“The Marleyes Were Dead, To Begin With”*

My family may be entirely composed of atheists, but we do have some important Christmas traditions (even beyond Chinese food on Christmas day).  On Christmas Eve, we watch The Muppet Christmas Carol.  It is the best Christmas Carol on film (it has Michael Caine as Scrooge) and I will fight anyone who says different. The movie is narrated by Gonzo, playing Charles Dickens.

I’ve scheduled this to post in the morning, before I get up, so you’ll have time to rent it before nightfall, as you will surely want  to do after seeing the number that introduces Scrooge below:

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If you watch it with children, fair warning: the Ghost of Christmas Yet-to-Come is pretty frightening.  It remains my mental image of the Dementors from Harry Potter. Luckily, the movie helps to balance fear with humor, particularly in this sequence:

Rizzo the Rat: Boy, that’s scary stuff! Should we be worried about the kids in the audience?
Gonzo: Nah, it’s all right. This is culture!
[...]
[Scrooge has met the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come]
Rizzo the Rat: Oh, this is too scary. I don’t think I wanna see any more!
Gonzo: When you’re right, you’re right.
[turning to face the audience]
Gonzo: You’re on your own, folks. We’ll meet you at the finale!
Rizzo the Rat: Yeah!

I’ll post the other half of my family’s Christmas Eve traditions in the afternoon.

*The Marleyes in the title are plural, a deviation from Dickens. Henson doubled the character so the Marley brothers could be played by Statler and Waldorf, the kvetching old men of the Muppet world.  Their big number is embedded below.

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About Leah Libresco

Leah Anthony Libresco graduated from Yale in 2011. She works as a statistician for a school in Washington D.C. by day, and by night writes for Patheos about theology, philosophy, and math at www.patheos.com/blogs/unequallyyoked. She was received into the Catholic Church in November 2012."

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10845051786114528609 Julie Robison

    THIS WAS THE BEST POST EVER!!! Oh man, what a great film. I love the Muppets and I am so happy you do too!! :)

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