Dec. 8: The 6th Annual Xmas Bash!

It’s nearly time for this year’s Xmas Bash!, and as you can see from the image above, I’m hard at work on getting everything ready.

So mark your calendars and clear your night for…

The 6th Annual Noiseless Chatter Xmas Bash!
Saturday Dec. 8, 7 p.m. Eastern

It’s going to be a great one. I know I say that every year, but just ask anyone who’s been to them and you will find that I AM ALWAYS TELLING THE TRUTH.

The Noiseless Chatter Xmas Bash! is a one-night-only live event, so, seriously, don’t miss it.

It’s a live stream of seven forgotten Xmas specials that I’ve dragged screaming from their graves, where they were quite comfortable. Sprinkled throughout the night are vintage commercials, bizarre Xmas music videos, host segments, original songs, and many more surprises.

Which seven specials will we air? It’s a secret! Each one is like a tiny little Xmas gift you get to unwrap with friends who are probably drunk and who are definitely going to make fun of it. It’s great!

The stream itself is completely family friendly, so if you set it up on your television you won’t have to worry about young ones (or old ones) seeing objectionable content.

No, the objectionable content can instead be found in the chat room! The best part of the stream is the live chat during which we all joke about what we’re seeing and everyone else is funnier than I am. This is the sixth year that we’re doing it, which means it’s already been the funniest night of the year five years running.

All you have to do to attend is visit this very site — the one you are on right now! — at the appointed time.

To make sure you don’t forget, and to have the date/time automatically adjusted for your region, RSVP on Facebook. This is by no means necessary, but it’s nice and convenient. And you can view this year’s trailer there right now!

Once again, we will be soliciting donations for The Trevor Project, which provides mental health counseling for LBGTQ+ youth. Donations are not mandatory at all, to be clear; the Xmas Bash! is free to attend, but The Trevor Project is a worthy and increasingly important cause, and I do hope you’ll consider donating.

In fact, you can donate ahead of time and not have to worry about missing any of the fun that night. Donations go straight to The Trevor Project and don’t come through me at all.

Now for the bad news!

…well, baddish. The Xmas Bash! has grown bigger and bigger each year since its inception, and obviously that couldn’t continue forever. I spent a good portion of my year working on a book that I hope I can tell you about very soon, which meant I had far less time to organize the stream this year.

You’re still getting five solid hours of unbelievable Xmas excrement and you’ll still be attending the single best Xmas party on the face of the Earth, but you may notice some folks and features are absent this year. It’s not for any tragic reason whatsoever; it’s just that I had to streamline things a bit if I were going to have a stream ready at all.

Believe me, though…you’re still in for a hell of a treat.

For now, I’ll drop you just a few hints about what to expect:

  • Two children’s shows
  • Three sitcoms
  • Two shows I didn’t know existed until recently
  • One terrible episode of an otherwise great show
  • One prime contender for best TV theme tune ever
  • One show I’ve been seeking out for years and finally found
  • Countless miserable monkeys

Again, don’t miss it. Mark your calendar, RSVP on Facebook, divorce your spouse.

The 6th Annual Noiseless Chatter Xmas Bash!
Saturday Dec. 8, 7 p.m. Eastern

That’s just a few weeks away, so feel free to start guessing the holiday horrors I will release upon you.

Here’s everything we’ve screened in the past. You ain’t seen nothing yet.

The 1st Annual Noiseless Chatter Xmas Bash! (2013):

  • ALF – “Oh, Tannerbaum”
  • Lassie – “The Christmas Story”
  • Sabrina, the Teenage Witch – “Sabrina Claus”
  • Major Dad – “The Gift of the Major”
  • Charles in Charge – “Home for the Holidays”
  • Lost in Space – “Return From Outer Space”
  • Family Ties – “A Keaton Christmas Carol”

The 2nd Annual Noiseless Chatter Xmas Bash (2014):

  • ALF – “ALF’s Special Christmas”
  • The Fat Albert Christmas Special
  • Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers – “Alpha’s Magical Christmas”
  • Christmas Comes to Pac-Land
  • The Partridge Family – “Don’t Bring Your Guns to Town, Santa”
  • Santa’s Magic Toy Bag
  • Nestor the Long-Eared Christmas Donkey

