Ho ho howdy folkses! Welcome to the First Day of our second annual The Twelve Days of Shitmas celebration, where your holiday nostalgia gets twelve swift kicks right in the roasted chestnuts. Let's face it, 2020 has been a tough slog for all of us, so let's grab some cocoa, put on our most comfy slippers and sit back to enjoy a little snark, a little fun and maybe even a little bit of Christmas magic. What's that? You want to stir your cocoa with a candy cane and add a little three-star brandy for an extra kick? Well, you just go right ahead, people. Live a little. Getting drunk--and talking smack--are what Shitmas is all about.

Last year we embarked on our inaugural Shitmas journey with a rancid little 1980's debacle called Alf's Special Christmas, featuring a dying child, a suicidal Santa and a foam rubber alien with narcissistic personality disorder. This year's First Day offering is no less stale, but entirely different in tone, and features two of the biggest TV stars of that same unfortunate decade. It's a cheese-drenched wisp of sentimental fluff, dripping with saccharine sentiments, corny crooners and just a hint of daylight kidnapping to keep things spicy. In short, it's a perfect start to this year's Shitmas festivities!

Shitmas comes but once a year.

We're posting a brand new review of a Christmas Special every other day, culminating in what we consider the worst of the bunch on Christmas morning. Unlike regular Christmas where the days run sequentially, Shitmas has a day off in between each review to recover from whatever abomination we've just had to endure, because hardened as we are from years of bad movie self-abuse there's still a limit to what even we can take.

Speaking of self-abuse, here's Mr. T. & Emmanuel Lewis in A Christmas Dream, a special so darn sweet and syrupy you can put it on your pancakes.

Everybody knows Mr. T, of course, former bodyguard and professional wrestler, and the breakout star of Rocky III (1982) and The A-Team (1983-87). With his signature mohawk, heavy gold chains and gruff-yet-cuddly persona he's been an instantly recognizable and beloved pop-culture icon for nearly 38 years.

Born Lawrence Tureaud, Mr. T. was at his career apex in the 1980's, appearing as a guest or a regular on scores of television series, participating in WWE wresting events and even headlining his own Saturday morning cartoon. Although no longer as prolific a presence, his enduring appeal continues to this day, and he still pops up occasionally in some rather unexpected places...including as a contestant on Dancing with the Stars in 2017.

Time has not been as kind to the career of Emmanuel Lewis, the diminutive star of the smash hit sitcom Webster (1983-89), though he has managed to avoid the personal life pitfalls that beset a disturbing majority of former child stars.

Lewis was already a veteran of dozens of television commercials, including a long series shilling Burger King's signature Whopper sandwich, before landing his signature role on Webster. He was was 12 years old when the series began, but with his short stature and youthful appearance he was able to convincingly play a child of six. Inevitably he became typecast as that child, and has only had a handful of acting roles since the series folded. He's made something of a cottage industry of making cameo appearances as himself, though and otherwise devotes himself to the study of taikwan-do and his extensive interest in Freemasonry.

Since he's basically playing a slightly more jaded version of his famous sitcom character here I'm just going to refer to him as Webster for the duration of the review.

We open with Mr. T dressed as a street corner Santa Claus standing in front of a little chimney-shaped money bucket, ringing a bell and taking donations from passers-by somewhere in New York City. Webster walks up to him and tugs on the hem of his red coat to ask him if street corner Santa-ing is a decent job. Mr. T. says it's not a good job in July, but it's a good job now. He wants to know what kind of kid asks Santa Claus a question like that, though and Webster replies "a kid who doesn't care too much about Christmas."

"I pity the fool who doesn't love Christmas!"

Webster says a lot of people don't care about Christmas, either, like all those thoughtless pedestrians on that very street who walk right by without putting any donations in Santa's chimney. Mr. T insists that just because they don't pony up the cash it doesn't mean they don't care. It is New York, after all, where you can spend upwards of a hundred-and-fifty bucks on pizza, breadsticks and a couple of beers.

