MAD DOG: Christmas in the 90's
You can tell Christmas is in the air. You've watched "A Charlie Brown Christmas", "George Ballanchine's The Nutcracker", and "Frosty the Snowman". You've programmed the VCR in anticipation of "A Very Brady Christmas", the "Lawrence Welk Holiday Special", and "The Jetson's Christmas Carol" (consult TV listing for local times). And of course, you've set aside quality time you would have spent with the family so you can watch true classics like "White Christmas", "Miracle on 34th Street", and "It's a Wonderful Life", a tall order since the latter will only be shown once this holiday season, a far cry from past years when we were all glued to IWLC (the It's a Wonderful Life Channel) from December 1st through Christmas Eve. Nobody by the way -- not even the IWLC -- shows Christmas movies on Christmas Day.But as good as these movies are they're getting pretty stale at this point. That's why we need some new Christmas movies that will become the classics our children will fondly watch in the years to come. Sure they've got "Santa Claus, the Movie", "Sanity Clause", and "Terminator Santa"...I mean, "Jingle All The Way", but I'm just not convinced these holiday masterpieces have the necessary staying power.What we really need is a good updating of the classics. Something traditional, yet something we can relate to in this digital age. That's why, in the spirit of Christmas giving, I hereby give and bequeath these 90's movie concepts to Hollywood, the world, and especially to you, the loyal reader sitting in your La-Z-Boy recliner with remote in hand and popcorn ball in your mouth. Here Buddy, click on this:"Rudolph the Rosacea Impaired Reindeer" - A politically correct cartoon about a genetically engineered member of an endangered species who's harassed for being developmentally different from his peers. The rejected red-nosed sled-puller files a class action suit on behalf of all those unjustly persecuted for having brightly-colored proboscises, including W.C. Fields, Bozo the Clown, and Ted Kennedy. The luminally challenged defendants (played by Bambi, Bullwinkle J. Moose, and Rosie O'Donnell) hire star attorney Johnny Cochrane, whose entire closing argument consists of wearing a too-small red clown nose while saying "If it doesn't glow, you must let him go.""It's a Wonderful Lifestyle" - One of the Baldwin brothers -- it's hard to tell which one -- plays a leveraged buyout specialist who's despondent because he only made $458 million in commission by brokering the sale of Kenneth Starr to the Republican Party, meaning he can't afford to buy his wife the South American country he promised her for Christmas. His wife, played by one of those women on "Friends" with a cute haircut -- it's hard to tell which one, is unaware of this because she's having her nails done at Neiman-Marcus while shopping at Nordstrom's. Luckily the Baldwin character's guardian angel, played by Jack Nicholson -- or is it Christian Slater? -- arrives on the scene and shows him what life would have been like had Keynesian economics not been replaced by Friedman's monetarism. Based on a book by Jay McInerney that no one will admit to having read."Gift of the Magi" - In this inspired remake of the O. Henry classic, Claudia Schiffer pawns her German-English dictionary so she can find a man who will make millions of her dollars disappear while the boyfriend, played by David Copperfield, sells his soul so he can have the world's most beautiful model for a girlfriend. Based on the true story of Ric Ocasek and Paulina Porizkova."Miracle on 42nd Street" - A just-off-the-bus holiday arrival to New York City walks from the 42nd St. Bus Terminal to Times Square without anyone stealing his luggage, trying to sell him drugs, knocking him in the head, offering to sell him his own sister, or paying his way in to see "Die Hardest -- the Jon Holmes Story" if he'll "butter my large size popcorn". This charming fairy tale stars Kevin Costner and the Olsen Twins and features Andrew Guliani as the mayor's son."How the Gingrich Stole Christmas" - This updating of the Dr. Seuss book pits the evil Gingrich, king of the Republicans (played by Captain Kangaroo), against the liberal Whos -- Bill Who and Hillary Who. Although he's been known to steal votes, PAC money, and precious airtime, the Gingrich blows it when he tries to eliminate welfare and Medicare, the latter infuriating the good Dr. Seuss who, were he not dead, would probably be making a damned good living off the program. Convinced of his evil ways, the reformed Gingrich offers the country a Christmas present to atone for his past sins: he announces that he'll quit calling his sister "What's His Name".If these don't do the trick I can turn over my script ideas for "Nutcracker II - Camille Paglia's Revenge" or "Frosty The Snowman - Confessions of a Coke Dealer". Okay, so none of them are another "Santa Claus Conquers the Martians" but they're really not half bad. Are they?