• Dr. Anthony Fauci is 80
• Anil Kapoor (Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, Slumdog Millionaire) is 64
• Ricky Martin is 49
• Author Stephenie Meyer (Twilight series) is 47
• TV host Ryan Seacrest is 46
• Michael Raymond-James (Once Upon A Time, True Blood) is 43
IT HAPPENED TODAY
• 1818: “Silent Night” was composed by Franz Xavier Gruber and Josef Mohr.
• 1931: New York City construction workers, at the future site of Rockefeller Center, dragged in a 12-foot Christmas tree and decorated it with tin cans and paper. The first official Rockefeller Center tree, with 700 blue and white lights, appeared two years later.
• 1968: The crew of Apollo 8 entered into orbit around the Moon, becoming the first humans to do so. They performed 10 lunar orbits and broadcast live TV pictures that became the famous Christmas Eve Broadcast, one of the most watched programs in history.
• 2000: The Miami Dolphins edged New England Patriots 27-24, but the teams left the field with three seconds left on the clock. Thirty-six minutes later, they were called back to the playing field to play the final 3 seconds. The final score did not change.
• 2007: An inmate sued the Utah Department of Corrections for denying him his right to practice an ancient Nordic religion while behind bars, saying that in order to properly practice his religion, he needed items including a Thor’s Hammer, a rune staff and a sword.
• 2014: A live Ebola sample was mistakenly sent to a U.S. Centers for Disease Control laboratory that did not meet safety and security standards for handling the virus.
• Christmas Eve
• Egg Nog Day
• National Chocolate Day. Another one? There’s a Chocolate Day in October, and a World Chocolate Day in July.
Gary Sandy (Andy Travis on WKRP In Cincinnati) is 75. Jimmy Buffett is 74. Barbara Mandrell is 72. Sissy Spacek is 71. CCH Pounder is 68. Annie Lennox is 66. Steve Wariner is 66. Canadian president Justin Trudeau is 49. “Boston Rob” Mariano (Survivor) is 45.
Special Events: Christmas Day. Christmas Pudding Day. Pumpkin Pie Day. “Kiss the Cook” Day.
America’s Most Wanted host John Walsh is 75. Humorist David Sedaris is 64. Jared Leto is 49. Kit Harington is 34.
Special Events: Boxing Day (Canada). Kwanzaa begins. Candy Cane Day. Thank-you Note Day. Whiner’s Day.
Wrestler Bill Goldberg is 54. Eva LaRue (CSI: Miami) is 54. Masi Oka (Hawaii Five-0, Heroes) is 46. Shay Mooney of Dan + Shay is 29. Timothee Chalamet is 25.
Special Events: Howdy Doody Day. Radio City Music Hall Day. Visit The Zoo Day. Fruitcake Day. Make Cut-out Snowflakes Day.
151 million: Phones tossed by Americans each year.
Santa’s getting ready for tonight (Christmas Eve). [He’s got a sack full of toys, he’s got his sleigh polished, he’s got a roll of reindeer poop bags.]
Researchers figured out why southerners, who eat a lot of fish, still die more frequently from strokes. It’s because they usually fry their fish. [Frying fish increases your risk of stroke even if each day you routinely take two deep-fried aspirin.]
The NFL playoffs begin in a couple of weeks — it’s the time of year when a lot of people make money off the games. [Mainly pizza delivery guys.]
An airline in Nepal flew passengers to the wrong airport. [I keep thinking this is what happened to us. We got on a plane for 2020 but ended up in a different dimension.]
MAN BITTEN, MAULED TO DEATH BY PET HIPPO _ When it comes to owning a pet, there are definite ‘yes’ animals: dogs, cats, birds, fish. There are ‘maybe’ animals: monkeys, miniature horses, pigs. Then there are the definite ‘no’ animals: scorpions, wild boars, hippos. Let’s talk about that last one for a moment. A South African man was bitten and killed by a pet hippo he called “Humphrey”. Marius Els would often ride the hippo’s back as if it was a horse. Els previously said of the hippo that the animal was “like a son to me.”
WE’RE TIRED OF CHATTING WITH PEOPLE OVER VIDEO _ Although technology is helping keep everyone connected while social distancing, it seems most people are sick and tired of looking at their friends, family, and co-workers through a video screen. A new survey finds six in 10 Americans are currently “Zoomed out” as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey finds 61 percent have experienced tech fatigue during the pandemic. Of that group, 69 percent say their burnout is specifically due to all the time they’re spending on video calls.
BY JANUARY 14 MANY OF OUR RESOLUTIONS WILL BE GONE _ If you’re one of the 40 percent of people who will make a New Year’s resolution, don’t feel bad if you stumble. Experts say that by January 14 over a third of resolution-makers will have quit.
… The No. 1 resolution each year is to “lose weight” followed by “exercise more.” Can you guess No. 3? “Be a better person.”
