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 V.14 No.51 | December 22 - 28, 2005 

Idiot Box

... And a Happy View Year

Christmas Day around the dial

Whether you're searching for something to pass the time while the coffee percolates and the kids wake up, or if you're just in the mood for some vegetative, post-present-opening entertainment, this year's Christmas Day television roster is filled with appropriate holiday treats.

TBS leads us off properly, as they always do, with their annual “24 Hours of A Christmas Story Marathon,” which actually begins on Christmas Eve and runs through the whole of Christmas Day. I bet you can't get through the day without tuning in to watch Ralphie try and shoot his eye out at least once.

TV Land conjures up some nostalgia by running Christmas episodes of your favorite TV shows all freakin' day. They've got “Green Acres” (8 a.m.), “The Addams Family” (8:30 a.m.), “Bewitched” (9 a.m.), “MacGuyver (10 a.m.), “Gunsmoke” (1 p.m.), “Happy Days” (2 p.m.) and tons more. Why bother to remember the Christmas you got a bike with a banana seat when you can simply re-watch that Christmas Lurch got stuck in the chimney dressed as Santa Claus? ... Ah, good times.

If you're looking for religious inspiration, History Channel and Discovery Channel are running competing biographies of Jesus Christ. “Jesus of Nazareth” (History 6 a.m.) is a four-part, eight-hour affair. “Jesus: the Complete Story” (Discovery 7 a.m.) runs a mere three hours, making me wonder just how complete it really is.

If you prefer a less academic take on the tale, you can tune into Turner Classic Movies, which is running 1961's King of Kings (11:30 a.m.) backed with 1965's The Greatest Story Ever Told (2:30 p.m.) Both cover the same ground. Greatest Story has Max Von Sydow as Jesus; King of Kings has got Orson Welles as narrator. Tough call.

Cartoons for the kiddies are plentiful. Cartoon Network is showing holiday-themed episodes all day long. Highlights include “Krypto the Superdog: Storybook Holiday” (8:30 a.m.), “Atomic Betty: The No-L 9” (9:30 a.m.) and, of course, “Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas” (10:30 a.m.). There's also Disney's Recess Christmas: Miracle on 3rd Street (KASY-50 2 p.m.), a feature-length version of the grade school-centric cartoon series. Those with a more historic taste in Christmas are advised to check out “Classic Christmas” (KASA-2 12:30 p.m.), a collection of old-fashioned cartoon shorts from the '40s and '50s.

If you're looking for sports, NBC has “Holiday Celebration on Ice” (KOB-4 12 p.m.). If that ain't doin' it for you, FOX has got your pigskin fix with “Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers” (KASA-2 3 p.m.).

Finally, Sci-Fi Channel gets the award for the day's strangest holiday tie-in. The network is broadcasting giant, killer snake movies all day long. Wake up with Boa (7 a.m.) and Python (9 a.m.), unwrap presents alongside Pythons 2 (11 a.m.) and Project Viper (1 p.m.), eat supper to Silent Predators (3 p.m.) and Boa vs. Python (5 p.m.), and put the kids to bed with visions of King Cobra (7 p.m.) dancing in their heads.

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