7.6/10
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7 user 2 critic

Christmas Carol (1978)

In this one-man show starring Rich Little, Ebeneezer Scrooge (played by Rich as W.C. Fields) hates Christmas, and it's up to the Ghosts of Christmas Past (played by Rich as Humphrey Bogart)... See full summary »

Director:

Trevor Evans

Writer:

Charles Dickens (novel)

Star:

Rich Little
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1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Rich Little ... W.C. Fields as Scrooge / Paul Lynde as Bob Cratchit / Humphrey Bogart as the Ghost of Christmas Past / Peter Falk as the Ghost of Christmas Present / Peter Sellers as the Ghost of Christmas Yet-to-Come / Richard Nixon as Jacob Marley / Truman Capote as Tiny Tim / Groucho Marx as Fezziwig / Edith Bunker as Mrs. Cratchit / Johnny Carson as Nephew Fred / Jimmy Stewart as Dick Wilkins / John Wayne as Businessman / George Burns as Businessman / Jack Benny as Boy Outside Window / James Mason as Businessman / Stan Laurel as Charity Solicitor / Oliver Hardy as Charity Solicitor
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Storyline

In this one-man show starring Rich Little, Ebeneezer Scrooge (played by Rich as W.C. Fields) hates Christmas, and it's up to the Ghosts of Christmas Past (played by Rich as Humphrey Bogart), Present (played by Rich as Columbo) and Future (played by Rich as Inspector Clouseau) to convince him otherwise Written by Marta Dawes <smdawes@home.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Fantasy

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Details

Country:

Canada

Language:

English

Release Date:

December 1978 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Rich Little's Christmas Carol See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The set in which Scrooge is talking to the young boy was a scaffold. He was told not to move around too must lest he fall to his death. See more »

Quotes

Peter Sellers as Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come: [after tripping over a bottle on the floor] The man who invented the bottle should be shot! I think he was shot when he invented the bottle!
See more »

Connections

Version of Scrooge; or Marley's Ghost (1901) See more »

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User Reviews

And is that "James Mason" in there?
13 January 2007 | by El CineSee all my reviews

This show has a clever, sideways premise: a comedian does impressions of various celebrities "performing" in a production of A Christmas Carol. I've seen very little of Rich Little (no, pun not intended), but this program of his sounded fun so I looked it up. I suppose that the more impressions you recognize, the more you will like the show; fortunately many of the targets are figures like John Wayne, Groucho Marx and Richard Nixon, whose personas are well-known even to folks who haven't seen much of them in films or TV.

The small-scale period sets are nicely done for a comedy special on TV, but the TV sitcom laugh track is unwelcome, especially since it pops up for everything including the lamer jokes (like the twice-used "and those were his good/bad points" bit); I eventually stopped noticing though. But the central gag makes everything worthwhile. Little certainly has a talent and versatile voice for impressions. Some I was prepared for because of what I read before watching, and I was able to guess a couple other obscure ones. The only two I had no clue about were the kid that Scrooge hires to buy the goose (long-ago comedian Jack Benny) and Tiny Tim (writer Truman Capote; I could only guess it was some sort of Elton John or Robert Evans with a Droopy the Dog voice). On-screen text at the end or beginning identifying each celebrity would've helped. Though I had no knowledge of W.C. Fields performances, Little's depiction of Fields performing as Scrooge was amusing enough to hold the main role. (Little even sneaks in a sly, cleaned-up version of Fields's vulgar joke about fish.)

Standouts include "Paul Lynde" as Bob Cratchit. I only remember Paul Lynde as the voice of Templeton the rat from "Charlotte's Web", but just based on that it is eerie how well Little evokes Lynde. "James Stewart's" appearance was good too, but note that he was not Scrooge's boss as the IMDb credit says, but rather his co-worker Dick Wilkins. And "Richard Nixon" as the ghost of Marley comes with a great visual gag: instead of chains and strongboxes, he's weighed down by footage from his White House audio tapes.

"Johnny Carson" as Fred, the nephew of Scrooge, is an entertaining parody that even includes a reference to Carson's turbaned psychic gimmick. But the impression is also a striking jab at the big-time talk show host, who was still an NBC star at the time. As Fred hosts his holiday party, he does a stand-up routine that bombs; the guests sit in silence as Fred drags out his failed jokes and slow delivery.

Some of the impressions show up too briefly, including John Wayne as a businessman talking about the dead Scrooge. Speaking of this scene, I believe the first businessman with the walking stick and cultured voice is supposed to be James Mason. Likewise I wanted to see more of him. (Oddly, "Mason" doesn't show up in the final montage.)


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