The 12 episodes of Christmas

2016-12-17 08:01

Johannesburg - To celebrate the 12 days of Christmas, we bring you essential festive-season viewing from 12 of our favourite TV comedies.

1. Friends: The One with the Holiday Armadillo (S7, E10)

It’s two days before Christmas and Ross can’t find a Santa suit to surprise little Ben. So, he improves - as “Santa’s representative for all the southern States … and MEXICO!”, Just as he’s starting to get Ben interested in Hannukah, he is upstaged by the “real” Santa, who can’t work out what “weird turtle-man” is doing in his living room.

2. The Office: Christmas Party (S2, E10)

Predictably, Michael ruins Christmas for the Dunder Mifflin employees, despite his best intentions, by buying a tree that’s too big for the office, interfering with Angela’s party-planning committee, and messing up Secret Santa - putting Jim’s chances of finally telling Pam how he feels in jeopardy. 

3. Community: Abed’s Uncontrollable Christmas (S2, E11)

One of the cleverest and most popular episodes of Community, this one is almost entirely stop-motion animated, because that’s what the world looks like in Abed’s overactive imagination this Christmas. We travel into the depths of Abed’s delusions, and find out the reason he’s so obsessed with the festive season.

4. Scrubs:My Own Personal Jesus (S1 E11)

JD tries to keep up the Christmas spirit, despite having to break terrible news to a patient’s family. He fails to convince Turk that there’s no such things as miracles, can’t get Nurse Tisdale to meet him under the mistletoe, and is forced to film the birth of Dr Cox’s friends’ baby. It looks like it’s about to be a very miserable Christmas, but at least he’s got his fantasies to keep his spirits up. (The janitor dancing to gospel music is a sight to behold.)

5. Parks and Recreation: Ron & Diane (S5, E9)

Leslie Knope makes a gorgeous elf in this episode, especially when singing her “Merry Congratu-Christmas Carol” to Ron. But the rest of the Pawnee Parks Department staff are in for some nasty surprises, with Ron’s psycho ex, Tammy, gatecrashing his awards ceremony, and Jerry throwing a Christmas party without inviting any of his coworkers.

6. Mad Men: Christmas Comes But Once a Year (S4, E2)

It may be the most wonderful time of the year, but Stirling Cooper Draper Price is still feeling the pinch, so they throw a more subdued Christmas party than in years gone by. Don Draper, spending his first Christmas without his children, takes the “drink” part of “eat, drink and be merry” a little too seriously, and manages to seduce and then alienate his secretary Alison.

7. The Boondocks: A Huey Freeman Christmas (S1, E7)

In a clever spin on “A Charlie Brown Christmas”, the Boondocks writers critique earnest liberals and the consumerism of the holidays in one fell, very funny swoop. Riley attacks a mall Santa with a golf club, and Huey gets to rewrite his school’s Christmas concert as The Adventures of Black Jesus - with Quincy Jones directing.

8. House: Joy to the World (S5, E11)

Dr House is trying to be nice to his patients during the holidays, but fails miserably when treating a young woman who doesn’t know she’s pregnant and swears she’s a virgin. He says “anything’s possible” sarcastically, but could it turn out that he’s looking at a real-life example of an immaculate conception?

9. Everybody Loves Raymond: The Toaster (S3, E12)

Ray gives his parents an outrageously ridiculous gift for Christmas, and is devastated to find out what they did with it. Everybody Loves Raymond is known for its brilliant one-liners, and this episode is packed with zingers, including Frank saying to Marie: “Trophy wife? What contest in hell did I win?”

10. Six Feet Under: It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year (S2, E8)

In one of the most satisfying and beautifully written episodes in the whole of season 2, we see each member of the Fisher family taking a moment to quietly remember their time with Nathaniel, on the first anniversary of his death. And the funeral home stays open on Christmas Day for a send-off for a special kind of Santa.

11. Frasier: Miracle on Third or Fourth Street (S1, E12)

It’s one disappointment after another for the doctor - first, he is elected to drive a drunk, amorous co-worker home from the Christmas party, then has to hand over his terrible present to Roz after opening her magnificent gift to him, and then finds out his son Frederick isn’t coming for his scheduled visit. As usual, Frasier takes out his anger on his family, which is both painful and funny to watch.

12. Little Britain: Little Britain Abroad

In this two-part Christmas special, David Walliams and Matt Lucas send their mottley collection of characters around the world. From Daffyd sabotaging Myfannwy’s gay bar in Mykonos to Vicky Pollard taking the stand at her trial in Thailand, this special episode proves that the Little Britain crowd is as offensive and hysterical as ever, even on Christmas.

All these shows and more are available on

(Photos: ShowMax)

Read more on:    showmax  |  series  |  tv  |  comedy

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.