Advent Calendar House
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A salute to all holiday specials, but mostly the Christmas ones. Every December, host Mike Westfall and friends discuss their favorite Christmas and holiday TV specials and commercials.

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    The Muppets Valentine Show

    An early Muppet Show pilot from 1974 that misinformed me about where babies come from. Guests: Brian Arnold, Joey O.

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    Christmas Eve on Sesame Street

    Big Bird worries Santa’s unfit for skinny little chimneys, and Mr. Hooper spends Hanukkah saving Christmas. Guests: Erin Evans, Joey O.

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    ALF’s Special Christmas

    A big bowl of sad with a side of poached cat. Guest: Jeff Somogyi.

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    Mickey’s Twice Upon a Christmas

    Disney’s Fab Five (and Daisy, who’s somehow less important than the dog) enter the 3rd dimension. Guests: Drew Crowley, John Dedeke.

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    A Pinky and the Brain Christmas

    Probably the closest the Brain ever got to taking over the world, if only his heart hadn’t grown 3 sizes. Guests: Joey Letson, Joey O.

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    Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas

    Pa would’ve loved this podcast about the 1977 Jim Henson Christmas special. Guest: Emily Rowley.

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    The Small One

    Part 2 of our Christmas donkey double feature takes a deep dive into Disney’s 1978 short film. Guests: Lindy Kempe, Brandon Medley.

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    Nestor the Long-Eared Christmas Donkey

    Extend your ears as we revisit a lesser-known Rankin/Bass special from 1977. Guests: Lindy Kempe, Brandon Medley.

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    Jingle Bell Rap

    We dig down like dogs to the bottom of the bargain bin to recover an overlooked special from 1991. Guest: Chad Young.

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    McDonald’s Holiday Commercials

    Lace up your ice skates for a look at 3 merry messages starring 3 iterations of Ronald McDonald. Guest: Joey O.

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    A Garfield Christmas Special

    “Whoever invented Christmas trees should be drug out into the street and shot.” —A cartoon for children. Guest: Jeff Somogyi.

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    The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus

    From the author of The Wizard of Oz comes the craziest Santa origin story ever. Guests: Paxton Holley, Brandon Medley.

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    Lamb Chop’s Special Chanukah

    Some sock puppets teach Pat Morita and Alan Thicke about Hanukkah. Guest: Sarah Shay.

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    ’Twas the Night Before Christmas

    The one with the mouse. Turn back the clock till it goes kerplooey for a look at Rankin/Bass’s 1974 Christmas classic. Guest: Joey O.

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    The Star Wars Holiday Special

    The farthest point from the bright center of the Star Wars universe. Guest: Liz Twachtman.

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    How the Grinch Stole Christmas

    3 guys named Mike review 3 Grinches, from 1966, 2000, and 2018. Guests: Michael DiGiovanni, Michael May.

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    Witch’s Night Out

    A fondly remembered, then forgotten, then re-remembered Halloween special turns 40. Guest: Chad Young.

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    The Adventures of the American Rabbit

    Chad Young from the Horror Movie BBQ drops in for a star-spangled surprise look at 1986’s The Adventures of the American Rabbit, starring the voices of Donatello, Baby Piggy, and King Triton.

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    The First Easter Rabbit

    Surprise bonus episode! Mike and returning guest Brandon Medley discuss the 1976 Rankin/Bass special, “The First Easter Rabbit,” starring Burl Ives, Robert Morse, and Paul Frees.

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    A Christmas Carol Cast Draft

    In the season finale, the Advent Calendar is haunted by 3 spirited guests — Joey O., Sue London, and Jonathan MacFarlane — as we each draft our own casts of “A Christmas Carol” from a pool of characters from Christmas past.

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    Pennsylvania Lottery Christmas Commercial

    Joey O. is back in the Advent Calendar House with one of his favorite Christmas commercials: A Pennsylvania Lottery take on the Twelve Days of Christmas that had a whole commonwealth singing “FIVE CASH FIVES” for decades.

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    A Rugrats Chanukah

    It’s our first annual Hanukkah episode featuring guest Sarah Shay! We follow the Rugrats on their mission to stop the “Meanie of Chanukah” and make him take a nap, counting all the Yiddish words and misspoken “babyisms” along the way.

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    Fruity Pebbles Christmas Commercial

    Ho-ho-ho, I’m hu-hu-hungry! Joey O. returns for a look at Fruity and Cocoa Pebbles commercials of Christmas past for the answer the burning question: How do cavemen know about Christmas?

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    The Gift of Winter

    Chad Young of the Horror Movie BBQ drops by for a rare look at a 1974 Canadian Christmas special which introduces the color characters better-known from its Halloween sequel, Witch’s Night Out.

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    Honey Nut Cheerios Scrooge Commercial

    In a Christmas commercial mini-episode, Joey O. of Y-Not Radio stops by to celebrate one of our favorite portrayals of Scrooge, whose icy heart is thawed by the taste of golden honey and crunchy nuts.

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    A Muppet Family Christmas

    To mark the 30th anniversary of “A Muppet Family Christmas,” Carlin Trammel from the Nerd Lunch Podcast drops by as we try to get a head count of how many Muppets can fit inside one farmhouse.

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    Frosty the Snowman

    Happy birthday! In our pilot episode, guest Brandon Medley airs his grievances against the 1969 Rankin/Bass classic “Frosty the Snowman.” Plus, find out how to easily escape a locked greenhouse, and when your trash stops legally belonging to you.

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