments on their clothes, and then try to hang them on the tree and end up hanging their clothes on the tree too... That may be my most genuine chuckle of the week. 

 

Danny

 

And then Mr Noodle ends up tied to the tree with garland. That's excellent.

 

Kynan

 

Well, as we've learned, everyone celebrates Christmas differently. The Noodles sacrifice one of their own. Merry Christmas, Noodles! 

 

Elmo  "Dorothy wants to ask someone else. How do you celebrate Christmas?"

 

Little Boy with Sticky-out Ears  "I decowate my house with a weindeew, and a twee that has all the spawkly lights..."

 

Dreadlocked Girl  "This is a kalimba that I play at Christmas time."

 

Little Boy  "If I could talk to Santa Claus, I would say, I love you."

 

Danny

 

Ohhhhh! This is just a big box of love. I feel like going back and being nice to John Denver now.

 

Kynan

 

Really?

 

Danny

 

No.

 

Elmo  "Thank you, everybody! Now, Elmo will ask a baby!"

 

Danny

 

That's not a baby! That's a 58 year old woman. 

 

Kynan

 

It must have been a very long day on the set, she's aged terribly.

 

Danny

 

She's going straight from this part to a recurring role as a district court judge on The Practice. 

 

Kynan

 

Well, everyone gets to celebrate Christmas in Elmo's World, even baby senior citizens.

 

 

 

 

Danny

 

And here's Kelly Ripa! 

 

Kelly  "Letter Carrier Kelly at your service, and I have here a special delivery letter for Mr Elmo Monster!"

 

Elmo  "Oh! Oh! Oh! Elmo is Mr Elmo Monster!"

 

Kelly  "Well, then, here ya go, Mr Elmo Monster!"

 

Kynan

 

Now, who is she again?

 

Danny

 

Oh, she's new. She used to be on a soap opera, and now she's a talk show host. She's fantastic.  

 

Kynan

 

She's overacting, though. Look at her, she's just mugging.

 

Danny

 

We like her.

 

Kynan

 

No, not so much.

 

Kelly  "People don't just send Christmas cards, Elmo. They send thoughts, feelings, tidings of great joy! And I have been trusted with the privilege of delivering your card!"

 

Elmo  "Wow! That's cool!"

 

Kelly  "Yes! I mean, look at this card, Elmo! Really, look at it, look at the... the lovely envelope, and the... the beautiful handwriting, I mean, a lot of love... (sniff)... a lot of love went into this card, Elmo... a lot of love, it gets me right here -- right here..."

 

Kynan

 

Ha. All right. I get her now.

 

Danny

 

You see?

 

Kynan

 

Yes, you're right. She is good. 

 

Danny

 

She just takes a minute to warm up is all.

 

Elmo  "Who comes on Christmas? Is it a firefighter, an astronaut, or Santa Claus?"

 

Kids  "Santa Claus!"

 

Elmo  "Yes! Santa Claus comes on Christmas!"

 

Danny

 

Hey, wait a second. I want to investigate the possibility of astronaut.

 

Kynan

 

Me too!

 

Danny

 

That's a wasted learning opportunity right there. Christmas on Space Station Zero.

 

Kynan

 

This moves very fast, though. There really isn't a second to get bored before it goes on to the next thing. When I was a kid, Sesame Street just had these endless films about how peanut butter gets made, which is probably why I'm so impatient as an adult.

 

Danny

 

And hungry.

 

Kynan

 

Right. Preschoolers these days must be geniuses if they have to process all this information every day.

 

Danny

 

By the way...

 

Kynan

 

Yes?

 

Danny

 

How does peanut butter get made?

 

Kynan

 

I haven't the faintest idea. I think big mixing machines are involved somewhere.

 

 

 

 

Computer  "Elmo has mail! Elmo has mail!"

 

Danny

 

Oh, I guess AOL isn't paying for product placement anymore. That's good, the computer saying "You have mail" always bothered me.

 

Kynan

 

So Prairie Dawn has set up a webcam at the Christmas pageant this year?

 

Danny

 

Ooh, as soon as you say "webcam" it starts to sound bad. Is this supposed to be streaming video?

