With the holidays coming up, I thought I’d present a Christmas selection from my blog, “Way Out Junk.” This features Boris Karloff, not too long after he narrated “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” performing “The Year Without a Santa Claus.” Now I was only familiar with this story from the Rankin/Bass television special, and didn’t even know that it was a story before that, but here it is. Both the original (by Phyllis McGinley) and the TV version start in a similar way: Santa Claus is tired and sore and decides he wants to take Christmas off this year just like everybody else. However, the original story doesn’t have Jingle and Jangle the Elf, Mother Nature, or the Heat Miser and Snow Miser, all major elements to the story most of us know best. Heck, Mrs. Claus isn’t even in this version! The only other character that is in both stories is little Ignatius Thistlewhite, but in the book he’s a Santa believer from the start.
I don’t want to give too much away because there are obviously some differences here (even though you know how it ends), but it’s more fun to bask in Karloff’s mellifluous tones if you don’t know every single thing that’s going to happen. Now enjoy the great Boris Karloff narrating “The Year Without a Santa Claus”:
This narration takes up one whole side of the record. The other side has Christmas songs on it by various artists. If you’d like the entire album, you can find it here. And if you’d like to read more tidbits about this recording, Max the Drunken Severed Head has some other interesting background information on his blog here. See you next time!