The 3rd Annual Noiseless Chatter Xmas Bash (2015):

  • ALF: The Animated Series – “A Mid-Goomer Night’s Dream”
  • The Bill Cosby Show – “A Christmas Ballad”
  • Full House – “Our Very First Christmas Show”
  • We Wish You a Turtle Christmas
  • Mr. Ed – “Ed’s Christmas Story”
  • Perfect Strangers – “A Christmas Story”
  • Walker: Texas Ranger – “A Ranger’s Christmas”

The 4th Annual Noiseless Chatter Xmas Bash (2016):

  • Family Matters – “Christmas is Where the Heart Is”
  • The Flying Nun – “Wailing in a Winter Wonderland”
  • The Monkees – “The Monkees’ Christmas Show”
  • Amos & Andy – “The Christmas Story”
  • Welcome Back, Kotter – “Hark, the Sweatkings”
  • The Super Mario Bros. Super Show – “Koopa Klaus”
  • Rapsittie Street Kids: Believe in Santa

The 5th Annual Noiseless Chatter Xmas Bash! (2017):

  • The Cosby Show – “Getting to Know You”
  • Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers – “I’m Dreaming of a White Ranger”
  • Inspector Gadget – “Inspector Gadget Saves Christmas”
  • Thunderbirds – “Give or Take a Million”
  • Dog With a Blog – “Twas the Fight Before Christmas”
  • Good Times – “The Traveling Christmas”
  • Kung Fu: The Legend Continues – “A Shaolin Christmas”

Announcing: Halloween and Christmas!

Happy Labor Day! Let’s talk about Halloween and Christmas.

The two biggest holidays for this blog are closer than you may realize. I recently announced my Halloween plans on the official Facebook page, so be sure to follow that if you aren’t already. It’s sometimes easier for me to push quick news there if I don’t have time to write an actual post.

In short, I’ve been busy with the book lately, so don’t worry…I haven’t stopped writing, even if this blog seems a bit slow lately. You’re going to get a really great, long, intensive piece in physical form, and it’s horror-related, so I know it’s something you’ll enjoy. Just be patient; I will make the official announcement as soon as I can.

To make up for my online absence, though, this year’s Trilogy of Terror feature will be getting a bonus entry in the form of the long-overdue return of Fiction Into Film.

Fiction Into Film is a series I deeply enjoy writing for, and one I truly love, but it’s also one that takes a massive amount of work, time, and focus. As such, I never quite get to it. There’s always something else I could (or should…) be doing.

Now, though, I’ve set aside the time. Not only because I want to give you something great to read, but because it fits perfectly into this year’s Trilogy of Terror theme.

The films I’m covering this year follow the theme of The Most Dangerous Games. That is to say, they each center upon competitions of life and death. And every one of them has a unique approach to that concept.

If you’d like to follow along this year, here are the films we’ll be covering, and the dates on which the features go live.

Oct. 10 – Fiction Into Film: The Running Man (1982/1987)
Oct. 17 – Trilogy of Terror: Deathrow Gameshow (1987)
Oct. 24 – Trilogy of Terror: Rollerball (1975)
Oct. 31 – Trilogy of Terror: Solarbabies (1986)

Each of these films should be fairly easy to find, and you might get lucky and see a few of them available for streaming. You’ve got time to look, if you’re interested in checking them out beforehand!

In addition, well…I may as well announce the date and time of this year’s Noiseless Chatter Xmas Bash!

This will be the sixth time we all gather ’round the internet to enjoy five hours’ worth of forgotten Christmas specials, bizarre Christmas music, vintage commercials, and so much more.

All you have to do is visit this very website at the following time, and enjoy the Xmas Bashing.

The 6th Annual Noiseless Chatter Xmas Bash!
Saturday Dec. 8, 7 p.m. Eastern

What will we be watching? I can’t tell you yet! But I have been working on the stream as well as the book (and as well as the upcoming Halloween posts!) and I know you’re going to wish I never dragged any of this crap back up and made you witness it.

It will be great!

As a refresher, here are the holly jolly trainwrecks we enjoyed in the past five Bashes.