 

Kynan

 

Yes, I'm waiting for a pause while they rebuffer.

 

Prairie Dawn  "Welcome, oh welcome, to our little play, where we will tell you all of the first Christmas day... Away in a manger, a long time ago, this is how it all started, now on with the show!"

 

Danny

 

They're not really doing this, are they? Oh my gosh.

 

Rosita  "We're Mary..."

 

Bert  "And Joseph!"

 

Rosita  "We've no place to stay!"

 

Bert  "That's why we're out here, with the animals and hay... Hay? Oh, no! A-choo! A-choo! My hay fever!"

 

Prairie Dawn  "Bert! Are -- are you all right?"

 

Bert  "Just a little sinus trouble. Ignore it. Where were we?"

 

Danny

 

This is fantastic, I can't believe they're doing it.

 

Kynan

 

And Baby Natasha is Jesus. 

 

Danny

 

Man, I got nasty e-mails when the Muppet Christmas Movie said that God was a woman. Now Elmo's World says that Jesus is female too. 

 

Kynan

 

And Joseph had hay fever. This is very instructive, I'm learning a lot about the birth of our Lord.

 

Rosita and Bert  "This son we named Jesus, so special was he, that a star shone above him for all to see."

 

Kynan

 

They haven't pointed out that he's the Son of God yet. He's just some special kid. 

 

Zoe  "This little special baby would grow up to be, a great teacher to many, so now you can see..."

 

Cast  "Why each year we now celebrate Christmas Day, to honor that baby on his birthday!"

 

Kynan

 

So he was just a teacher, then?

 

Danny

 

Hey, I'm a teacher. Nobody does squat on my birthday. So is that really the true story of Christianity?

 

Kynan

 

No, it's the true story of Natashianity. I've just converted.

 

 

 

 

Danny

 

Oh, good, it's the Chanukah part. That means I get to use all my Jew material.

 

Kynan

 

You have special Jew material?

 

Danny

 

Actually, I just use my Christian material over again, but with the word Christian crossed out and Jew written in.

 

Kynan

 

Got it. So Elmo celebrates Christmas, but Chanukah has to be explained to him.

 

Danny

 

Yeah, in America, Judaism is something that happens to other people. 

 

Elmo  "Elmo sure wishes he knew more about Chanukah... Where can Elmo find out more? Oh, yeah! We can watch the Chanukah Channel! Very good, TV. Turn yourself on!"

 

Danny

 

Oh, of course the TV knows about Chanukah, because Jews run the media! It's a wonder they get to talk about Christmas at all.  

 

Elmo  "The story of Chanukah was cool! Elmo wonders what it's like to celebrate Chanukah!"

 

Amanda  "Our family celebrates Chanukah... and I like to set up the menorah!"

 

Danny

 

Oh, this is like Jews: Actual Footage. 

 

Kynan

 

Is that really how Jews live in their natural habitat?

 

Danny

 

Yeah, we live in New York apartments. Oh, look, all these Jews show up in the same tiny apartment, stare at the candles and dance in circles. 

 

Kynan

 

Do you dance like that?

 

Danny

 

No, only heterosexual Jews dance like that. Gay Jews dance like normal people. Boy, look at those kids looking at the candles. If this is the kind of fun that Jews have, sign me back up.

 

Telly  "Hi, Elmo! We're here in my mom's 'formal' dining room with Baby Bear and Papa Bear."

 

Bears  "Hi, Elmo!"

 

Telly  "They're teaching me a really fun game that's played at Hanukkah!"

 

Baby Bear  "Actually, Telly, it's pronounced CHANukah. With more of a CHA."

 

Telly  "Ha. Like that?"

 

Baby Bear  "No, more in the back of the throat. CHA!"

 

Telly  "HA!"

 

Baby Bear  "CHA!"

 

Papa Bear  "Actchally, boys, either way is fahn!"

 

Telly  "Oh, good. Anyway, the game is played with this -- a dreidel!" 

 

Baby Bear  "Yeah... and y'know, my Papa Bear taught me how to play dreidel on my very first Chanukah! Isn't that right, Papa Bear?"

 

Papa Bear  "Oh, that's raht, son!"

