Community's Christmas Special

Community's Christmas Special

Christmas time is upon us once again, with the big day only seven days away. With the season of last minute panic-shopping and a disappointing lack of snow comes the latest batch of Christmas TV specials.

But while we know who’ll be filling the screens come the end of 2012, we’ve had a look back at some of our favourite Christmas specials from both here and America that have graced our screen over the last decade.


Family Guy – Road To The North Pole

This is the season of good will, but Family Guy manages to make it brilliantly bleak in only the way that this modern strain of adult cartoons can.

After Stewie swears to kill Santa after being rudely brushed off by a man wearing the costume at the local mall, he kidnaps Brian and forces him at gunpoint to take him to the North Pole. While its journey is funny, it’s only when they find Santa that the episode really takes off.

Finding not a land of magic but a horrific, traumatic sight, with man-eating reindeer, horrifically mutated elves and a Santa Claus on the point of collapse, this is a wonderfully twisted and demented vision of the season, complete with a hilarious and Grammy nominated musical number.

While Family Guy has really fallen off the boil in the last couple of years, Road To The North Pole is easily the finest episode Seth MacFarlane’s crew delivered in its ninth season.

South Park – Woodland Critter Christmas

South Park always likes to cause controversy and do things more than a little differently. So, of course their Christmas specials are going to be weird and odd, but this episode tops the list, with it centring on a group of satanic woodland animals and their plans to give rise to the anti-Christ.

This is a South Park episode of the very highest calibre; with jokes about the Christmas special as whole (the episode has a narrator that’s ridiculed throughout) and the cutesy nature of the genre mixed in with the show’s usual brand of quasi-offensive humour.

Father Christmas

So it’s not really a special episode, but it’s just such a quintessential part of a British Christmas that it has to be on any list we make.

The follow-up to the tear-jerking animation The Snowman, Father Christmas, unsurprisingly, gives us a look at a very British Santa. Living in a little house in the suburbs throughout the year, Saint Nick loves nothing else but a cup of tea and biscuit by an open fire. One year though he decides to forget about the naughty and nice lists and get away from it all.

With the usual Raymond Briggs warmth to both the animation and the story itself, it’s as cuddly and welcoming as a thick pair of festive socks.

Community – Abed’s Uncontrollable Christmas

What other TV sitcom has its Christmas special take place entirely in stop-motion animation?

That’s the reason why Community has built up such a bond with its fans, as even when it would have been easy to take the easy way out, the show absolutely went for the oddest decision it could possibly make.

The show’s Christmas special had the entire world become stop-motion animated, as for some reason the show’s oddest character Abed could only see the world that way. His obsession with Christmas, despite having never celebrated it, had led him to imagine himself being in a magical land with all his friends being brought along for the journey.

Not only was the episode fantastically original and funny, but also incredibly poignant, as we finally get the route of Abed’s seasonal psychosis.

One of the most creative holiday specials to ever hit the air.

Father Ted – A Christmassy Ted

Father Ted’s Christmas special’s celebrating its 16th anniversary but it’s still as funny as it’s ever been. The hour long episode is absolutely full of classic moments that make it quite possibly the single best Christmas special that’s graced our screens over here in the UK.

From the priests ‘lost’ in the lingerie department of a shop to the brilliant baby gag and Mrs Doyle’s reaction to getting a tea-maker as a present, it’s one of the finest episodes of possibly the 1990’s best British sitcom.

It just doesn’t feel like Christmas if we don’t see Ted getting his Golden Cleric award.

The Vicar Of Dibley – The Christmas Lunch Incident

Richard Curtis’s good-natured and warm-spirited comedy about a small village and its female vicar tied off its debut series with this brilliant Christmas special.

After winning over the village’s residents, Geraldine is now the most wanted Christmas guest, with all of the colourful characters wanting her at their dinners. The only trouble is, Geraldine just can’t say no, so has to find some way of getting through the ordeal of four Christmas dinners in just one day.

With the world’s worst knock-knock joke and the brilliant sight of Geraldine trying to work the lyrics of Wannabe into her sermon, it’s the

Blackadder’s Christmas Carol

The time-spanning comedy took a stab at Dickens’ festive classic with brilliantly rib-tickling results.

Moving the show’s setting into the Victorian period, we see Edmund Blackadder being a general good bean, giving to the poor and spreading joy amongst the people of London only to then be visited by the Spirit of Christmas that night congratulating him.

Deciding to how him his nasty ancestors, the spirit (played by the fantastic Robbie Coltrane) gives him ideas of how being a bad guy is actually far more fun than being a doormat. It’s all really an excuse for Rowan Atkinson to be at his mean-hearted best as Blackadder once again, something that always brightens up our day.

With regulars Stephen Fry, Miranda Richardson and Hugh Laurie dropping in too, it’s just a reminder of why we love the show so damn much.

A brilliant twist on a tale that’s been done to death; Blackadder’s Christmas Carol is a hilarious slice of Ben Elton’s finest work on TV.


Those are some of our favourite Christmas specials, but let us know if you’ve got a different preference of your own in the comments section below.

FemaleFirst Cameron Smith

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