The Ottumwa Courier

December 7, 2012

Celebrities who deserve their own holiday specials

By Jen Chaney
The Washington Post

— Earlier this week, an estimated 9 million Americans watched Blake Shelton cavorting with elves during his holiday special, "Blake Shelton's Not So Family Christmas." (If you missed it, NBC plans to re-broadcast it Dec. 14.)

While the sight of a "Voice" coach twangily yelling at a little person dressed as a roast turkey may not be a yuletide tradition — yet — the celebrity-helmed Christmas show is certainly a long-standing cornball custom popularized years ago by, among others, the late Andy Williams.

This year, we've seen variety shows from Shelton and his "Voice" colleague Cee Lo Green. A few years ago, we got one from Stephen Colbert. Given how many famous people are itchy for attention in our great, Santa Claus-worshipping nation, we're certain of one thing: There is more work to be done here.

So consider this list of celebrity holiday specials that really should exist but for some reason, do not.

"Santa Claus is Never Ever Ever Coming Back to Town: A Taylor Swift Christmas"

Swift starred in a self-promotional Thanksgiving night special two years ago but still hasn't hosted her own splashy, candy-cane-coated program. Given how much the girl loves the color red, it is a federal crime that this hasn't occurred.

I envision a music-filled hour in which she sings a couple of duets with a hot Santa's helper, and a bunch of break-up songs about how Santa totally dumped her. She can then stage a grand finale in which she reconnects with Santa, pulls off his beard and reveals him to be Harry Styles from the boy band One Direction, whom she is reportedly dating.

Why hasn't this already happened?

"A Wes Anderson Christmas"

Imagine the ensemble the quirky filmmaker could put together — Bill Murray, all of the Wilsons, Bruce Willis, a stop-motion animated fox with George Clooney's voice. Imagine the number of times we would hear Vince Guaraldi's Charlie Brown-y holiday music, which is the best holiday music there is. Imagine the yuletide-themed Andersonian fonts. Imagine that tremendous American Express commercial he made a few years ago, but with even more snow. I want to watch this right now.

"Gwyneth Paltrow and Anne Hathaway: Home for the Holidays"

They could sing solos. They could sing duets. They could do cooking segments. Paltrow could tell us how to decorate our home with tinsel sold via her Goop newsletter at a completely reasonable price of $8,000.

Honestly, I think this could be highly enjoyable. And for those who get their jollies by hating on Paltrow, Hathaway or both, it would be the Greatest Christmas Gift of Potential Live-Tweeting Snark they've ever received. No one loses in this scenario.

"Getting Christmas-Crafty With Amy Sedaris"

Crocheting! Kookiness! Probably some legitimately good holiday cookie recipe ideas! And appearances from special guest stars Martha Stewart, David Letterman and brother David Sedaris, who could do a live reading from "The SantaLand Diaries," because there's no way he's sick of that!

"A Trainwreck Christmas With Lindsay Lohan"

This seems like an inevitable path for her to someday pursue. And it could be kind of fantastic in, like, an old Dean Martin special sort of way, where you never know what might happen or how much anyone has had to drink.

"The Mel Brooks Hanukkah Special"

This brilliant suggestion came from a loyal Celebritology reader who goes by @Sedna_51 on Twitter. She tweeted: "Has Mel Brooks done one? Because if not, I nominate Mel Brooks. A quintillion bonus points if it's done in Claymation." She then added: "As a goyim: I would sit down on Christmas night, order Chinese food, and watch the h--- out of that." She makes a compelling case.