As we inch closer to Christmas Eve, strap on your cardboard wings and buckle up as we take a 2-dimensional flight back to 1999 to revisit the Matt Groening-produced TV special, “Olive, the Other Reindeer,” starring the voices of Drew Barrymore, Joe Pantoliano, Dan Castellaneta, and Ed Asner as Santa four years before “Elf.”
On This Episode:
- Mike Westfall (@fallwestmike), unemployed penguin ready to make you a deal on an extremely valuable watch.
- Erin Evans (@mserinmevans), my hard-of-hearing pet flea who’s only here to mistakenly tell you your family doesn’t want you here.
- Joey O. (@ImGonnaDJ24), an injured reindeer’s flightless cousin who’s very excited to be introduced as this, from Y-Not Radio and Words With Nerds.
Topics and Tangents:
- This special premiered exactly 10 years to the minute after the first episode of “The Simpsons.”
- The Making of “Olive, the Other Reindeer” takes you behind the scenes to watch the computer animation slowly render on what appears to be a Gateway 2000 PC running Windows 98.
- We compare the animation style to PaRappa the Rapper.
- “Mr. Lunch Takes a Plane Ride,” the first book by “Olive” creators Vivian Walsh and J. Otto Seibold, was the first children’s picture book created with digital media.
- “The Goonies II,” a video-game-only sequel for the Nintendo Entertainment System in which the Fratellis kidnap a mermaid.
- Jay Mohr in “Camp Wilder,” a short-lived TGIF sitcom in the doomed 9:30 spot.
- The mondegreen, a brief history and other famous examples, how one ended up an official part of another Christmas Carol, and the stupidest lyric I’ve ever misheard.
- Dan Castellaneta uses a similar voice for the Postman as he does a few years later for the Robot Devil in “Futurama.”
- A brief history of “You’re no Jack Kennedy,” and its lasting impact.
- The time Bullwinkle tried to kidnap my baby at Universal’s Islands of Adventure.
- R U Talkin’ R.E.M. Re: Me?, formerly “U Talkin’ U2 to Me?” and currently “U Talkin’ Talking Heads 2 My Talking Head?”
- Michael Stipe on “The Adventures of Pete & Pete” and “The Simpsons.”
- There’s a Hanukkah menorah on top of Santa’s castle.
- The pope gets a Phillies hat for Christmas.
- This special suggests Santa sorts his deliveries alphabetically, which is super inefficient.
Previous Podcast Episodes Mentioned:
- Frosty the Snowman (Season 1, Episode 1)
- A Rugrats Chanukah (Season 1, Episode 6)
- ’Twas the Night Before Christmas (Season 2, Episode 3)
- Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire (Season 3, Episode 9)
- Deck the Halls With Wacky Walls (Season 4, Episode 5)
- BraveStarr: Tex’s Terrible Night (Season 5, Episode 3)
- Santa by the Minute, covering “Santa Claus: The Movie” minute-by-minute.
- The Christmas Podcasts Podcast, a podcast about Christmas podcasts. Yep!
“Olive, the Other Reindeer” © 1999 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation.
Listen to this episode of the Advent Calendar House podcast
Title: Olive, the Other Reindeer