Monday, December 25, 2017

Christmas 1987. Respect!

2017 is guttering its last light, and to many I'd imagine it's goodbye and good riddance. But before we leave it all behind and ride the shopping trolley into oblivion, let's enjoy this moment in which, at the Monkeyhouse at least, a real sense of Christmas cheer has genuinely descended.

Your writer, once a few days of non-work had passed, finaly shucked off a year's work worries and just learned to enjoy the brief time off. His wife of now sixteen years (for whom he is eternally grateful) found her groove in seasonal craft and no wooden clothespeg is safe. Meanwhile, Jet Jr has 'clicked' with Christmas, his days filled with revised wish lists and enquiries about the physics of Santa's chimney-related speliology.

It would be ill-fitting, therefore, to select a Christmas song which is anything but traditional, and so in 2017 I'm going back to the classics. Thirty years ago to 1987, in fact, where an SAW-revived Kim Wilde and a peak-powered, late lamented Mel Smith have joined forces to squeeze out a cheesy hit for Comic Relief. Here's the other Mel & Kim with a distinctly Eighties' take on the Brenda Lee yuletide belter:

Look at that. Look at it! So Eighties with the big hair, the obligatory Ray Bans, Curiosity Killed the Cat, random video effects and the quaint 50s nostaliga of it all - including the Mekon! I've just watched it with the sound down and it's still watchable for one key ingredient: Melvin Kenneth Smith, one of my favourite UK comedians and his marvellous ability to mug his way out of any situation, however ridiculous.

Sure, his erstwhile comedy partner Griff Rhys Jones is in the mix, but for me Mel was the greater talent, his presence a mark of quality on many projects outside their combined efforts Not the Nine O'Clock News and Alas Smith and Jones. One of the things I want to do in 2018 is reacquaint myself with his short-lived sitcom Colin's Sandwich, featuring Smith as the titular sandwich would-be horror writer and his take on British comedy's most enduring couple: the middle-aged man and his neuroses.

But I'm drifting. Outside it's a balmy 25 degrees, the hills are scorched and water restrictions loom for Wellington, but inside this house there's a little piece of northern hemisphere tat to mark the occasion and see us through. So Season's Greetings from Jetsam and the Simian family, and here's to a wonderful 2018.

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