 

Danny

 

Waaaaaait wait wait wait wait. 

 

Kynan

 

I didn't know Baby Bear was Jewish. Do Jews talk like that?

 

Danny

 

What Appalachian shtetl is Papa Bear from? I call no way.

 

Kynan

 

Must be the south side of Brooklyn. 

 

Danny

 

That's bizarre. Why not make Telly the Jew? I know the neurotic Jew thing is a stereotype, but I could totally buy Telly as Jewish. 

 

Kynan

 

Hey, spin that dreidel, Papa Bear!

 

Baby Bear  "Okay, you see here, Telly? That's gimmel!"

 

Telly  "Gimmel! And if it lands on gimmel, you win, right?"

 

Baby Bear  "That is correct, my friend! Okay, everybody put a peanut into the bowl..."

 

Danny

 

Yeah, you use peanuts in this game to commemorate all the Jewish bears who come from Georgia.

 

Telly  "So what does it mean when it lands on that side?"

 

Baby Bear  "Oh, that's the letter nun. That means that I didn't win anything."

 

Telly  "Oh, well. Land on nun, get none!"

 

Baby Bear  "Yeah! Good one!"

 

Danny

 

And once you've figured out that joke, that's pretty much sixty percent of the joy of playing dreidel out the window. 

 

Kynan

 

What's the other forty percent?

 

Danny

 

When you figure out that you can stop playing.

 

Papa Bear  "And now, heah's a little Chanukah gift for the both of ya." 

 

Telly  "WOW! Gold COINS! Oh, YES! I'm RICH! I'm WEALTHY! Ha ha ha HA!"

 

Danny

 

Now, THAT is the point of Judaism! I think Telly's got the hang of it!

 

Kynan

 

Please write down that none of these are my jokes.

 

 

 

 

Kynan

 

Hey, Kelly's back!

 

Kelly  "Elmo, I found something else for you at the bottom of my bag!"

 

Danny

 

Meanwhile, senior citizens are waiting for their disability checks.

 

Kynan

 

Well, she only delivers mail in Elmo's World, so it's a very short route.

 

Kelly  "Kwanzaa is a holiday that celebrates African heritage!"

 

Elmo  "Ohhhh... another holiday!"

 

Kelly  "That's right, it lasts seven days, and it was inspired by the harvest festivals of Africa!"

 

Elmo  "Wow! Africa sounds cool!"

 

Kynan

 

Anywhere specific in Africa? It's a big continent.

 

Danny

 

Well, Kwanzaa was actually invented in Los Angeles in the 60's, so it's kind of the LA version of Africa.

 

Kynan

 

So none of this really comes from anywhere, does it? There really is no Great Bell at the heart of the Rock.

 

Kwanzaa Kids  "In my family, we celebrate Kwanzaa. Every night, we light the candle on the kinara! That's a candle holder with a candle for each of the seven nights of Kwanzaa."

 

Mom  "Are you ready to light the kinara?"

 

Kids  "And every night, we talk about one of the seven principles of Kwanzaa. They're ideas for how to live a good life."

 

Dad  "Tonight's principle is Umoja -- It means Unity, coming together, getting along."

 

Kid  "Like when Tyler lets me play with his drum?"

 

Mom  "Right!"

 

Danny

 

Man, discussing the principles of Kwanzaa makes me nostalgic for a fast-paced game of dreidel. 

 

Kynan

 

Ooh, lovely puppeteering on Elmo's Kwanzaa dance. They obviously spent a lot of time on that, that's nice.

 

Danny

 

You're having trouble making fun of other people's cultures, aren't you?

 

Kynan

 

It's not my strong area, no.

 

 

 

 

Elmo  "What did you say, Dorothy? Oh, good question! Dorothy wants to know, what holidays do you celebrate at this time of year?"

 

Girl  "My family celebrates Kwanzaa."

 

Girl  "I like the day of Kwanzaa called Kuumba, cause it means Creativity, and I really like creating things?"

 

Girl  "I really like Kwanzaa cause I get to be with my family."

 

Girl  "I celebrate Three Kings Day with my family."

