You’ve may’ve seen Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer over a billion times, but unless you’re over the age of 45, you’ve NEVER seen this…
When Hermey’s boss isn’t dressing down elves, he also hocks vacuums
One thing that sucks about being a completist dork is that you’ll never truly be able to see older Christmas specials exactly as they originally aired. Back before I was born, it wasn’t uncommon to see the show’s stars interacting directly with their sponsor’s products during commercial breaks. I’m sure you’ve all seen The Flintstones hocking Winston cigarettes, right?
I understand that these older sponsorships no longer have much of a place on today’s TV airwaves, but I still think nerds like me should certainly have the right to see them. And while I bitched more about the lost footage of the Peanuts interacting with Coca-Cola in my write up on A Charlie Brown Christmas, this is arguably cooler (And older by one year!)
This is ridiculously amazing find. I love the internet!
Common Knowledge: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer was largely underwritten by General Electric back in 1964, and while the stellar DVD and Blu-Ray releases do contain almost all the footage, and additional footage from the special, they’ve been sorely lacking this heaving dollop of awesome sauce you see above!
This character is known only as “Tall Elf” in the special
You may’ve heard that Rudolph premiered under The General Electric Fantasy Hour, but I personally had just assumed it originally aired with a couple of “Brought to you by” bumpers and that would be it. Not so!
Can’t believe print ads have been archived better than actual footage that undoubtedly involved many more people and was much more expensive to produce
Not only was the sponsored footage produced by Rankin/Bass themselves, it stars the characters from the special, voiced by the same actors, singing the praises of sensational new products of the day!
Too cool for conventional ovens
Say what you will about the ethicality of classic characters used to pitch housewares, you can’t ignore the fact that the models used are undoubtedly heirlooms and this newly discovered footage amounts to almost ten minutes of footage, the world has never seen before!
This company makes nuclear power plants now?!
Seriously, how cool is this?! I especially love the whimsical nature of the products showcased here, as they’re so adorable in their attempts at being futuristic, you’d probably think they were parodies. That is, if these weren’t very, very real.
Batshit nuts about all things General Electric!
I know more footage like this has to exist for other specials, so I encourage anyone working in television archives or old enough to have been involved in these productions to hop the hell on YouTube right quick! I can give you a 80% guarantee you won’t be sued.
Lay your sacrifice at the feet of the GE sappling!
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Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer appears on an ultra affordable standalone DVD, but with no notable bonus features to speak of, I’d have to recommend The Original Christmas Classics Boxed set. The price is a steal, plus it contains six more classic Christmas specials, including other Rankin/Bass stop motion classics like The Little Drummer Boy and Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town. And I can’t recommend the Holiday Figurine set enough. Featuring almost all of Rudolph‘s primary cast, I propose that this become every atheist’s annual nativity scene. High-def owners will also want to check out the new Rudolph Blu-ray, which in spite of what you might think, truly astounds!