Monday, December 21, 2009

Emmet Otter, You Decorated My Life

We had HBO when I was growing up, which meant we were rich. Or that my dad liked boxing. Either way. This meant I got to watch a lot of shows I definitely shouldn't have been watching (About Last Night, anyone?), but also really great kids shows like Fraggle Rock and Emmet Otter's Jug Band Christmas.

It was a tradition for my mom and I to watch Emmet Otter together. Every year I'd hope that Emmet's mom, by some feat of Christmas magic, er, Hollywood editing, would win the talent contest to replace her washboard Emmet drilled a hole through and be able to unhock her dead otter husband's tools she had to sell for dress fabric.

(Christmas was sad for poor Otters who's dads died. Except... surviving Otter's win in the end when they're mash-up style song lands them a regular paying gig at the Bullfrog's restaurant. Woo hoo!)

A few years ago I got together with Ronson and some other folks to watch this magical Christmas story and spread its joy. Ronson shared a similar childhood watching it and being the true friends we are, we demanded other people love it as much as we did.

Except, we could hardly stop laughing when we watched it because everything looked so ridiculously... fake. In my hazy childhood memories it was perfection. As an adult I was stunned to so clearly see the strings attached to Emmet's arms. Emmet's not a real otter?! Say it ain't so!

Needless the say, the friends we were watching it with were not impressed. Phssht. Their HBO-less childhoods probably sucked anyway.

The highlight of watching the movie two decades later on DVD was the out-takes, so please enjoy the above video while I attempt to repair my childhood and rethink the meaning of Christmas.


Adam said...

Emmet Otter's dad was dead?? OMG my mom told me he was away on business. Next your gonna tell me they lied to me about Old Yeller too. He did get cured of those rabies right??

G said...

O...M...G...this is something I didn't know about you and Ronson. WE had HBO growing up, so I'm down with Christmases including Emmet Otter and Sunday mornings of Fraggle Rock.

A few years ago, I bought the DVD of Emmet Otter for our household and I haven't watched it yet this year.

Every year, my brother still says, "Look at the biiirrds, up in the trees..." TO which I reply, "We're not birds, we're a jug band!"

or his favorite line, "MASHED POTA-TOES!"

Anonymous said...

We take what we want.
We do anything that we wish.
The grass does not grow where we stomp and stand.
River Bottom Nightmare Band!

Gina said...

Adam - He does get cured of the rabies, right after they shoot him.

Gretchen - I can't believe you haven't watched it yet! I'll come over.

Anonymous - I know it's you, Mike. No one else on the planet thought the River Bottom Nightmare Band should have won. You're the devil.

John Foland said...

I have this same sad story. I bought this on DVD, because I would always quote "Look at the birds up in the trees..." and my wife and stepdaughter wouldn't get it. So when I made them watch it, knowing they'd enjoy this wonderful movie... Even I was let down at how bad it was as an adult. so sad...

John Foland rocks, btw.