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 pictures.

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!


Heat Miser or Snow Miser?
Heat Miser
Snow Miser
Paul McCartney
Stevie Wonder
Milk Filled Drum

Free polls from

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