90s Style — Episode 17 (A Very Special 90s Style Christmas)

Patrick started his first Christmas special with an apology for the absence of last week’s episode — he was roadtripping down the Sapphire Coast — and then delivered an informative spiel about how easy it is for record companies to ride the brief but lucrative commercial wave generated by a boyband by quickly preparing a Christmas album. This happened to brotherband Hanson in 1997, and Patrick took the opportunity to play the boys’ version of a Christmas classic.

Then followed a vintage Christmas Coca-Cola ad from 1997:

Patrick unfortunately forgot to dispel the myth that the modern image of Santa Claus as a bearded portly fellow in red and white was invented by Coca-Cola. This is not true. Coke did use this image in its 1930s marketing but that visualisation of Santa Claus already existed.

After playing the Christmas Remix of a mid-90s global phenomenon, Patrick shared the story of his high school summer holidays Letterman watching:

The Late Show with David Letterman has a highly evolved high concept Christmas tradition. Every year of the 1990s, Darlene Love would appear on the last new Late Show before Christmas, often Christmas Eve, to sing Christmas (Baby, Please Take Me Home). She was then joined as a regular guest by actor and comedian Jay Thomas, would tell the same anecdote about driving the Lone Ranger actor home from a promotional appearance, before trying to knock a meatball off the top of a Christmas tree with New York Jets quarterback Vinny Testaverde. My mum would make me tape Letterman during the school year but I could stay up to watch it over the school holidays and this formed a major part of my youth in the 90s. I cherish those memories of lying on the top bunk of my bed watching Letterman during Christmas week. This is the 1993 recording — Letterman’s first at CBS. Unfortunately, the tradition has not continued into the new Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

A Very Special 90s Style Christmas was recorded on 23 December — the actual date of the Festivus for the Rest of Us — prompting Patrick to riff on this actual Yuletide tradition:

A lot of people don’t know that a version of this ‘holiday’ is actually real — it was based on Seinfeld writer Dan O’Keefe’s family tradition — started by his father, way back in 1966. It was developed as a rejection of the consumerist aspects of Christmas. One wonders what Daniel O’Keefe senior would make of 2010s Christmas if he was frustrated by mercantile celebrations in the relatively naive 6os! Key components of Festivus include an aluminium pole, the airing of grievances, feats of strength, a weird meatloaf style dish and the labeling of any happenstance as a Festivus Miracle.

Perhaps the greatest Australian Christmas song of the 1990s was given a spin before Patrick shared some love with his Jewish fans by playing a very 90s song about Chanukah. The laughs continued with a Christmastime comedy film trailer and the first known sighting of Mr Hanky The Christmas Poo in more than a decade.

A rare moment of vulnerability:

When I was 10 or 11 I wanted to have a Christmastime sleepover party and I called my primary school friend Daniel to invite him over and he said no and that really hurt my feelings. To make me feel better, my Mum took me to The Muppet Christmas Movie, two hours of which made me feel suicidal.

There was a rushed finish to A Very Special 90s Style Christmas, as Patrick paid tribute to the worst Christmas song of all time, namechecked the UK Christmas #1s of the decade and closed on the most unlikely 1990s Christmas hit of all time.

Merry Christmas everybody!

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