Sometimes you pick up a random album from the cut-out bin or in some store that doesn't normally sell music and you find a real treat. Sometimes it's a weird Japanese art pop act, and others, a strange rock act out of the south. This is not one of those times. Purchased roughly when it came out-- meaning it's worn out its welcome quite some time ago-- is this CD, Have Yourself a Scary Little Christmas. It's another entry in the frankly baffling world of albums based on puppets, which effectively ruin the novelty of said puppets.
On the whole, I must confess to having a soft spot for the Christmas novelty song. Sure, many of them rely on cultural stereotypes (That Hat I Got For Christmas is Too Big, Santa Claus & His Old Lady) but on the bright side, they were funny when you were a kid and they're probably funny now, just not as funny since you now have an idea of what the heck it is they're saying instead of merely being amused by the funny voices.
Here, you've got the voice of the Cryptkeeper as the highlight. The album is pretty much what you would expect, covered in fairly tame verses about burying a rotting corpse and an oh-so-appropriate treatise on the bills one receives as a result of the December holiday. (Wow, never heard that in a song before.)
Good parody is hard to do, as evidenced by this 1994 release. "Weird Al" Yankovic made a career of amusing parodies and original songs, and the likes of Alan Sherman and Stan Freberg managed to crank out countless songs of this nature over their careers to varying degrees of success. A licensed holiday album is a fairly common cash cow, with varying degrees of sensibility in their existence. For example, Alvin & The Chipmunks makes sense as they exist for no purpose other than to cover pop songs and the like for kids. The Star Wars album makes significantly less sense, and basing a holiday CD off of an HBO horror anthology series-- and making the humor aimed at the under-12 set-- is a truly freakish concept.
While this Scary Little Christmas isn't exactly frightening or ghoulish, it might appeal to younger boys or computer programmers who think they have a twisted sense of humor. It's a great purchase for someone you know and don't like who has kids. The album's booklet has what appears to be a reprint of an old Tales horror comic from the days of old, which is really the highlight of the package since horror comics are a rare thing these days and bad Christmas music is everywhere. As a curiosity, it's amusing, but only play this thing at your holiday party if you've got an audience for the stomach for such things. And you don't, I assure you.
December 23, 2003