Wednesday, May 14, 2014


Yesterday I finally got to watching an old classic, "Jingle All The Way". It will always be tied in my mind to a long-running "Late Night With Conan O'Brien" bit. Conan had numerous celebrities imitated in appearances "live via satellite" using the old "Clutch Cargo" technique of superimposing a mouth over a still picture. Bill Clinton was frequently lampooned in this bit, and so was Arnold Schwarzenegger. He was always plugging "the holiday classic Jingle All The Way".

Well, I really wanted (as has often been the case lately) to watch it so I could listen to the "How Did This Get Made" episode, so now I've seen it. It's a pretty crazy movie. Arnold plays a harried, workaholic dad who neglects his son. In a grand gesture, he vows to get the son a popular action figure (this in the waning days of kids wanting something that was not a video game). The toy is hard to come by, and Arnold is vying with Sinbad to boot.

As short as the movie is, a lot of bizarre stuff happens. Arnold's neighbor Phil Hartman is an obnoxiously perfect neighbor, and one sign of it is that he has a reindeer. Arnold later punches out the reindeer and feeds it beer. Sinbad (playing a mailman) twice uses a fake bomb as a ploy, the second time unwittingly using an actual bomb that goes off like it's an Acme bomb. Maybe most amazingly, a fully functional jetpack is a prop at a Christmas parade in St. Paul, Minnesota. This would change life as we know it, but it's not really an issue here.

I have a hard time saying anything against this movie. There's a lot of illogical, absurd stuff, but I love that. If there's anything really very bad here, it's Arnold's son, played by future Anakin Skywalker Jake Lloyd. That he booked "Phantom Menace" after this movie makes me think that George Lucas has, to date never seen this film. Then again, Lucas has very likely only ever gotten good actors as a fluke. That point aside, you ought to see this movie.

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