Ira introduces us to Santa Allen. A man who is NOT the real Santa Claus but who will – for the first time ever – be sitting in a chair, dressed as Santa, asking little children what they want for Christmas this year. He’s nervous.
Some of the best improv actors in the country join us for a special Christmas themed performance recorded live at the Bellhouse in Brooklyn. Scott Adsit, Mike Birbiglia, Aidy Bryant, Chris Gethard, Tami Sagher, and Sasheer Zamata dream up a magical world on stage that’s only possible at Christmas.
Writer Russell Banks tells the story of a teenager, estranged from his family, who plans a triumphant return home for the holidays. But when he puts his plan into action, it drives his family further away, and simultaneously puts him on the wrong side of the law.
Maya Gurantz tells the story of Glenn and Laurie Mutchler, who go further than most parents to create a magical Christmas for their kids, Colin, Erica and Adam. Theirs included a family mythology of Santas that had its own logic, with many Santas and a family elf named Jeko, who were never jolly and often thrillingly scary.
The great Christmas classics are all like fables. David Sedaris contributes his own, about barnyard animals who decide to play "Secret Santa." David is the author of many books, including a collection of Christmas stories, Holidays on Ice.
David Rakoff tells about his experience playing Sigmund Freud in the window of upscale Barney's department store in Manhattan. For Christmas. This was the first of dozens of appearances on our show by David Rakoff, who died in 2012.