Accordion Guy Advent Calendar, Day Fifteen: A Christmas Carol

Picture: Scrooge McDuckFor

a long time, adapting Charles Dickens’ classic tale A Christmas Carol

was a tried-true cliche for television shows. The setup was always the

same: some character who was behaving badly (it wasn’t necessarily

greed) would get visited by three ghosts who would show him the error

of his or her ways. I remember some of the more successful attempts

such as Blackadder’s Christmas Carol and the WKRP in Cincinatti

episode in which Mr. Carlson doesn’t hand out Christmas bonuses, eats

one of Johnny’s brownies and has a dream in which he gets visited by

the ghosts (the Marley in this case being Bob


I also remember sillier adaptations, such as the Six Million

Dollar Man episode title A Bionic Christmas Carol, which is

summarized as follows:


makes Steve give up his Christmas holiday to investigate a major systems supplier

for the space projects.  Oscar fears that sabotage in the life support systems

may affect a Mars landing.  Horton Budge is a cynical industrialist and is

so tight that his nephew, Bob Crandall, who is employed at Budge’s plant,

isn’t paid enough to support his family.  The sabotage that Oscar fears is

the result of the low morale at the plant caused by Budge’s miserly ways. 

Steve utilizes his bionics to bring some cheer and a change of heart to Budge

and his family

I was nine years old when the episode was aired (December 1976), and for some reason, it’s permanently burned into my memory.

There’ve also been many movie adaptations that have modernized the

tale, from the excellent Scrooged,

starring Bill Murray as a cynical

and selfish TV producer (and Bobcat Goldthwait playing the

Cratchit-like character) to the rather painful Skinflint: A Country

Christmas Carol, which was a made-for-TV musical that I think starred a

lot of the cast from Hee Haw.

I’m not as big a TV watcher as I used to be in my childhood and teen

years, so I don’t know if A Christmas Carol is still inspiring

television show plots. I thought that in the spirit of the cliche, I’d

present the original version in eBook form [412K, PDF] as

today’s Advent Calendar goodie.

Recommended Reading

Here’s a web page that covers a number of television and movie adaptations of A Christmas Carol.

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