As they engage in this scintillating debate, then-Mayor of New York City Ed Koch walks up, puts some money in the chimney and asks Mr. T "How am I doing Santa?"

"Just fine, Mr. Mayor, but that better have been a goddamn twenty."

As Ed Koch wanders off to go cut a ribbon at a daycare center, balance a transportation budget or do whatever the hell else it is mayors do, Webster explains to Mr. T that he rarely sees his parents, and because they don't do any of the traditional, consumerist holiday bullshit together it's obvious that they just don't care about him or about the Christmas holiday, either, and this has made him bitter and jaded beyond his years.

Mr. T says he doesn't have any parents or family at all, but he does have lots of friends and they all love Christmas. He says if the kid will only follow him a few blocks to a toy store--where for some reason he has a locker where he keeps his clothes--he can introduce him to a lot of great people who can show him what the Christmas spirit is really all about. He even bets the kid a dollar he can change his mind about the holidays, and Webster, barely seven years old but already an irrepressible gambling addict, agrees.

"This is my big score this time...I can feel it!"

Mr. T's "relief Santa" arrives and wee Webster walks off hand in hand with this total stranger he just met on a street corner in New York because he said he'd take him to a toy store. Nope. That doesn't sound shady at all.

They head to FAO Schwarz, the massive and iconic New York toy emporium that featured so prominently in the Tom Hanks mega-hit Big (1988), where he and Robert Loggia danced out renditions of "Heart and Soul" and "Chopsticks" on an oversized piano keyboard embedded in the floor. Mr. T tells Webster to head inside and wait at the magic department until he can change his clothes and come to fetch him.

This is feeling more and more like an abduction by the minute.

So Mr. T goes off to change his clothes and Webster heads inside, only he's so tiny he can't even open the door by himself. He has to wait for a shopper to leave, then slip in sideways before the door slams shut.

He mills about looking at the displays for awhile, pausing to fiddle with at a little wind-up robot, try on an oversized cowboy hat and gaze distractedly at a model train running on tracks suspended above the shoppers' heads.

This triggers a vivid early memory for me of the Strawbridge and Clothier department store in Philadelphia, where during Christmas they had a train like this one running at eye level as you rode the escalator down to the toy department and Santa's Christmas Village. Even now can I remember the magic and wonder of that descent, hoping against hope that when I got through the massive queue and it was finally my turn to meet Santa I wouldn't pee on his lap from the three orange sodas I'd just had at the cafeteria.

Anyway, Webster eventually reaches the Magic section, where celebrity illusionist David Copperfield is trying to teach a trick to a barely-verbal three year-old girl as she repeatedly fumbled with her dress and gazes pleadingly off-camera for her parents to rescue her. He reinforces the special's emerging theme of borderline inappropriate adult-child interactions by asking the befuddled toddler whether she's married or single or has a boyfriend.

"I get off work in about an hour...maybe we can meet for a drink."

David Copperfield tells her he had a girlfriend once but she broke his heart, and he demonstrates the trauma of the breakup by carefully tearing a little paper heart into four pieces. He then slowly and precisely balls it up between his fingers, only to unfold it a moment later to reveal that it has reassembled itself.

It's a fairly standard little trick any amateur magician might perform at a child's birthday or gentleman's stag do, and I can't help but feel it's completely unworthy of a guy who at the time was the most famous illusionist in the world.

I mean, he's not exactly making the Statue of Liberty disappear here, is he?

Copperfield spots Webster waiting and hastily shoos the little girl off-set, presumably so she can go home and pretty up for their hot date later that evening. He tells Webster that Mr. T had called and said to look after him...which if David Copperfield was busy chatting up a toddler and Mr. T was busy changing his clothes and Webster only had to walk in the front door and ride up an escalator, then when exactly did that happen?

Since they've got him there anyway David Copperfield does one more cheap-ass magic trick. This time he asks Webster if he smokes, and I have to wonder who thought it was a good idea to let this guy around children unattended, because these questions are giving off a pretty strong "perv in a playground" vibe.

