For some reason this morning, on my way in to work, I thought of the old arcade game Yie Ar Kung Fu, which I used to ride my bike to play at the strip mall in Delafield, Wisconsin -- about five miles from my house, the strip mall had a book store and an arcade and a Marty's Pizza, and was the most exciting place around once the A&W closed and Rudy The Llama was sent somewhere else.
Which then led me to look up Kung Fu Christmas, by National Lampoon? Or by Saturday Night Live? Or by someone.
I don't know. I think this was on an early SNL skit back when Baby Boomers say SNL was funny. That's how you can tell what generation you're in: by what years you think SNL was funny. If you think the pre-Eddie Murphy ones were uniformly funny, you're a baby boomer and nobody really cares for you anymore because we're sick of your crap. If you liked Eddie Murphy-to-Billy Crystal, you're Gen X. Will Ferrell's years? Gen Y. And if you like today's version, then you're either only watching the Andy Samberg parts or you have no sense of humor.
And today's Best Santa Or Santa's Helper Or Whatever I'm Calling It This Time?
In the line of "Christmas movies that kind of aren't," Die Hard holds a special place as what is supposed to be the manliest of all movies -- manly like "Soda with 10 calories" or "man caves" or whatever is supposed to be manly today. If you don't like Die Hard, you're not much of a man, the thinking seems to be, as this scene from Friends (which I can link to but not embed because that makes sense; your copyright is not in danger if you only post a video in one spot on the web, right?)(Der.) as that scene from Friends accurately suggests is how people view this issue.
I thought Die Hard was okay, so you won't see me ripping telephone books in half or doing whatever it is people who drink beer with a twist of lime in it presume is manly nowadays.
But John McClain, let's not forget (for the purposes of Christmas) saved Christmas even better than the Grinch did, because John McClain did not steal Christmas, first.
Did you ever think about that? The Grinch follows the same pattern as all Christmas movies that aren't A Christmas-Carol-based: Man has life. Man's life gets worse. Man restores life to what it was, and is grateful for it. Merry Christmas!
In the Grinch, the Grinch's life is miserable. So he sneaks into town and steals Christmas, only to realize that he hasn't stopped the Whos from being happy -- so he's worse off than ever. He therefore puts Christmas back and is invited to dinner, and everything's okay.
Die Hard, in that sense, is a typical Christmas movie: John McClain is divorced, or something, and then he's kidnapped by terrorists, or something, and then he walks over broken glass, and at the end, the billionaires who owned that gold (or something) still own the gold, John McClain is back together with that woman who never had much of a career before or after that, and ... Merry Christmas!
(It's been a long time since I watched that movie, as I haven't had time to be a man while I was working and raising kids and stuff.)
Anyway: Here's your 30-Second-Bunny version of Die Hard:
And here is a link to play Yie Ar Kung Fu, free, online, a game which is way better than the last video game I linked you to.
19-21: Another Rock & Roll Christmas, You Are My Joy, Santa Stole My Girlfriend, plus The Santa Clause Claus, Cousin Eddie who I kept calling Cousin Randy, and Yukon Cornelius.
17, 18: Nella Fantasia, Angels We Have Heard On High, and Larry Stewart.
16. You'll Never Find My Christmas, Bishop Allen, and Gizmo the Mogwai
15. The Twelve Days of Christmas, by Bob & Doug McKenzie, plus Bad Santa.
14. When the River Meets The Sea, by John Denver, plus "Doc Bullfrog."
13. All I Want For Christmas, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and The Santa who helped Superman fight Toyman.
12. We Need A Little Christmas, Glee version, and The Holiday Armadillo.
11, 10, 9: The Little Drummer Boy, Johnny Cash; What Christmas Means To Me, Stevie Wonder; What's This, by Julia Nunes and Ian Axel, and "The Santa From A Nightmare Before Christmas".
8. Taste The Coast, by Admiral Fallow
7. Dringo Bell, Mediaeval Babes
6. Born Is The King (It's Christmas) by Hillside
5: Tijuana Christmas by The Border Brass
4. Christmas Griping, REM
3. A Christmas Waltz, She & Him
2. Don't Shoot Me, Santa, The Killers
1. Snoopy's Christmas, The Royal Guardsmen