Monday, December 22, 2014


I have updated the radio saga below this post.  I still have a long way to go.

Hollywood, USA.

“Santa takes us on Personal journeys to the homes of the Naughty.” 

“Does he do Nice?” 

“Who cares about Nice?  This is like tabloid meets Hallmark cards.  A nice spin as the icon of Christmas…”

“I thought that was the Christ child.” 

“Oh. Man, you want to go there?  First of all, the writings taken as gospel were constructed about 800 years after he dies.  800 years!  Then again in the 1600 and 1800s.  And the calendars don’t match.  Christmas is an invention of large retailers, but don’t get started on who really runs things.” 

“So it’s Santa and the Naughties. And they can be real, scripted, or semi-scripted.  Recreations of the procreati…” 

“FOX, right?”

 “Just for starters, but I see a whole media empire springing up with spinoffs, podcasts, member merchants… you ever see how much stuff Disney sells at their parks?  There’s about a thousand versions of Mickey Mouse.  It’s scary.” 


“ Yeah, spinoffs – all built around the man, the face probably known better than anyone.  An untapped brand just sitting there.  Mrs. Claus’s Kitchen.  Elf Magic.  How To’s - fix toys and computers.  The list is endless.”

“There are so many directions to swing this… Santa gets busted at the border.” 

“Which border?” 

“The US border.  San Diego.  Canada.  Any border.  Customs insists there are import duties.” 

“Is this a special?” 

“Yeah.  But like the kid and the BB gun, it can air every year.  A family tradition.  We could do a Hispanic and Canadian overdub.   But we can also spin things off.  Remember when Glen Campbell appeared on the Smothers Brothers Show, then got his own show?”

“What century was that?”

 “When people feel that connection with the guy they actually sat or peed on at the most impressionable times of their lives, oh, I get all sweaty thinking about the potential.  This is big. And there’s even a salute to the first responder angle… you know, public service sector made heroes.” 

“I like that part – this is really emotionally where the Andy Williams or King Family Christmas specials hit people, right where they are most vulnerable.  I see title premium sponsorship; Budweiser presents SANTA AT GUNPOINT.” 

“Well, that’s a little far.  Maybe SANTA TAKEN; WHEN SANTA WAS TAKEN, something like that.  God, you could franchise this around the world – here’s the template – plug your country’s Chrissy Sandersnot right in and follow these easy steps…. Man, the licensing alone!”

“Is Santa in with this?”

“Doesn’t matter.  Have you ever really seen his face?  You’ve seen a million Santas.  But the REAL Santa?”

 “Are you saying…?” 

“I’m saying whomever we choose will be signed to a long term contract tighter than a bright red straight jacket.  We gotta showcase him as the star of stars, and, we gotta own his Christmas Balls  – like Colonel Tom Parker had Presley – that kind of relationship.”

“We can spin it anyway we find interest.  Audiences are split.  We can adapt to each set.”

“Santa buys weed.  In a state where he can.  Then the Hilary ensues.  I’m thinking Fred McMurray’s Flubber movies. ..”

“Didn’t they redo those with Eddie Murphy?”

“… no, no, that wasn’t the same.  Look, McMurray was sincere.  He was an actor.  Anyway, Santa buys this weed after a long hard holiday.  Well, he rolls his first joint and it’s too loose so as he fires up the doobie, it falls apart and sets his beard on fire.  It smokes as he runs around trying to find a way to get it out.”

 “Like American Gladiator.” 

“No, NOT like American Gladiator, not like anything.  It’s Jerry Lewis humor at that point, almost slapstick.  He does the dance with the discharging fire extinguisher, like that.  But we don’t make him the butt of the joke – he’s beloved, fer cryin' out loud, no, we end the show at the burn center where he cheers up all the patients and he lets them reach through his beard-hole to get a gift card to Macy’s or whoever is the sponsor.  Macy’s is the only company really working Christmas -  I’m surprised.”

“I can also imagine an ongoing series.  Heroes of the year.  Santa, Cupid, Uncle Sam and on and on.”

“Presidents Day?”

”Exactamundo.  Then the Easter bunny, great pumpkin, Peter pilgrim...”

“With all due respect, that seems like a stretch, and maybe we should get back to the Santa focused series.”

“Yeah, you may be right.  The Santa image is burnt into kids’ minds when they are innocent and most vulnerable and still believe in stuff. It can't be undone, no matter what.  Why do you think radio stations play all Christmas music from early November?  And their ratings soar.  Imagine: 152 records over and over for 6 or more weeks and people don't burn out!

"Okay then, Santa has the reindeer at the vet, so he has to fly commercial.  He's contracted some toy building to the Chinese and has to go to Sendai to be sure they are building stuff to spec.  He hits the security line and immediately they pull him for special search and X-ray. They are convinced the fat man has something hidden on his body.  Like, in a roll of fat. Strip Search!  Takes them four big guys to pull his boots off.”

“You don't show a fat man naked?”

“Pixel blocks.”


“But they interrogate him and you can tell they think he's delusional because his ID is only a Christmas card: no license, no street address. North Pole schmorch pole.  Well, they eventually let him board and then it turns out he needs the seat belt extender, and immediately his seat mates are complaining because he smells like reindeer and is too big for one seat. Then when they make the safety announcements he lets out with a HO HO HO and they think it's a code to on board co-conspirators. So they ask him to sit still and stop ho-ing.  He addresses each flight attendant by name and starts talking about stuff that's very personal to the attendants, who totally freak, and think the old guy is a terrorist who has been stalking the flight crew.  So they tie him to the seat. Then the plane develops engine trouble and loses all power.  The plane is going down and there's no airport near enough.  Santa struggles to free himself, does, and runs up the aisle and starts banging on the cockpit door.  The Air Marshall sees this and pulls his gun and demands Santa get face down in the aisle. The plane starts to plunge.  Despite the gun on him, Santa calls the reindeer, who leave the veterinarian and fly to Santa in the jet.”

“That's SO...Hallmark...”

“Well, maybe, but here's where we have two ways to go.

“The first version they save the day, hold the plane up and fly it to an airport.  Happy ending.

“In the other scenario they only have a minor fuel flow problem and in the time it takes the reindeer to fly to the jet, the engines have been restarted and the reindeer are sucked into the engine and now the plane crashes.”

“Man that's harsh.”

“Yeah, probably R rated.”

“You have to think of Santa as one great big licensing opportunity.  What do you think Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig would pay for Santa to drop 20 pounds?”

“That's good.”

“I'm just barely started.  The man can endorse all day and night.  Charities – Santa’s licensing nice list.   Automotive - if you don't have flying reindeer.... but want to feel like you do, get a Buick.  Batteries - for the tech stuff he delivers.  Phone -  when you live at the North Pole you need a great phone to get a signal.  Only the bars are shown as candy canes.  Big Pharmaceutical will love the fatman  as he can tout meds for all sorts of age related conditions... probably has diabetes - he could even be allergic to reindeer!  We can even sell space on his suit.  A Nike swoosh here, McDonalds arches there… tastefully.”

“What’s our first move?’

“I think we go to FOX and pitch.  If they bite we can cast for Santa and get it going.  If they don’t, we can work down the list of networks.  You know that thing with the flying camera they use at football games?”


“Wonder if could hold a fat Santa, sleigh and animatronic reindeer?”