He borrows a quarter from Webster, then borrows a cigarette from some random guy browsing around the magic displays, and I'm 99% certain the random guy is Kevin James from The King of Queens (1998-2007), appearing here as a featured extra some eight years before his first official acting credit.

I may be wrong. There's no "random dude with cigarette" credit in the cast list with which to back up my claim. I'd have you watch it so you could decide for yourself but I really don't think I could brimg myself to do that to you.

So David Copperfield slowly takes Kevin James' cigarette and slowly pushes it through the center of the coin until it's sticking out evenly on both sides. He then lights it up and takes a puff to demonstrate that it's actually all the way through the coin, explaining to Lewis that he doesn't really smoke, but he has to do it for the trick.

Yeah, I'm sure you've never smoked anything, David Copperfield. I'm sure that's just a plain old regular cigarette you're sucking on, too.

Much like Bill Clinton, David Copperfield does not inhale.

He slowly pulls the cigarette out then makes the coin disappear. You'd think Webster would be pretty pissed off, being as that was his last quarter and he needed it to call his bookie, but he just gets all wide-eyed with wonder, exclaiming that he wishes he could do that kind of magic. David Copperfield explains that what he does are illusions which are for the eye and the mind, whereas real magic, like the magic of Christmas, is for the heart.

Webster smells bullshit.

David Copperfield says he sees Mr. T waiting somewhere off camera, but before he sends the kid off he tells him to look in his pocket. Webster reaches in and pulls out his coin.

"Great! Now I can call Ernie and place that bet!"

We cut to outside the store to find that Mr. T has reserved a hansom cab to take them to Radio City Music Hall, which is apparently where the rest of his friends are waiting to spread some festive propaganda about the Christmas spirit.

As they ride along Mr. T explains that there's going to be a party later that evening, "what we call a Christmas a family reunion." Webster says he thought Mr. T didn't have a family, and Mr T clarifies that he doesn't have any blood relatives but he has lots of friends and to him they're like a family.

Webster says he wishes that's what he had instead of his stinky old parents. He whines about being a "latchkey kid," meaning both his parents have to work long hours to make ends meet, and he goes to school and comes home to an empty apartment, does his chores and homework on his own and often prepares his own meals while his parents are out winning the bread he eats.

The issue of "latchkey kids" was a much-debated hot-button issue in the 1980's, with conservatives decrying is as a sign of moral and societal decay and liberals pointing to it as a justification for a greater investment in social services. As divorce rates spiked more single parents had to work, and as the cost of living rose more two-parent families required additional income to put food on the table and keep a roof over their heads. I was a latchkey kid myself and I have to say I'd take that over "helicopter parenting" any day of the damn week.

To hear Webster talk you'd think he was abandoned on the streets each morning with a tin cup and a begging bowl.

Mr. T tells says he and all of his friends wish they had a mother and father to spend the holidays with, and what a damn shame it is that both Webster's parents work so hard to give him plenty of food and a nice place to live.

"In yo' face!"

Webster says Mr. T just doesn't understand. Sure, he says, they buy him a skateboard he doesn't even know how to use and has no interest in trying. Mr. T insists they just want him to get off his lazy, jaded ass and learn something new, but little Mr. Entitled Grumpypants says "What can you learn by falling on your rear end?"

Mr. T sees he's got a pretty hard case on his hands, so he decides to stop by the Rockefeller Center outdoor ice rink to give the little brat a lesson about resilience, gratitude and personal growth. He explains that falling down teaches you to get back up and try again, and to hammer home this sage bit of wisdom he points out a particularly agile xouple down on the ice and asks "Do you think they didn't take a lot of falling before they learned how to skate?"

By an astonishing stroke of television coincidence this couple just happens to be two-time Olympians and five-time U.S. Figure Skating champions Tai Babilonia and Randy Gardner, here to dazzle us the with the ice skating skills that pay their swanky ice skating bills.

