I don’t celebrate Hanukkah, so I can admit this without it coming across as a brag: Hanukkah has more of almost everything than Christmas. It has more spellings: Chanukkah? Hanukah? X-kah? It has more variation: it’s on Thanksgiving! No, it’s on Christmas! It has more days (8) and more candles (9, to the Advent Wreath’s 4). It even has more holiday-specific games (okay, just Dreidel, but it’s not like Christmas has a bunch of them).
Unfortunately, the one thing Hanukkah does not have more of is holiday tv programming. There are way fewer Hanukkah movies than Christmas movies. While Hallmark can fill 6 weeks with day-to-night Christmas programming, you’d be hard pressed to fill 6 hours with Hanukkah shows.
So, here’s what I could come up with. It’s safe to say that while Hanukkah is the festival of lights, the comforting glow of the tv screen is not a light that you can count on during these eight crazy nights.
8 Crazy Nights
This Adam Sandler animated Hanukkah musical is not very good. Although, in all fairness, who thought that an “Adam Sandler animated Hanukkah musical” sounded like it would be be good?
[Click on the picture to go to the episode!]
Watch this episode and be immediately transported back to 2003, when quirky message tees were all the rage, Death Cab sang the song of your soul, and your crush on Seth Cohen seemed like it would never end. [Ed. note: a decade later, I don’t think it ever will.] The O.C. aired yearly Chrismukkah episodes, and of course I encourage you to watch all of them. However, if you’re just going to watch one it should be the first. Best of all, it’s available on the WB website.
I was probably too old to be watching Even Stevens in 2000, but whatever. Obviously Shia LaBeouf was just training ground for all of our crushes on Adam Brody three years later… right? Anyway, this was no Even Stevens musical episode (what could be?) but it was pretty good.
The One With The Holiday Armadillo – Friends
You already know that we love a good Friends holiday episode, and this one is really excellent. There are some shows I grew up with that I probably only love because I have fond memories of watching them, not because they’re any good (Full House, anyone?). But, I’m pretty sure you could show this episode to someone who had never seen Friends and they’d think it was hilarious. Of course, to find someone who’d never seen Friends you’d probably have to time-travel either 20 years into the past or 100 years into the future, or into some sort of uncharted island nation, so the cultural references would probably be lost.
Fun fact: this aired the same month as the Even Stevens episode.
Not-so-fun fact: Ben is now 21 years old.
[Click on the picture to go to a clip!]
I see a lot of kids’ tv these days – not because I’m creepy, but because I’m the aunt of a lot of kids. Anyway, I don’t think this is just me being stodgy: they don’t make them like Rugrats anymore. It was simultaneously goofy, clever, and oddly moving. Case in point: this Chanukah episode. Rugrats does a surprisingly good job of showing a family with blended religious backgrounds without being too overwrought or dainty about it.
[Click on the picture to see the song!]
Well, it’s still mostly about Christmas – but this Hanukkah song is pretty good too?
The Hanukkah Song – Saturday Night Live
Hanukkah Harry Saved Christmas
Jon Lovitz, ladies and gentlemen.
Shalom Sesame: Chanukah Special – Sesame Street
Sesame Street would never leave Chosen Children out! I haven’t seen the whole thing but it’s probably pretty cute if you’re in the Sesame Street demographic or know somebody who is.