TV

The Strangest Christmas Specials in TV History

Should we just Cancel Christmas Specials?

Christmas is an impossible holiday for pop culture to get right.

While pop culture flips out about how the new Kacey Musgrave's Christmas Show is about as perfect as they come, it's worth noting that a successful holiday special is as rare as Santa Claus himself. The outing is a guaranteed failure from the jump, and rarely ever pans out the way it's initially intended. From Tabitha Stephens in blackface to Santa Claus being raised on lioness milk, here are the most uncomfortable Christmas specials in history. You may not want to watch them, but you can't look away.

Bewitched: "Sisters At Heart" – 1970

On this incredibly problematic holiday episode of Bewitched, Samantha's daughter, Tabitha, wants to be "sisters" with her new black friend Lisa, so she casts a spell to give them both polka dots. Meanwhile, Tabitha's father loses out on a job opportunity after his racist boss falsely believes that he is married to a woman of color. To quell his bigotry, Tabitha's mother, who is a witch, casts a spell on her husband's superior, so he see's everyone, including himself, as having dark skin. The result is nauseating.

Brothers Mark Wahlberg, Paul Wahlberg and Donnie Wahlberg.

A&E/Wahlburgers

Donnie Wahlberg

Chef Paul Wahlberg always knows when his brother, Donnie Wahlberg, is in town. How? A mass of fans will turn up to their Wahlburgers restaurant chain, signaling that the New Kids on the Block singer is on his way!

"I know Donnie's coming because the Blockheads come beforehand," Paul tells us. "The message gets out there, everyone comes and that unity is amazing."

Donnie and Paul teamed up with actor brother Mark Wahlberg to launch their first Wahlburgers in Massachusetts in 2011, and the business, now global, was also the focus of reality TV series, Wahlburgers.

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MUSIC

Now, Now Try to Find the Holiday Magic with "Lonely Christmas"

The synth-pop duo return with an original holiday song.

Considering it's supposedly the most wonderful time of the year, there sure are a lot of heartbroken Christmas songs.

There's something about the romanticism and familial connotation of winter that can make the season feel upsettingly isolating—a solitude that the band Now, Now are all-too familiar with. The Minnesota indie duo voice their blues on "Lonely Christmas," their latest original track for the holidays, which finds singer KC Dalager so mournful that she can't even feel the bitter cold.

Now, Now - "Lonely Christmas" www.youtube.com

"I can't cry anymore for you, baby," singer KC Dalager coos. "No I can't think about the new year / And I won't write another song for you, honey / But I'm still wishing." Over poppy synths and the steady chug of jingle bells, the track builds off the shimmer of Now, Now's latest record Saved, peppered with festive effects.

"This song came about because I always get really lonely and bummed out during the holidays," Dalager explained, "I try every year to overcome that, so writing this song is another attempt to reclaim the magic of the season." For those who feel a little estranged when the leaves change color, Now, Now offer a slice of togetherness.

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