All the tourists and just plain folks flee the rink as an insipid 80's synth-pop instrumental blares out over the soundtrack, clearly added in post-production at a jarringly high volume, and the Olympians proceed to perform a less-than-stellar routine that's strictly for TV consumption and nothing like you'd see during an actual competition.

I'm certainly not saying I can ice skate like they do, or indeed that I can ice skate at all. I can't. Strap a pair of blades onto my feet and they become two panicked sea otters tearing off in opposite directions...but then I never had Mr. T around to tell me to get up off my ass and try again, did I?

My point is if they'd done this routine at the Olympics they'd have come in dead last by a country mile, though I will concede there are a few impressive lifts.

Like this one, where Randy invites the crowd to examine Tai for anal polyps.

Looks like he found one.

We fade to a commercial break, and when we return Mr. T is walking Webster around to the stage entrance of The Radio City Music Hall, whose annual "Radio City Christmas Spectacular" is second only to MMT's own Shitmas celebration in wild popularity and international renown.

Inside the stage door office we meet Willie Tyler and Lester, an African American ventriloquist act who made hundreds of television appearances in sitcoms, talk shows, variety programs and commercials throughout the 1970's and 80's. Come to think of it they're the only African American ventriloquist act I've ever seen.

Seriously. Google "black ventriloquist act" and they're the only one that comes up.

Mr. T introduces Webster and tells Willie "This is the kid I told you about when I called." When the hell did he have time to make all these phone calls? This is before cell phones, remember, so he would have needed to stop at a pay phone on his way around the side of FAO Schwarz, make a call to David Copperfield then a call to Willie, then another to arrange the hansom cab ride, then get to his locker, change his clothes and meet back at the magic section before the end of the cigarette trick. I mean, Mr. T is pretty awesome and all, and he sure does pity a lot of fools, but still...he's not the goddamn Flash.

Mr. T asks Willie if it's okay to take Webster back through the stage door but Willie says he's gonna leave it up to Lester. Webster looks at the creepy hunk of painted wood and wire and says "But you're a dummy!" Lester replies "From what I hear you're a bit of a dummy yourself!"

"In yo' face 2: Electric Boogaloo!"

Lester explains that Webster has got to answer some questions if he wants to get inside and he starts grilling the kid about having a big chip on his shoulder and why he ates the holidays and why he's gotta be such a dick.

Eventually Lester gets down to asking Webster his name, where his father works and what's the phone number there under the guise of it being some kind of theater protocol, but we see Mr. T writing it down on a notepad and we know that it's exactly the info he would need to issue a ransom demand.

Willie says to Lester they should go ahead and give the kid a pass to get inside now so they can both go out and take a walk and maybe have a few puffs of one of David Copperfield's cigarettes. Webster asks who's going to watch the stage door then, and they say their "assistant" will do it. Willie reaches down below the counter and pulls out a ventriloquist dummy double of Mr. T.

"I pity the fool!" "No, I pity the fool!"

There's a brief, jokey exchange between Mr. T and Mini T that lasts all of about fifteen seconds--which surprisingly is more than enough time for the gag to become unbearably tedious.

Regular old, full-size Mr. T says he needs to make a call back to Maureen McGovern, Broadway diva, pop songstress, and erstwhile star of the Radio City Christmas show, who is at that moment rehearsing in her dressing room and is apparently another of his helpful friends in the entertainment industry.

He seems to be pretty well-connected for a guy who has to keep his clothes in a toy store locker room.

Willie calls back to Maureen's dressing room and asks if he can send Webster back to meet her, and when Webster heads out to do so Mr. T asks Willie and the dummies if they think the kid is getting the Christmas spirit yet. Mini T says he doesn't think so but that they're all going to keep on trying. Mr. T. says "Thanks, 'cause I don't want to lose this one."

Which implies that he's previously abducted other children off the streets of New York but they somehow managed to escape.