The 1st Annual Noiseless Chatter Xmas Bash! (2013):

  • ALF – “Oh, Tannerbaum”
  • Lassie – “The Christmas Story”
  • Sabrina, the Teenage Witch – “Sabrina Claus”
  • Major Dad – “The Gift of the Major”
  • Charles in Charge – “Home for the Holidays”
  • Lost in Space – “Return From Outer Space”
  • Family Ties – “A Keaton Christmas Carol”

The 2nd Annual Noiseless Chatter Xmas Bash (2014):

  • ALF – “ALF’s Special Christmas”
  • The Fat Albert Christmas Special
  • Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers – “Alpha’s Magical Christmas”
  • Christmas Comes to Pac-Land
  • The Partridge Family – “Don’t Bring Your Guns to Town, Santa”
  • Santa’s Magic Toy Bag
  • Nestor the Long-Eared Christmas Donkey

The 3rd Annual Noiseless Chatter Xmas Bash (2015):

  • ALF: The Animated Series – “A Mid-Goomer Night’s Dream”
  • The Bill Cosby Show – “A Christmas Ballad”
  • Full House – “Our Very First Christmas Show”
  • We Wish You a Turtle Christmas
  • Mr. Ed – “Ed’s Christmas Story”
  • Perfect Strangers – “A Christmas Story”
  • Walker: Texas Ranger – “A Ranger’s Christmas”

The 4th Annual Noiseless Chatter Xmas Bash (2016):

  • Family Matters – “Christmas is Where the Heart Is”
  • The Flying Nun – “Wailing in a Winter Wonderland”
  • The Monkees – “The Monkees’ Christmas Show”
  • Amos & Andy – “The Christmas Story”
  • Welcome Back, Kotter – “Hark, the Sweatkings”
  • The Super Mario Bros. Super Show – “Koopa Klaus”
  • Rapsittie Street Kids: Believe in Santa

The 5th Annual Noiseless Chatter Xmas Bash! (2017):

  • The Cosby Show – “Getting to Know You”
  • Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers – “I’m Dreaming of a White Ranger”
  • Inspector Gadget – “Inspector Gadget Saves Christmas”
  • Thunderbirds – “Give or Take a Million”
  • Dog With a Blog – “Twas the Fight Before Christmas”
  • Good Times – “The Traveling Christmas”
  • Kung Fu: The Legend Continues – “A Shaolin Christmas”

You may not see it here just now, but I’m working hard on getting some great things together.

Join me, won’t you? And thanks, as ever, for your patience and support. We’ll be together for the important holidays.

I Survived Xmas Bash 5! and all I got was this lousy download.

I hope you enjoyed this year’s Xmas Bash! Thanks for drilling with me this year! Now I’m looking forward to not thinking about it for around 20 minutes, before I start planning the next one.

In case you need to reference the episodes for your therapist, tonight we watched…

The 5th Annual Noiseless Chatter Xmas Bash! (2017):

  • The Cosby Show – “Getting to Know You”
  • Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers – “I’m Dreaming of a White Ranger”
  • Inspector Gadget – “Inspector Gadget Saves Christmas”
  • Thunderbirds – “Give or Take a Million”
  • Dog With a Blog – “Twas the Fight Before Christmas”
  • Good Times – “The Traveling Christmas”
  • Kung Fu: The Legend Continues – “A Shaolin Christmas”

As a special gift, please enjoy this complementary download of Now That’s What I Call Xmas Bash! Vol. 1. This mix includes songs from each of the previous Bash!es, barring the first which was not musical in the slightest. There’s also a special unused demo from Adam Lore.

Download it. Respect it. Love it. Bring it to Xmas parties this year and make everybody hate you. Cruise through the bad part of town with your windows down blaring “Taco Bell Christmas.” LIVE IT UP

(DOWNLOAD)

1) Ho Ho Ho, It’s Christmas Time — Alix & Company
2) Excuse My Christmas — Jan Terri
3) All I Want for Christmas is a Time Machine — Adam Lore
4) Johnny Elf — Poodlebug
5) Merry Christmas Santa Claus (You’re a Lovely Guy) — Max Headroom
6) Gummibär Christmas Megamix – Gummibär & Friends
7) Have a Cheeky Christmas — The Cheeky Girls
8) Bad on Christmas — Annie Perkins & Rogue
9) A Taco Bell Christmas — Hot Dad
10) Try the Christmas Drink! — Weird Paul Petroskey
11) Hey Mr. Christmas (demo) — Adam Lore
12) The Story of Christmas — Mocomi Kids
13) Rock and Roll Santa — Jan Terri
14) I Love Christmas — Michael Boyd
15) 12 Days of Turtle Christmas — Master Splinter and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
16) Christmas at the Donut Shop — Tom Barlow
17) A Prozac Christmas — Accordion Joe
18) It’s Damn Near Christmas — Adam Lore
19) All I Want for Christmas is You — Gabe the Dog
20) A Very Merry Christmas — The Maxwell Moment

Many thanks to Matthew Wong for the cover image!

