Narrator: “Hello everyone, I'm Dame Agnes Cryptson. Welcome to tonight's episode of Winter Theater. Tonight's episode is little-known gem, and is one of my favorites. It's also the perfect antidote to the never-ending stream of Christmas pablum that you'll see on other channels. Also, be sure to savor this original 1978 commercial that aired before the original episode. Have a scary Christmas!”
Announcer: (Stayin’ Alive by The Bee Gees plays in the background, and a woman drinks champagne, alone, in her home) “Laura has everything she needs for a groovy Christmas except Santa Claus.”
Laura: (hears a knock on the door and opens it) “Hello?”
Muscular man: (He is dressed as Santa Claus.) “Hello Laura, did you get everything you wanted for Christmas this year?”
Laura: (smiles) “No, I didn’t.”
Muscular man: “That’s a shame. Why don’t you reach into Santa’s bag, and see what he brought you?”
Laura: “That sounds dangerous, but what the heck! It is Christmas, after all. (She reaches into the bag, and grabs a large box of chocolates.) Wow, Santa, what a groovy present! How did you know I liked chocolate?”
Muscular man: (grins and holds a box of chocolates up to the camera) “Simple. All women love Santa’s Secret chocolates. (turns to Laura) Now how about a kiss for old Santa?”
Laura: “You got it, Santa!” (kisses Muscular man on the cheek)
Announcer: “Make the little lady’s Christmas day the grooviest day of the year. Buy Santa’s Secret chocolates wherever fine candies are sold."
Narrator: “Hello everyone, did you miss me? I certainly didn’t miss you. I’ve been drinking a nice tall glass of sherry, and was just about to fall asleep. Ha ha ha! Anyway, let’s start with number ten of my top favorite scenes in 1978’s The Most Wonderful Day of the year, still brought to you by Santa’s Secret chocolates. Did you know that they have a wonderful new chocolate that’s filled with rum? I’m certainly asking Santa for some, in my stocking! (I hope they send the chap from the commercial we just viewed, as I’ve been very naughty this year.)
Anyway, in this scene, coming in at number ten, we meet two of the main characters in this yuletide tale, (Ellie and her grandmother) for the first time.
Ellie: “Tell me the story again.
Grandma: “What story?”
Ellie: “The story of how you and Grandpa met.”
Grandma: (laughs out loud) “Okay, you’ve twisted my arm. Where should I start?”
Ellie: (smiles, and takes a bite of a chocolate chip cookie) “Start with Nick Dubois. Wasn’t he your first crush?”
Narrator: Coming in at number nine, this moment is one of my favorites because it introduces us to Nick Dubois, Grandma’s love interest. (Incidentally, did you know that Nick Dubois was also the name of the producer of this episode?) Rumor has it that the writers hated the handsome producer, and that’s why they named Grandma’s first crush after him.
Anyway, I’m getting a pit peckish (said the vicar to the prostitute, ha ha ha!) so I’m off to find myself something to eat. See you later!”
Grandma: “Yes,” she says. (She glances behind the sofa. Her husband, George, has fallen asleep in his favorite chair.) “Just don’t tell your grandpa, okay?”
Ellie: (grins) “Of course I won’t tell. It’s Christmas Eve!”
George: (He snorts and appears to wake up.) “What time is it?”
Grandma: “It’s nine o’ clock at night, George. Go back to sleep.”
George: “Okay.” (He flips onto his side and begins to snore.)
Grandma: (smiles at Ellie)
Ellie: (giggles) “Well?”
Grandma: “Nicholas Dubois was everything to me, at the time. He was tall and French-looking, with a long torso, wide shoulders, warm brown eyes, and a massive shock of dark hair that never seemed to stay put.”
Ellie: “And you met at college, right?”
Grandma: “We did. We met in the library and—“
Ellie: (interrupts) “How romantic!”
Grandma: “It seemed romantic at the time (Grandma pauses.) With what I now know, though, I’d say he was a stalker.”
Ellie: (surprised) “Really? Was he dangerous?”
Grandma: (thinks) “At the time, he didn’t seem dangerous, but he was a massive dick to me.”
Narrator: "Hello everyone, it’s me again! Did you know that the network that originally aired this episode replaced the word ‘dick’ with ‘dip’, just before this episode aired? Isn’t that hilarious?
Speaking of dip, I must get back to making my famous cheese dip for New Year’s Eve. Thanks for sharing moment number eight with me, and see you later, my lovelies!"
Ellie: “Grandma!” (She picks up her mug from the coffee table and takes a large gulp of hot chocolate.)
Grandma: “What? He was a massive dick to me. (rolls her eyes) Always talking about himself, or his band. On top of that, he was always giving other women the eye when we were out.”
Ellie: (coughs) “Oh, I thought you said he had a massive...um...member.”
Grandma: “Youth is wasted on the young. (pauses) It’s okay if you swear in front of me. I swear all the time; it’s good for the soul.”