Webster heads back and meets Maureen McGovern, whose enormous dressing room features a grand piano and an indentured servant accompanist who was probably another of Mr. T's victims whose family couldn't afford the money to secure his release.

McGovern is best known for her pop hit "The Morning After," recorded for The Poseidon Adventure (1972) and released as a single that same year. The song was such a huge success that producer Irwin Allen hired her to record "We May Never Love Like This Again" for his follow-up blockbuster disaster flick The Towering Inferno in 1974. The song was another hit for her, but a predatory manager and the expiration of her contract with 20th Century Records soon left her career and finances in ruins. She quit performing for several years and took a job as a secretary in Florida, under the pseudonym Glenda Schwartz.

Here's the single of her comeback hit "Undercover Stenographer" (1978).

By the end of the 70's she'd been able to both resume her career and go back to using her own name, and by 1984 she was well established as a mid-tier recording artist and popular Broadway performer.

So Webster is with her in the dressing room, and McGovern asks him if he has a favorite Christmas song. He defiantly claims he does not. Okay, listen, kid: I'm not even Christian but even I have a favorite fucking Christmas song. At this point you're just being a contrary little shit.

Since Webbster is unwilling to play her game McGovern is left to choose a song to sing for him on her own. She chooses "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," which for the record is not my favorite, though it is mighty purdy.

She sucks out Webster's soul like a festive Yuletide Dementor.

Maureen finishes her song then kicks him out so she can get some actual work done, sending him to the auditorium to watch The Rockettes, Radio City's resident dance troupe, rehearse their routine for that evening's performance.

What with all the excitement of the big toy store, dime-store magic tricks, ventriloquist dummies, celebrity songstresses and being kidnapped by Mr. T, he's pretty darn pooped. He yawns and falls asleep in his seat, and we fade to a frosted-lens flimpse into his titular "Christmas Dream."

Instead of the shabby rehearsal clothes and bare stage we saw as Webster was falling asleep we now see the Rockettes dressed in life-sized toy soldier outfits, dancing against backdrop of twinkling stars and demonstrating some of their well-known precision line movements to "March of the Wooden Soldiers."

Meh. I'd rather watch Drum Corps International.

I cannot overstate how brain-bludgeoningly dull this sequence is. I get that it takes a lot of practice to move in the kind of perfect unison the Rockettes display here, splitting their lines and spinning them on an axis, and re-forming over and over again from various tangents. I can appreciate the skill required, but it's just not an interesting thing to watch when the music is so lifeless and the choreography is so repetitive. The fact that this lackluster tripe is Webster's big holiday dream fantasy just makes me dislike him even more, but I also kind of pity him. What kind of kid has such a dearth of imagination that this is the best he can manage, even in his sleep?

A sad day for childhood whimsy.

Eventually Webster dreams himself into the alleged action, dressed as the tiniest toy soldier, but being the splenetic little prick he is he can't just join in with the others, play nice and have a good time. He instead lights a cannon and blows all of the dancers down.

It's actually a preview of his next special "The Littlest Sociopath."

We fade back to Webster asleep in the auditorium as Mr. T shouts from the back of the house to wake him from his sugar-plum visions of mass slaughter. It's time to prepare for the big party, and Webster runs up the aisle as we fade to commercial.

When we return we're in an open hall with a balcony and a big staircase. There's a platform at the bottom of the steps with a huge Christmas tree and a bunch of extras are busy putting the finishing touches to the elaborate decorations on the walls and railings.

Webster asks Mr. T if everyone will give each other lots of presents at the party and he says no, everyone just gives their friendship, which, he insists "is the best gift in the world."

"So these friends... are they poor or just cheap?"

Mr. T gives a rather nice speech now about Christmas being a state of mind, how it means different things to different people. When Webster asks what it means to him he talks about growing up on welfare, and how he had very little materially when he was a child but that his family was loving and spiritually connected. It's the most autobiographical part of the special, as Mr. T was actually the son of a minister and grew up as part of a large, close-knit family who often struggled financially.

