BATTLE OF THE MISER BROS.
THE HOT AND FRIGID STARS OF "A YEAR
WITHOUT A SANTA CLAUS" FACE OFF ONCE AND FOR ALL!
I'm a big time fan of the great puppet animation Christmas
specials by Rankin and Bass. From "Santa Claus is Coming To Town" to
"Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer" they've never failed to please. My
favorite, though, without a doubt, is 1974's "A Year Without A Santa Claus".
Mickey Rooney returns as Santa and Shirley Booth (TV's "Hazel") does a fantastic
job as Mrs. Claus, but it's the incredible (and all too brief) appearances by
Snow Miser and Heat Miser that make the special an all time classic!
The two brothers just don't get along. Just like Pat
Benatar said in her song, "Fire and Ice"... "you come on like a flame, but you
turn a cold shoulder!" I don't know why I quoted that, but it makes it
look like I know what I'm talking about if you're just skimming this for the
But who's really the better of the two Miser Brothers? Is
it "Mister 101" or "Mister 10 Below"? Hopefully we can settle this once
and for all, with a little help from you!
Snow Miser, aka "Mr. White Christmas", lives in the North Pole
and enjoys the cold. He sits on an icy chair and has icicles of snot
growing off his gigantic nose. The effects of the frigid temperature he
dwells in have an embarrassing shrinkage effect on his unmentionables, which
make him extra cranky, but his ability to make warm beer ice cold simply by
touching it make him indispensable at parties. Snow Miser was played by
Dick Shawn who also played Jack Tripper's father on "Three's Company", was
featured in the Michael Jackson epic "Captain EO", and died of a heart attack
while performing onstage in 1986. How's that for hardcore?
Heat Miser, aka "Mr. Green Christmas", lives in the bowels of
Hell itself. While eating fire and turning everything he touches into
molten goo, he basks in the fiery glory and keeps his icy brother's snow from
affecting the South by turning it in to rain. Heat Miser was played by
George S. Irving who also provided voice work as "Running Board" in the
short-lived cartoon "Go Go Gophers".
Perhaps one of the creepier (yet fascinating) aspects of the
Miser Brothers are the miniature versions of themselves that are ready to dance
and sing show tunes with them at a moment's notice. Long before Dr. Evil
had a Mini-Me version of himself made to stave off loneliness, these two made
multiple tiny copies that could shake a leg like nobody else!
Snow Miser had little buddies who wore top hats and danced with
precision and grace. (NOTE: To the asshole that hacked in to my web site
and replaced the second picture with a shot from the "Ebony and Ivory" video,
that's very unprofessional, and if I find out who did it, I will kick your ass
"in perfect harmony" and turn your face into "side by side on my piano keyboard"
if you know what I mean). Actually, if you think about it, the
relationship between Heat and Snow Miser is an awful lot like Stevie Wonder and
Paul McCartney (except that Snow Miser can see, and Heat Miser's 1st wife was an
avid meat eater).
But speaking of 80s videos, remember that scene in "Centerfold"
by The J. Geils Band, when you see this drum that looks really cool, and right
when the sticks start beating on it... holy shit! It's full of milk!
Those Geils boys really knew how to prank you back in the day! I dwell on
this often, wondering why the hell they had milk on their drum. If anyone
knows the answer, email me and I'd love
to hear it!
Heat Miser's dancers were a little more versatile. They had
the hat wearing and singing/dancing part down, but they could also hop around on
shovels as if they were some kind of crazy shovel-shaped hopping devices.
Finally we have the great songs. Snow Miser has a song
about himself that goes, "I'm Mr. White Christmas", while Heat Miser sings to
the exact arrangement, but merely changes the lyrics a bit. I'm not sure
which version came first, but they're both pretty kickass as far as songs that
brag about yourself go.
Well, clearly the arguments for Heat vs. Snow are compelling
indeed. So compelling that I can't make up my mind, so I need your help!
Vote in the poll below and let me know what you think!
TAKE THE HEAT MISER vs. SNOW MISER POLL
AND ENJOY DEMOCRACY IN ACTION!