I hope you had a great time tonight. I know I did.

I love you all. Merry Christmas.

Xmas Bash 5 is go!

Ho ho ho, it’s Xmas Bash! time! (Almost.)

To join in the fun, just click this link!

I’m posting this reminder almost exactly 24 hours before it begins, so be sure to tune in at the following time:

The 5th Annual Noiseless Chatter Xmas Bash!

Dec. 8, 2017
5 pm Mountain / 7 pm Eastern

That’s it! You get the link early this year, because you’ve all been good little boys and girls, so be sure to register a free account so you can join in the rowdy fun in the chatroom and make fun of me. I can take it! Really, I can’t!

Also, we will be soliciting donations throughout the night to defray medical costs for Emily Suess. You can of course feel free to donate to her ahead of time as well, so you won’t have to take your eyes off all the awful things I’m going to show you.

Christmas specials, music, vintage commercials, comedy, magic, and so much more. Don’t miss it!

Excuse my Xmas songs

There’s a topic I’d actually like to talk about for a bit today, but first: the Xmas Bash! is Friday, which means it’s time for one last reminder…

The 5th Annual Noiseless Chatter Xmas Bash!

Dec. 8, 2017
5 pm Mountain / 7 pm Eastern

Just visit this very website at the appointed time, and you’re there!

Alright.

I was talking to a friend a few weeks ago about this year’s Xmas Bash! It’s no secret that I look forward to this event every year, and my heart grows three sizes every time I hear from somebody else that they do, too. People often try to get me to reveal what I’m going to show ahead of time, or at least give them a hint, but I never do. I like surprises. And I think that’s at least part of the fun as a viewer, as well, whether that’s conscious or not. Unwrapping little gifts one by one…finding out what’s inside…it’s a rush. It’s never a thrill to unwrap something you knew was coming, even if it’s what you wanted. The surprise is part of the gift.

So I don’t say much when I’m asked. I’ll be cagey. It’s more fun that way.

But this time, when my friend asked what I was looking forward to most about the stream, I replied honestly and without much thought: “I’m excited about the music.”

Granted, I could probably say that any year…but this year I really am excited about the music. I’m thrilled about the music. I genuinely can’t wait to share it with everyone.

Music is an important part of my life. It always has been. And while I can’t say Christmas music in particular has ever been a favorite, I do remember writing to it when I was much younger. I’d turn on the radio on Christmas Eve — after all the commercials stopped playing and the DJs went home — and just write all night, listening to Christmas music, letting it inform my feelings and guide my hand.

I remember always being happy with what I wrote on Christmas Eve. Today, if I were able to read those pieces again, I’m sure I wouldn’t stand by any assessment of quality I might have made back then…but it felt good. It felt like it helped. And that was what mattered.

With the second Xmas Bash!!, I decided to give the event a charitable component. The holidays have always been difficult for me, as I struggle with depression in general and seasonal affective disorder specifically. And, y’know, all the deep and severe family issues that kept me writing alone on Christmas Eve instead of whatever you remember doing.

So with that stream, I tried to do some good. The holidays are hard for me, and it’s safe to say they always will be, but if I could make them easier for someone else…shouldn’t I?

I decided to solicit donations for The Trevor Project, and that felt right. (It still feels right.) With that decision, I started to think about format for the first time.

The inaugural Xmas Bash! was a simple affair. I’d stream shows directly from Hulu, and cut back to pre-recorded inserts of myself to hide the low-tech backend reality of me clicking around their website, loading up the next episode. Hulu inserted its own commercials automatically, so I suppose that was part of the format, but it wasn’t anything I decided ahead of time. We’d all watch these shows together and make fun of them in the chatroom, if we wanted to. (I wasn’t sure anyone would. I was pleasantly surprised.)