Mr. T. insists in his straightforward, homespun way that "Christmas without presents isn't that bad, but Christmas without love? That's bad. Christmas without friendship? That's bad. Christmas without hope? That's bad...but Christmas without sharing? That's real bad."

"You don't have any insulin do ya? 'Cause that monologue just made my blood sugar spike."

Maureen shows up now and does a little medley, "rehearsing" some of the songs she's supposed to perform later that evening. As she sings she slowly descends the stairs, stopping every now and then to pretend that she's helping put up decorations. She reminds me of a manager I used to have who always walked around with a pencil and a clipboard to make it look like he was busy when in reality he wasn't doing shit.

You're not fooling anybody Maureen.

Her medley consists of "Sleigh Ride," "Winter Wonderland" and "Let it Snow" with just a brief, jazzy nod to "Deck the Halls" to make it extra special. I can't deny that McGovern has a powerful voice, an impressive range and ultra-tight vocal control, but there's also just a hint of the over-annunciation and hyper-precise diction that so many stage performers cultivate, and which I personally find distracting.

Maureen finishes with a flourish and says she wants to have a serious talk with Webster. She explains that sometimes people say things when they feel bad that they don't really mean, and she reminds him about earlier when he said he didn't have a favorite Christmas song. She gently suggests that maybe that wasn't actually true, and Webster admits that yes, he does actually have a song of the season he likes best, and it's "Santa Claus is Coming to Town."

He even admits to having performed it in his school play, so Maureen and Mr. T browbeat him into getting up off his lazy, curmudgeonly ass and singing it for them right then and there. Webster insists he's not really much of a singer, but Maureen tells him "at Christmastime everybody's a singer," furthermore insisting that "at Christmas everyone sounds great and sings on key!"

Webster takes that as a challenge and heads right up onto the little stage to prove her wrong.

Can't we just pretend it's Arbor Day, or President's Day, or Fishfinger Appreciation Day or literally any other holiday where people don't get up and sing?

February 5th is National Shower with a Friend Day, but I suppose that wouldn't be appropriate here.

Webster finishes his song and Mr. T comes over to give him a pat on the back and an "attaboy." He asks what kind of performance he's going to give, but Mr. T keeps it close to the vest, saying that his part comes later when the party is in full swing and all the other guests have arrived.

Webster, softened by the plain and simple kindness of these gentle kidnappers and suddenly feeling rather more Christmassy than he thought himself capable of feeling, tells Mr. T he'd be happy to help him with whatever his act might be. Instead of a simple "no thanks, I'm good, bro," Mr. T brings up the terms of their gentlemen's wager, saying " sound like somebody who's on his way to losing his dollar."

"Aw shit, T! Now I'm gonna have to cut ya!"

We fade to another commercial and when we return it's time for the much-ballyhooed Christmas celebration with Mr. T's legion of cultishly cooperative show-people friends.

Mr. T steps out onto the little stage dressed in a snazzy tan suit with a red bow tie, and behind him on either side and all the way up to the balcony are the members of New Jersey's American Boychoir, taking time out from their own holiday program rehearsals to appear in this ill-advised bit of prime-time televisual offal. It probably seemed like an exciting opportunity when NBC executives first approached them about it, but as soon as Mr. T begins to deliver his act, a middle-school-level "True Meaning of Christmas" presentation, you can sense reality beginning to set in for them, with their shell-shocked faces and secret wishes that this shit was behind them and they were already on the bus back to Princeton.

It's the Clubber Lang comeback tour nobody asked for.

So Mr. T is going to tell us the tale of Mary and Joseph looking for an inn and ending up in a manger, and the birth of Jesus and the Star of Bethlehem and the Three Wise Men...and gosh, but it all kind of seems so familiar, like maybe I've heard this particular story somewhere before.

At the end of each section of Mr. T's narration the choir sings to illustrate whatever bit of the tale he's just told. Their numbers include truncated versions of "It Came upon a Midnight Clear," "Oh Little Town of Bethlehem," and "We Three Kings."

