Tuesday, December 20, 2011

'Foul Weather May Postpone Christmas'

A final note about an oddity in "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer": The program starts with a montage of newspaper headlines describing a mammoth snow storm.

The papers are dated December 1964 (the time the show originally aired). And yet, when Burl Ives appears as the snowman narrator, he refers to a big snow storm "a couple of years ago." This is the kind on inconsistency that we'd never notice in the pre-HD days — there's no way you'd be able to make out the date on any of the newspapers.

I also found it funny that the final paper in the montage is the San Francisco Chronicle.

It seems pretty unlikely that snow would cancel Christmas in the Bay Area. But then again, there was snow here in 1962 — "a couple of years" before the TV special originally aired. Maybe this freak California snowstorm inspired the writers.

I Googled some of the other headlines on the page ("Moon Shot Is Right on Target," "An Open Door In Space") to see if they were taken from a real edition. But without checking library archives, it's hard to tell.

Interestingly, the Lodi News-Sentinel used a similar "Moon Shot" headline a few months after the special first aired.

That layout looks like it's from 100 years ago. I guess even in 1965 newspapers hadn't yet learned the value of white space.