What makes a great Christmas song? There’s hundreds of classic carols and tunes that could populate a decent playlist. But, I’d argue that there’s less than…let’s say twenty or thirty…that could make the cut that were written within the last three decades. I’m talking original material here, not The Bird and The Bee’s awesome cover of “The Carol of The Bells”. You’ve got the Mariah Carey tune, The Waitresses’ “Christmas Wrapping”, Wham’s “Last Christmas” and a smattering of others–let’s give a place to Run DMC’s “Christmas in Hollis”–as it is fly. Today’s great thing is, I believe, a worthy contribution to the playlist:
60. SNL’s “Christmas Is Coming To The USA”
The song has the alternate titles of “Christmas Is Number One” and “I Wish It Was Christmas Today”. The sketch/song recurred every Christmas for a few years running (I think it could have been five) and usually had slight alterations to the verses (with the refrain remaining the same) each year. It is complete and utter nonsense but in an adorably good way. Here’s the clip from one of their performances.
With Chris Kattan acting as no more than a music stand (which some might argue is his best role to date–ha cha!), and Tracy Morgan’s distracted wobbly groove, this video can be enjoyed at any time of year! In fact, it has. The Christmas quartet of Horatio Sanz, Jimmy Fallon, Chris Kattan, and Tracy Morgan reprised this tune whenever they were given the chance. They took the stage for Memorial Day, for instance, but only to sing a song about how Christmas is better than that particular holiday. Which is true.
Sanz, pictured here after dropping 100 pounds, is perhaps best remembered as the king of ‘corpsing’ on SNL. (Corpsing is when you break character and crack up on stage). If you watched the show during the early naughts, you could feel the bromance between Jimmy Fallon and Horatio Sanz. It seemed like the two of them couldn’t share the stage with each other without getting the giggle fits. This won lots of people over because they enjoyed the sheer silliness of it all but it also turned a lot of people off.
Maybe because of that, it’s easy to forget that Sanz actually produced some solid comedy on the show. He is, after all, a founding member of the Upright Citizen’s Brigade theatre. His credentials check out. In fact, I might be tempted to post one or two of my favorite Sanz performances this month…just to celebrate his weight-loss and his love of Christmas. I don’t care what anyone says. I loved ‘Carol’. I only wish we’d had a chance to get to know her better.
Anyways, after Kattan, Fallon, and Morgan had all checked out of SNL Sanz performed this tune with the help of The Muppets and if they’re on-side, then I am too.
Sanz plays a C.F. Martin and Co. Backpacker guitar in this ditty. If you have any musical talent, you too can pluck out this song. Here’s link to the music: Jingle
Here are the lyrics from one year.
- I don’t care what your momma says
- Christmas time is near
- I don’t care what your daddy says
- Christmas time is dear
- All I know is Santa’s sleigh is making it’s way to the USA
- I don’t care what the newsman says
- Christmas is full of cheer
- I don’t care if you think it’s a lie
- Christmas will soon be here
- I don’t care about anything
- Except hearing them sleighbells ring-a-ding-ding
- I wish it was Christmas today
- I wish it was Christmas today
The one I have ripped onto my Christmas CD has some weirdness on it about not caring what the CIA thinks about Christmas. Love it. The embellishment of the Rampage-like monster sound effects from Fallon’s keyboard take it that one step further. Buffoonery!
I can almost forgive Horatio Sanz for Boat Trip when I watch this.