Mr. T is emotionally invested in this part of the special and you can tell that however stilted his recitation and corny his dialog, he's truly delivering it from the heart. Here we see the real reason Mr. T has become such a lasting cultural icon over the decades: it's not the gold chains, odd haircut or comically prickly personality, as entertaining as all of that might be. It's that's he's such a sincerely decent and caring man, and that regardless of what he's doing onscreen the authenticity of his personal character somehow manages to shines through. He's so earnest and genuine in everything he says and does it's just damn near impossible not to love him.

Eventually Maureen McGovern joins in with the choir, singing "Oh, Holy Night," which actually is my favorite Christmas song. Since I'm not a religious guy the lyrics don't hold the kind of profound meaning for me they otherwise might, but I'm a sucker for a solid melody and this one is particularly gorgeous.

Maureen McGovern sings it well, but she's no Lennon Sisters.

All through the song Mr. T sits at her feet and prays with the devout piety of a child. It's authentically sweet and highly endearing.

The pain of watching the rest of this thing melts away, if only for a moment.

Maureen brings Mr. T to the penultimate sequence of his narrative, describing the infant Christ in his swaddling clothes on his little hay bed, and how he was destined to be born as the Prince of Peace to redeem mankind and deliver us from sin. As the Boychoir begins singing "Silent Night" a nattily dressed black couple enter from a doorway at the top of the balcony and descend to an open space near the edge of the stage. These are Webster's parents, doubtless come to deliver the ransom check and retrieve their son, but not before Webster himself gets up, sidles next to Mr. T and takes a verse of the song solo.

"You can all go home soon, kid. I'm just waiting for the check to clear.

In the final part of Mr. T's speech he posits that not one of the teachers and preachers and historians who have discoursed over that famous night across the centuries ever confirmed whether the Christ child smiled...which seems like an awfully peculiar detail to get hung up on.

Renowned biblical scholar that I am, I'd like to put the speculation on this important theological point to rest right now: He didn't. Baby Jesus did not smile. He was a newborn baby. He cried for a titty, had some milk, yawned and went to sleep. I'm so glad I could clear that up for you, Mr. T.

The whole assemblage sings "Oh, Come All Ye Faithful," and when this final song is over Mr. T points out to Webster that his parents are there waiting for him. The newly repentant child runs over to embrace them, full to overflowing with his newfound faith and Christmas spirit.

They turn to leave so they can go file a police report but Webster tells them he has some important business to attend to first. He walks over to Mr. T and gives him a dollar, acknowledging that he has lost the bet.

"Thanks for the buck, son, but Spirit alone ain't gonna cure that gambling problem you got."

Webster runs off with his folks and Willie says to Mr. T "Seems like a nice kid. I hope he gets what he wants for Christmas."

Mr. T. holds up the dollar and says "I think he already did."

"I'm gonna get it laminated so I can show it to all the fools I pity."

We close out the special with "Joy to the World" with a skimpy montage of Webster and his parents finally doing the usual consumerist Christmas bullshit together they'd hoped some day to share.

It's a Christmas Dream come true.

The End.

So this was not good, but also not completely horrible. It was just kind of there, mostly rather tame and flavorless, and for me that made it much harder to get through than something objectively awful enough to make me feel strongly against it.

The takeaway is it's not worth a watch unless you're a hard-core Mr. T and Emmanuel Lewis fan and for reasons you can't justify even to yourself you feel compelled to see everything they ever appeared in. You might also watch it, I suppose if you're compiling a list of every single movie and tv cameo appearance by former New York mayor Ed Koch and you're unwilling to accept my word and screenshot for the fact that he was in it.

TL;DR: Go watch A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965) for the 1,257th time instead.

Merry Christmas, folkses.

Next Installment: December 5th!

As always, Cheers and thanks for reading!

Written by Bradley Lyndon in December, 2020.

Questions? Comments? Expressions of disgust? Why not skip the middleman and complain to me directly?

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