Ellie: “Mom always told me not to swear in front of you.”
Grandma: (takes a chocolate from a box, and pops it into her mouth) “Poor Carrie. That’s probably because I told her not to swear in front of me. I didn’t expect her to listen to me, though. She rarely listened.”
Ellie: “I wish mom would have listened to you. Maybe she’d still be alive.”
Grandma: “You mustn’t say things like that, Ellie. Addiction is truly a disease, and the disease didn’t want her to be well. Addiction is what made her take too many pills, and no one is to blame for that.” (Grandma rubs her hands together to keep warm.)
Ellie: “I know. I just miss her, especially at Christmas. (sighs) Anyway, where were you? I’d like to keep my mind off of mother, if you don’t mind.”
Grandma: (pauses) “Of course, my darling. Anyway, that day (before all of the trouble started) Nick asked me out on a date. At first, he was a perfect gentleman; he was so attentive and always brought me flowers, or my favorite chocolates.
We had been going steady for a couple of months, when he asked me to go out to the local diner on Christmas Eve. I remember that I wore my best stockings, and—“
Ellie: (interrupts) “Wait a minute...you just skipped all of the good parts. Was he a good kisser? Did he actually have a massive dick?”
Narrator: (dips a chip into a bowl of cheese dip and quickly swallows) "Oh, hello darlings, I didn’t see you there. Did you enjoy that last clip? It’s number seven on my list of top ten moments in this episode.
Here’s a fun fact...that was a “dick” that Joanie Carradine (the actress who played Ellie) ad-libbed during the live broadcast...thus slipping by the censors. Oh dearie, me, can one say that a dick slips by censors? I certainly hope so, or I’m out of a job..." (winks)
Grandma: “That’s my granddaughter; I’m very proud of you for swearing.”
Ellie: (smiles) “Thank you, but you didn’t answer any of my questions.”
Grandma: (smiles back) “A lady never tells. Would you like some hot chocolate?”
Ellie: (sighs, and gives Grandma a mug) “Just a little bit.”
Grandma: (takes mug and pours a liberal amount of hot chocolate into it) “That’s the spirit! Would you like to know how Nick proposed?”
Ellie: “I don’t remember this part of the story, but why would Nick propose? I thought you said he was horrible to you.”
Grandma: (sighs) “Well, I suppose you could say that I was a little horrible to Nick.”
Ellie: (rubs hands together to warm them) “Really? What did you do?”
Grandma: "Well, I suppose I was jealous of all the attention that he gave other girls, so I flirted a bit with one of his friends. Another band member."
Ellie: (smiles) “That wasn’t horrible! It was only natural, wasn’t it?”
Grandma: “Well, let’s just say I did a bit more than flirting, and then I discovered I was with child.”
Ellie: “It’s okay, Grandma, you can say the word pregnant. And was that so terrible, to be pregnant and not married?”
Grandma: “At the time it was. So I went ahead, and told Nicholas that the baby was his. I knew that his family liked me, and that they would pressure him into marrying me.”
Ellie: “Oh my. (thinks) Is Nicholas my grandfather?”
Grandma: “No, no, nothing like that. Nicholas’ family had a lot of money, and I thought the baby (your mother) would be well-cared for. "
Ellie: (sighs) "But where was Grandpa in all of this?"
Grandma: “I’m getting to that, but I’d better start with Nick’s proposal. Would you like some more hot chocolate...this time with rum?”
Ellie: (passes Grandma her mug) "I think I’d better."
Grandma: (pours hot chocolate and rum into the mug, and then passes it back to Ellie) “That’s a good girl.”
Ellie: (takes a gulp of the liquid) “Okay, go ahead.”
Grandma: “Well, let me think...Nick got down on both knees, and said that he loved me more than he loved his guitar.”
Ellie: “Oh! I do remember this part of the story. He took his guitar out of the box, and played that horrible song, didn’t he?”
Grandma: (frowns) “I’m afraid so, and that song was truly awful. Do you know that he rhymed angel with dangle?”
Ellie: “I don’t know, that kind of works. I feel sorry for him, really.”
Grandma: “I don’t, and angel definitely doesn’t rhyme with dangle.”
Narrator: (pops out from behind a green sofa) "Surprise! It’s me, your favorite t.v. host, coming at you with my number six moment in this episode. T.V. legend, Moira Campbell, ad-libbed the line about the word ‘angel’ not rhyming with ‘dangle’. Rumor has it that the director (Rupert Kelly Wise) blew his top when his lead actress decided to make up her own lines! What a diva." (winks)
Ellie: (sips from her mug) “Why don’t you feel sorry for him? What did he do to you that was so awful?”
Grandma: (rolls eyes) “Well, I said no to his proposal. At the last minute, I decided that I couldn’t marry anyone for money, and I realized I truly loved your grandfather. I thought that Nick would be relieved, but he still wouldn’t take no for an answer.
