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Gonzo's Guide to The Muppet Christmas Carol

written by the Great Gonzo

The following is an article from The Official Movie Magazine in the winter 1993 issue.
Click here to purchase this movie.

Greetings! It is I, the Great Gonzo, and I am here to show you some exciting highlights of The Muppet Christmas Carol. Why, may you ask, was I given this job? Because, as the movie's narrator, I play the literary genius himself, Charles Dickens.
The Muppet Christmas Carol is a story about a man named Ebenezer Scrooge. Ebenezer does not look like a happy man because he is not a happy man. He is a cheap, heartless man. In fact, Scrooge reminds me of my great-uncle Blonzo-well, that's another story.
Now, Scrooge owned a counting house, and you'd think that being around so much cash, he might be willing to part with some. No, not Ebenezer. He was so cheap he wouldn't even buy a lump of coal to heat his office. His poor bookkeepers' pens had turned to inksicles and their assets are frozen. The old cheapskate even refused to give a little money to Dr. Honeydew and Beaker for charity. Scrooge even scared Beaker so badly, the poor guy wouldn't come out of his dressing room for three days.
But Scrooge couldn't rain on the spirits of his employee, Bob Cratchit. This was a frog filled with Christmas cheer who wasn't about to let a little bah humbug ruin his holiday.
After a long, cold day at the counting house, Bob Cratchit went hom to enjoy dinner with his family, and Scrooge headed home for an experience that would change his life. Of course, he didn't know that at the time. If he had, there wouldn't be much of a story, now would there?
Scrooge had just settled down for a typical evening alone, when all of a sudden two rather vocal gents appeared. No, not carolers...ghosts. Right there in Scrooge's living room. They were the ghosts of his greeting old business partners, Jacob and Robert Marley. Personally, I would've perferred carolers.
Of course, Scrooge was a terrible host and didn't offer them hot chocolate or anything like that. (Not that anyone knows exactly that to offer ghosts.) But the Marleys were not there for Scrooge's hospitality. They were there to issue a warning: change your ways, Ebenezer, or you'll end up like us.
Just to make sure he got the message, Jacob and Robert said, three more ghosts would visit Scrooge that night.

The first was the Ghost of Christmas Past. This spirit took Scrooge back to his childhood. The idea was to show Scrooge he hadn't always been such a cranky humbug.
The first stop down memory lane was Scrooge's old schoolhouse. This was kind of a sad scene because it turned out he'd been a pretty lonely boy.
The next stop was the annual Christmas party at the Fozziwig factory, where Scrooge and the Marley brothers worked when they were young. Boy, that was some kind of party. A great band, all kinds of food and what do you know-a young and even handsome Scrooge falling in love.

The second ghost was the Ghost of Christmas Present. This large and jolly spirit showed Scrooge how all of England was enjoying Chistmas at that very moment.
They popped in on Fred and Clara (that's Scrooge's nephew and his wife), who were celebrating Christmas with some friends. It's a shame Scrooge and the Ghosts could not be seen, because Scrooge had on this really smart bed gear. I wouldn't mind owning a robe and cap just like that myself.
Fred and his friends had just finished the plum pudding and were about to start a game. Scrooge was finally getting into the spirit of things and wanted to join the fun-until he realized the joke was on him. Boy, Scrooge's face was red.
Next they went to Bob Cratchit's house. (You remember Bob? The frog at Scrooge's office?) This was the first time Scrooge had ever seen the Cratchit family, and he was quite touched by them-so happy, yet so poor. Bob's missus, Emily, was preparing a Christmas feast of a very, very small goose. Scrooge was amazed at how little the Cratchits had to eat. (I was just amazed they got a pig to cook).
Now Emily Cratchit wasn't quite as filled with the holiday spirit as her husband, Bob. She really disliked Scrooge, and not even Christmas was going to make her forget it. In fact, Christmas made he remember it. It was all Scrooge's fault they barely had enough to eat, Emily fumed. (Take it from me, this time it was lucky Scrooge was invisible. This is not a pig to make angry.)
Scrooge felt especially sorry for the youngest Cratchit, Tiny Tim. He was a sickly frog who, despite his illness, was just as cheerful as his father. But there was something about Tim that made Scrooge worry. Could this be the young frog's last Christmas?
That, however was not for this Ghost to reveal. Scrooge was going to get a look at the future from the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come.

The last Ghost wsa a very tall, very scary fellow. Whew, just looking at it was enough to make the hair on my nose stand on end. It didn't even have a face-and it wasn't much on conversation, either. Without saying a word, it took Scrooge to a funeral procession. But this was no ordinary funeral, because no one was really upset. In fact, people were laughing and making jokes about the deceased. This really worried Scrooge, he certainly didn't want to end up like that guy.
Then, the Ghost took Scrooge to the Cratchit house. At first, Scrooge was relieved, because the Cratchits had been so cheerful the last time he saw them. But this time the Cratchit home was cheerless. Poor Emily was wiping a tear from her eye, and Scrooge knew that Tiny Tim had not lived to see another Christmas.
Boy, you'd think that things couldn't get any worse for Scrooge. But the Ghost had one last trick up his sleeve. Before Scrooge knew what was what, he was standing before a long-neglected grave, the grave of the man whose funeral he'd witnessed. He read the name on the tombstone, and sure enough, it was Ebenezer...Ebenezer Scrooge!
Whoa! Now if that doesn't curl your hair I don't know what will! It sure scared Scrooge. Made his bed cap stand straight up he was so scared. And better yet, it changed him. Oh, it's not like he woke up in his bathing suit or anything. It's just that he felt like a new man.
Now here's the most amazing part of this story: After he got dressed, Scrooge headed out to the street full of joy and good will. When he bumped into Dr. Honeydew and Beaker, he insisted on giving them a huge donation. He also had Bean Bunny buy him the biggest turkey in the city. And, he stopped by the Cratchits to give them the turkey and tell Bob he was due for a raise. Well! That was enough to put a stopper in Mrs. Cratchit's mouth.
Sniff. I just love happy endings, don't you? They make me feel all warm and tingly inside-although that could be the macaroni and mold casserole I had for lunch. Anyway, this is the Great Gonzo bidding you farewell and wishing you happy holidays!

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