CRACKED's Christmas Comedy Encyclopedia

Underrated


Elf
(2003)

Let's face it: Will Ferrell was born to play a spastic, toymaking elf, and with a cast featuring Bob Newhart, Ed Asner, Kyle Gass, Andy Richter, Amy Sedaris, and The Station Agent's Peter Dinklage, this is the Christmas equivalent of Zoolander.

VERDICT
Not only is it the funniest Christmas movie in ten years, but try putting Zooey Deschanel and Leon Redbone's cover of "Baby It's Cold Outside" on the stereo, and see if that doesn't get you some Yuletide Nookie.

FUN CHRISTMAS FACT
If you can make it through the scene where Will Ferrell answers the phone with a cheery "Buddy the Elf, what's your favorite color?" without smiling, then you do not have a soul.

Scrooged
(1988)

Even before a single frame of what might be the most awesomely smarmy performance of Bill Murray's career, this movie's got Lee Majors defending Santa's Workshop with a machine gun and Robert Goulet caroling on a gondola in the middle of a swamp. That, friends, is what we like to call "comedy gold."

VERDICT
Since Ghosbusters II is technically a New Year's flick, Scrooged reigns supreme as the single greatest Bill Murray Christmas movie of all time.

FUN CHRISTMAS FACT
To this day, this is the only adaptation of A Christmas Carol that features a copy of the Kama Sutra as a plot element. The one in the Alastair Sim version was cut.

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
(1983)

Back before she turned to the worship of Satan in The Craft, a young Fairuza Balk starred in a TV movie that took the cliche of a group of kids learning the true meaning of Christmas by putting on a show and makes it one of the funniest holiday specials ever.

VERDICT
Larry the Cable Guy notwithstanding, there aren’t a whole lot of ideas that write themselves quite like a bunch of white trash delinquents showing up and wrecking a hallowed tradition of Middle America.

FUN CHRISTMAS FACT
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever was based on Barbara Robinson’s novel of the same name. Unlike, say, 2002’s The Christmas Shoes, which was based on a novel that was in turn based on a really, really horrible song.

The Muppet Christmas Carol
(1992)

Like many Americans, our first encounter with Charles Dickens' classic novel was narrated by the inimitable Gonzo the Great. Along with Roots, this movie is one of the rare examples when the whole "the book is way better" claim is total horseshit.

VERDICT
While it's not necessarily the best Muppet movie, The Muppet Christmas Carol is far and away Michael Caine's strongest performance. Of course, the only other films we've seen him in are Jaws: The Revenge and The Swarm, but chances are the rest of his career isn't much more impressive.

FUN CHRISTMAS FACT
When compiling any sort of Christmas movie list, you are mandated under federal law to include at least two adaptations of A Christmas Carol. Thankfully, there are roughly eight billion of them.

Mystery Science Theater 3000: Santa Claus Conquers the Martians
(1991)

With only the addition of a sleepy-looking man and a pair of robots to make fun of it, a nearly-unwatchable 1964 holiday/sci-fi flick that never misses an opportunity to insult the intelligence of its audience becomes a thoroughly enjoyable episode of the television classic. It’s a Christmas Miracle!

VERDICT
It might not be the funniest MST3K episode, but the host segments that feature the Roadhouse-themed song “A Patrick Swayze Christmas” and Tom Servo’s reading of “A Child’s Christmas in Space”—a schmaltzy essay that quickly devolves into Santa and the Reindeer undergoing explosive decompression—are worth the price of the DVD alone.

FUN CHRISTMAS FACT
Santa Claus Conquers the Martians is the single greatest movie title ever written.

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