Guest Author - Robin Rounds Whittemore
Christmas and the New Year strike a chord in the hearts of many people. Everyone behind and in front of the camera on sitcoms is people, too. Many sitcoms have chosen to come forward and bring out the people behind the characters or include the Christmas spirit in the storyline.
“Benson” is one show that had the actors and actresses actually say Merry Christmas to the people at home. The cast sat on the couch in the main living room of the governor’s mansion while they introduced themselves and wished their loyal viewers a great holiday season. One episode of “The Beverly Hillbillies” had the cast singing carols, then turning toward the camera; they continued the song for their fans that were watching.
“The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour” may not have actually been a sitcom, but there were comedy skits in the show. Every Christmas, they let their daughter, Chastity, pick out the guest. One year, she picked Bob Keeshan, better known as Captain Kangaroo. The memorable scene had the Captain all decked out in his familiar outfit in a restaurant.
One by one people came to the restaurant who were alone for Christmas, each for a different reason. Bob Keeshan, in his attire, ushered them all to the same table asking them to make room for the next person, which they all did. A waiter came along to take their order, and he was told that they already had a waiter; the one who sat them all at the table. They were then told there was no other waiter. They looked around and saw the man was right, there was no one else; the Captain was nowhere to be seen.
“The Brady Bunch” offered up a Christmas show where Mrs. Brady, played by Florence Henderson, lost her voice before Christmas. She was supposed to sing in the church Christmas program. As you know, even with the comedy breaks in that show, she ended up getting her voice back in time to sing.
One episode of “Cheers” had Norm working as a department store Santa. He brought along all of his other Santa friends for a drink after work one night. There were multiple Santas at the bar while the regulars were mulling over the lost spirit of Christmas. One Santa said goodbye. Norm said he didn’t remember that particular Santa from class; and neither did his red suited compatriots. As they were all wondering if he could be the real Santa, the man came back in and talked about a problem with his car.
Oh…but for just a moment there……