There'll Be Scary Ghost Stories

18 December 2010, 11:29

The first time I watched Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol I was in my sister’s bedroom (while she was out), watching a portable set in the dark. The local ABC affiliate was running it at 8PM on a Monday, and I was aware that the station was breaking with network programming (an early example of Matlocking). Because of increased commercial time, the opening and closing bits were completely excised, so I was left with some impression of the setup of Magoo as actor in a stage play but no closure. As was typical for the time, WEWS had a 16MM print that had been screened many times and was grainy. Run that kind of print through projectors that had seen better days to be seen on a small portable, in a dark room, and depict such a dark series of sequences to an impressionable child, and Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol is even more haunting than was originally intended. Of course, in the early 1970s, television from even four years earlier seemed like it was from a forgotten, untouchable era.

I haven’t watched the show in a while (now playing on Hulu). I am reading the Darrell Van Citters book. You can also buy the soundtrack for the first time (digital only, and not lossless).

Rodney Eric Griffith

TV

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