 

Boy  "For Three Kings Day, I get a box, and in the middle of the night, the Three Kings ride into the house, on their camels, and they leave presents for me."

 

Boy  "My family decorates our house in Ramadan, uh, when we put on the lights, and we keep our house clean."

 

Girl  "I like Ramadan because it makes me feel good that I'm with my family."

 

Boy  "Ramadan makes me feel happy, to respect my God and my elders."

 

Kynan

 

Is this really a representative cross-section of the American people?

 

Danny

 

Yeah, that's why the whole country is just lousy with mosques.

 

Kynan

 

I like the camels coming in the house, it's much more sensible than flying reindeer. 

 

Elmo  "Oh, Elmo still hasn't got a Christmas present for Dorothy! Oh, no... Wait a minute! Santa Claus knows more about giving Christmas presents than anyone! Elmo can mail Santa a letter, asking for help, and Elmo can ask Mail Carrier Kelly to deliver it!" 

 

Kelly  "Did I hear my name?"

 

Elmo  "Oh, yeah! Elmo needs a letter delivered to Santa Claus!"

 

Kelly  "Aw, gee, Elmo, it would be the high point of my postal career, but... I'm off duty. I'm sorry, I'm going to visit my best friend in Hawaii! Mele Kelikimaka!"

 

Kynan

 

Aww. I want Kelly in every episode.

 

Danny

 

Yeah, I don't think she'd mind, either.

 

Kynan

 

No, she's having a good time. She gives great life advice too, even if she's pretty slow with the mail delivery.

 

 

 

 

Elmo  "Santa! Santa!"

 

Santa Claus  "Well, if it isn't Elmo Monster!"

 

Elmo  "Wow! He knows Elmo's name!"

 

Kynan

 

Yeah, half the presents he gives away are Elmo merchandise.

 

Santa  "Why don't you sit right here in my lap, and tell me what you want for Christmas."

 

Elmo  "Well, Santa... what Elmo really wants, more than anything in the world, is to give a present to Dorothy. Elmo can't think of what to get her."

 

Santa  "My, my, my, Elmo. Do you know what you have?"

 

Elmo  "A problem?"

 

Santa  "No... you have True Christmas Spirit! Why, you've come all the way up here to ask for something for someone you love, and that is True Christmas Spirit."

 

Kynan

 

Aww, Christmas is all about other people. Chanukah and Kwanzaa are pretty cut-throat, though. 

 

Danny

 

Yeah, and don't even get me started about Ramadan.

 

Elmo  "So, Santa, Elmo should give Dorothy something that shows her how much he loves her?"

 

Santa  "That's right, Elmo! Give her something that comes from your heart."

 

Elmo  "Like what?"

 

Santa  "Well, Elmo, only you know what's in your heart. But I think if you use your imagination, you'll be able to come up with something, I'm sure."

 

Kynan

 

Use his imagination? That's what he's been doing the whole show. This whole trip to the North Pole was a waste of time.

 

Danny

 

I hope Elmo gets frequent flyer miles.

 

Elmo  "Dorothy, Elmo's got a gift for you! It's a drawing Elmo made with his imagination! See? It's called Dorothy's World!" 

 

Kynan

 

Dorothy's World! It's a world within a world within a world! There's just an infinite number of universes here. Let's spend next Christmas in Dorothy's World.

 

 

 

 

Danny

 

So that's our last show... What do you think we've learned?

 

Kynan

 

Well, you should spend time with your fish around the holidays.

 

Danny

 

And everything will be better the more often you have Kelly Ripa over.

 

Kynan

 

Yes... I think that's the message of the whole week, actually. It doesn't matter where you're from, or what holiday you celebrate. The only thing that matters is that you spend the holidays with the most talented celebrities available.

 

Danny

 

Oh, that's beautiful. Happy Natashamas, Kynan.

 

Kynan

 

Happy Natashamas!

 

 

 

 

Monday   --   Tuesday   --   Wednesday   --   Thursday   --   Friday

 

 

Thanks for photos:

Mark Pethick's

Muppet Christmas site

 

 

Danny@ToughPigs.com 

 

 

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My Week with Muppet Breakfast

My Summer with Farscape

My Week with Muppets Online