With the second Bash!!, knowing I’d have a charitable component, my thought went immediately to telethons. To the variety of performers and types of performances they’d employ while raising money for a good cause. It was corny, but that was part of the fun, I think. There was also the fact that you could tune in at any point during the event and see something unique. You didn’t have to stay tuned for the whole thing…you could pop in and out as you pleased. Indeed, my concept for the second Bash!! was to go all night, all the way through sunup the next day, so that folks everywhere could tune in whenever it worked for them, stay as long as they liked, and enjoy the event on their own terms.

I scrapped that aspect of it, because it was insane. And I’m glad I did, because keeping the event relatively compact means (largely) the same group of people are there from beginning to end. I get to weave a kind of flow and rhythm throughout the night, and they get to know each other, get to build upon each other’s jokes, get to make callbacks together. It’s more social. It’s more of a distinct event as opposed to a continuous hum throughout the night. Those old telethons didn’t have a social component. This did. That made it different, and I wanted to both respect and embrace that difference.

I kept the variety show aspect, though. And, in retrospect, I think the second Bash!! was the weakest one as a result. I blame myself entirely. Without knowing what would work in this context, I tried everything at once.

And so we had video game reviews. Original animations. Original (and sincere) songs from talented musicians. Long, digressive inserts that felt out of place in what should have been a much punchier event. All of that is on me, and all of that was scrapped as quickly as it was added.

But that’s the stuff that didn’t work. The rest of it did. Wes Iseli’s charming magic segments stuck around. Vintage commercials stuck around. My incredible, lovely cohost Amanda stuck around. Most significantly, though, the music stuck around.

When I say “the music,” I don’t mean Adam Lore’s incredible original Christmas songs we’ve gotten every year since. I mean the songs we play between shows. The strange music videos I keep managing to unearth each time. The stuff you will never, ever hear on the radio, no matter how late you stay up writing.

I…kind of love them. We joke about the event including “bad” television and music, but, in my heart, I don’t hate any of it. I love bad things. I adore them. I’ve listened to bad songs more than I’ve listened to songs I know are great. I’ve watched awful films over and over again, whereas one that truly moves me might never find its way back into my rotation.

Bad stuff is good, and every year, I try very hard to find the right kind of bad stuff for the Xmas Bash! It’s not enough (or even desirable) that a song be unlistenable. Instead, it just needs to be misguided. A song that has its heart in the right place, but is poorly written (like “Excuse My Christmas”). A song that features bizarre subject matter (like “Roast Fowl”). A song that tries to be funny but isn’t, a song that is funny in a different way than intended, a song that is catchy but embarrassing, a song that is simply too strange to exist.

I also need the song to have some kind of visual component. There are plenty of awful Christmas songs, but very few of those have a music video. And while there are any number of untalented YouTubers attempting to warble through “O! Holy Night,” I don’t want to include them, because that just seems cruel. There’s a difference between someone recording a song in their bedroom because they think it’s fun and someone who writes an original and delivers it in some charmingly cheesy music video. (In fact, the one time I did feature the work of some singular YouTuber, I reached out to her to make sure she’d be okay with my using her song in this context. She agreed, and we’ve since become friends.)

This year, I think I’ve found my favorite batch of songs yet…which shocks me, because every year I’m convinced I won’t be able to find more. I’m picky. They need to flow. They need to be listenable. There needs to be something for the chatroom to latch on to. Every year I think I pretty much do fine with that, but this year I feel that I may have done it best.

And so I look forward to sharing them. I look forward to airing these odd little music videos you almost certainly have never seen before, and even more certainly will never see again. To go back to our Christmas present metaphor, these are the gag gifts. The ones I know won’t have staying power, but which make you laugh. Which give us all a chuckle. Which make the holiday feel fun.

I hope everyone enjoys everything I choose to air. Why wouldn’t I? But this year, it really is the music I’m most excited about. Even at their worst-chosen, the music videos provide a brief cleansing of palate between Christmas specials. But at their best, they lead to rapid, rowdy reactions of their own. When they catch fire, they’re the highlights of the night.

I can’t promise that will happen this year, or any year. But I am proud of what I found. And if I can make just one person wish they never heard any of these songs, I’ll know I’ve done my job.

See you in two days.

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