I know it may be hard to believe, but Nicholas paid our check and we left the diner in his car. He then proposed for a second time! I said the answer was still no, and he locked me in the trunk of his car.”
Narrator: (waves a fan in front of her face) “My, my, my, if this episode were a Christmas dinner, it would be practically ready to eat. Ha ha ha! I can’t wait to see what happens next!
Anyway, this moment comes in at number five, (when we learn that grandma was locked in the trunk by a jilted lover) and is one of my faves. I won’t spoil the ending, except to say that it’s as scrumptious as a Christmas pudding with double cream! Bye bye, and stay tuned for my cheese dick recipe...oops! I meant cheese dip recipe. However, both are delicious with a glass of brandy...
Ellie: (drops mug) “Oh my god! (pauses) How are you still alive?”
Grandma: (smiles) “Well, I was quite lucky. The third time Nick proposed, he was shouting: “Will you marry me, Jane?” to the trunk of his car (in a public parking lot) at the top of his lungs. Your grandpa heard him, and checked to see what was wrong.”
Ellie: “Wait a sec...was Grandpa the bandmate that you slept with?"
Grandma: (pours a large helping of rum, and takes a sip) “He was indeed.”
Ellie: “What happened next?
Grandma: “Well, the next thing I knew, George...er...your grandpa, was beating Nick senseless with Nick’s prized guitar.”
Narrator: (lying on the sofa, trying to open a bottle of champagne) “Can someone help me open this? (looks around) Hello Christmas kiddies! I was just about to get even more sloshed than I already am, but it looks like everyone but the cameraman has gone home.
Oh well, I’ll have a look ‘round the studio for a corkscrew (or a sharp stick or something) later. Did you enjoy my number four moment in this episode? It’s got all of the drama, (and just a touch of violence) like a good martini. Toodles!"
Ellie: (hugs herself) “He didn’t kill Nick, did he?”
Grandpa: (from behind Ellie and grandma) “Why no, of course not. (chuckles) I simply gave him a damned good thrashing. He never bothered a woman again, after that. Isn’t that right, Alice?”
Grandma: (takes a long sip from her mug) “Yes, George.”
Ellie: “I must say that I’m relieved. (smiles and stretches) Well, I’m off to bed. Merry Christmas!” (She drops to the floor.)
Grandma: “Ellie, are you alright? (checks Ellie’s pulse) Merry Christmas, Ellie. Sweet dreams, my darling."
Grandpa: (to Grandma) “Is she dead?”
Narrator: (sips from a glass of champagne) “Hello everyone, I must say two very important things. One: I’m completely sloshed now, and two: a great big thank you goes out to everyone for sticking around for moment number three, when Grandma (played by the late, great, Eliot Golden) says ‘Is she dead?’ in a tone of voice that still sends chills up my spine! Do email or write, if you agree. Ta-ta, for now!”
Grandma: “Of course not, George. Do you think I’m an idiot? I just gave her a few—what do the young people call them?—roofies in her hot chocolate. She’ll be out for a couple of hours. When she wakes up, you and I will drive her to the bank. I’m sure she’ll have no qualms about emptying Carrie’s savings account, and then putting the money in our account.”
Grandpa: (rubs Alice’s shoulders) “I wish you would relax, Alice. I’m only making sure our granddaughter is alive. Also, I really wish you hadn’t told her that I was the one who beat Nicholas into a pulp. By the time I arrived on the scene, the poor man was bleeding out of every orifice.”
Grandma: (laughs) “Yes, but I wasn’t the one who broke his neck.”
Grandpa: “It was a mercy. I couldn’t believe he was still alive.”
Grandma: (pours rum into a glass) “Well, you looked like you enjoyed yourself, just a little, to me. “
Grandpa: (also pours rum into a glass) “Well, maybe I did enjoy it...just a little, mind you. I’ve always wondered, though...did you really attack that man in self-defense?”
Grandma: “Do you honestly want the answer to that question, George?”
Grandpa: (pauses) “No, not really. Just know that I love you, exactly as you are.”
Grandma: “And I love you, George, exactly as you are. Merry Christmas.”
END OF EPISODE
Narrator: “And to all, a good night! Well, wasn’t that ending spiffing? (wipes away tears) I do love it when two sociopaths marry...at any rate, that brings me to the top two moments in The most wonderful time of the year. I can see that Frank (our cameraman) wants to go home, so I’ll try to be brief.
Moment number two is when Grandma and Grandpa tell the audience about their ghastly participation in poor Nick Dubois’ death. And moment number one? (Yes, Frank, I know you want to go home to that sack of bones you call a wife.) Just a moment!
Sorry about that, my lovelies. Showbiz and all that, you know. Anyway, my favorite moment is when our two dysfunctional lovebirds admit that they really do love each other! Ah, true love.
My husband used to say that true love was what brings us together. He was directing this special until I killed him! Ha ha ha. Never work with friends or family...that’s also something that my husband used to say. (sound in the background) Frank? Don't run away! Where are you going? Frank?!"