Advent Calendar House

Hosted ByMike Westfall

A podcast salute to all holiday specials, but mostly the Christmas ones.

Advent Calendar House: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

Santa Claus squints his eyes as Rudolph’s red nose shines in his face.

It’s the 50th episode of the Advent Calendar House, so it’s time to tackle the Christmas special that put Rankin/Bass on the map and into our hearts, 1964’s “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.”


On This Episode

  1. Mike Westfall (@fallwestmike), ostrich-riding cowboy struggling with an inferiority complex despite being able to outrun a horse.
  2. Brandon Medley (@brandmed) from Blessed Are the Geek.
  3. Joey O. (@ImGonnaDJ24) from Y-Not Radio and Words With Nerds.

Topics and Tangents

  1. Is Santa really this big of a jerk or just hangry?
  2. The History Channel on the creation of Rudolph.
  3. Mashable’s 12 ‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer’ facts.
  4. Burger King and Hallmark’s Rodney Reindeer plushes, which at one point doubled as stockings.
  5. Rudolph almost had huge, glowing eyes instead of a red nose, and all I can think of is the terrifying original version of Mr. Snuffleupagus.
  6. The rare and expensive Santa’s Castle play set, which includes Santa and Mr. Claus’s maybe queen-size bed.
  7. A lot of voices in this cast were later part of the 1960s “Spider-Man” and “The Marvel Super Heroes” animated series.
  8. The first mention of Santa having a wife was in a short story by Philadelphia missionary James Rees in 1849.
  9. The mystery of the head elf’s suddenly changing voice: Wikipedia claims it’s intentional, but we’re not buying it.
  10. Carl Banas, the voice of the head elf, was also the original voice of Sweetums in “Tales from Muppetland: The Frog Prince.”
  11. Fame and Fortune,” a song that replaced “We’re a Couple of Misfits” as Rudolph and Hermey’s duet from 1965 to 1997.
  12. You can meet characters from this version of “Rudolph” at SeaWorld, Busch Gardens, and Sesame Place.
  13. Arthur Rankin Jr. explains why Dolly’s on the Island of Misfit Toys on NPR’s “Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me.”
  14. Santa’s still “skinny” on Christmas Eve, but fattens up by that night. What did he eat?
  15. The original ending included Yukon Corneilius finding a peppermint mine, later replaced by popular demand with the scene of Santa stopping to pick up the misfit toys.
  16. “The Enchanted World of Rankin/Bass: A Portfolio” on Amazon or MiserBros.com.
  17. Original figures of Rudolph and Santa were found in an attic and appraised on “Antiques Roadshow” in 2005. They were later sold and restored.

Previous Episodes of This Podcast Mentioned


“Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” ©1964 Rankin/Bass Productions.
Closing music: “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” by the California Raisins, from Will Vinton’s Claymation Christmas Celebration.

The Advent Calendar House is on the web at adventcalendar.house, on Twitter @adventcalhouse, and part of the Christmas Podcast Network.