HAVE YOU HAD A McRESTRUCTERED MEAT PRODUCT? _ The McRib returned this month and people are loving it — despite the fact that it’s a product of “restructured meat technology.” A professor from the University of Nebraska named Richard Mandigo developed the “restructured meat product” that the McRib is made of. According to an article from Chicago magazine, “restructured meat product” contains a mixture of tripe, heart, and scalded stomach, which is then mixed with salt and water to extract proteins from the muscle. The proteins bind all the pork trimmings together so that it can be re-molded into any specific shape — in this case, a fake slab of ribs.
FACEBOOK: INCREASING BRAIN POWER IN THE ELDERLY _ Did you think Facebook was just for posting pics of your grandchildren, sunsets and dogs? You should think again. Facebook has been linked to increasing the brain power in the elderly. The older generation is turning to the popular social media site to keep their minds sharp. A study found that the elderly, after learning to use Facebook, performed 25 percent better in tasks designed to measure their ability to continuously monitor and to quickly add or delete the contents of their working memory.
KELLOGG RELEASING A CRAYOLA CEREAL WITH A BOX THAT DOUBLES AS A COLORING BOOK _ It might have been a while since you last broke out a fresh box of Crayola crayons to get your coloring on, but that doesn’t mean we can’t channel our childhoods. Kellogg’s and Crayola have come together to make something we weren’t expecting — cereal. Crayola Cereal is orange, yellow, green, blue, pink, and purple cereal pieces that are covered in multicolored specks. The cereal is described as Jazzberry-flavored.
… The box doubles as a coloring book.
OUR HANDS EVOLVED TO HELP US PUNCH _ Human hands evolved the way they did not so we could use tools but so we could punch each other better (University of Utah study). The lead researcher argued that we could have ended up with any of several different shapes if it were just about holding tools. But only one variation would allow us to make a fist and beat the snot out of each other. And that’s the one we got. Our fingers are short enough to curl into our palms, unlike other primates, and our glorious opposable thumbs can reach across the fingers to buttress the fist itself for maximum punching power.
🎧 WACKY-BUT-TRUE: ‘TIS THE SEASON FOR ‘FALLING IGUANAS’ IN SOUTH FLORIDA _ The National Weather Service in Miami is calling for “falling iguanas” in its holiday forecast. Temperatures in South Florida are expected to drop into the 30- to 40-degree range on Christmas Day and into the weekend, creating conditions that may cause iguanas to suddenly drop out of trees. Iguanas can’t handle cold weather because they are cold blooded, so when the temperature drops below about 45 degrees their bodies go dormant. They appear to be dead, but they are not. They remain breathing with critical body functions still operating.
… This phenomenon, mixed with the species’ tendency to sleep in trees, can create quite the surprise for someone in a car or walking under a tree, and since some iguanas are large — adult males can reach 5 feet in length, and weigh up to 20 pounds — this can be dangerous to passersby. The danger for the iguana comes when temperatures remain in the 40s for periods over eight hours. The invasive species is then at risk of death, especially the smaller ones.
… Reminds us of the Florida 911 call last year! Visit the PRO AUDIO page.
WACKY-BUT-TRUE: SHE WAS A HE AND HE ROBBED MEN _ A man in Singapore was sentenced to prison after posing as a female flight attendant to pick up men in nightclubs and then rob them. The man dressed in women’s clothes, called himself Michelle, and stole credit cards, cash and phones from the men while they were asleep.
AIRLINE FLIES PASSENGERS TO THE WRONG AIRPORT _ The Nepali airline Buddha Air made a blunder recently when it flew passengers to the wrong airport. The flight departed from Kathmandu’s Tribhuvan International Airport on December 18. From there it flew northwest to the country’s second-biggest city of Pokhara, instead of going southeast to the flight’s intended destination, the southern city of Janakpur. The two cities are about 250 miles apart. A spokesman for Buddha Air said the mix-up was due to two factors: “lapses in communication and failure to follow detailed standard operating procedures.”
… Once Buddha Air became aware of what happened, they had the pilots take the passengers on to Janakpur as planned.
WACKY-BUT-TRUE: ROBBER CHASED, DRAGGED BACK TO STORE _ A man robbed a small grocery store in India and ran out with food and cash. But the clerk was mad enough over the robbery to run after him. Despite the robber escaping on a bicycle, the clerk not only caught him, but managed to drag him back inside the store — though the robber’s clothing somehow came off in the process. The clerk held the suspect for police.
IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE (8p ET, NBC) — James Stewart stars in Frank Capra’s classic 1946 film.
THE GREATEST SHOWMAN (8p ET, ABC) — Hugh Jackman, Michelle Williams and Zac Efron star in this 2017 movie musical about the life of P.T. Barnum.
A CHRISTMAS STORY (8p ET, TNT and TBS) — The annual 24-hour marathon of this 1983 comedy begins.
DISNEY PREP AND LANDING (10p ET, ABC) — Prep and Landing: Naughty vs. Nice follows.
CHRISTMAS EVE MASS (11:35p ET, NBC) — From St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City.
DISNEY PARKS MAGICAL CHRISTMAS DAY CELEBRATION (9a ET, ABC) — Becky G, Tori Kelly and Jon Batiste take the stage. Tituss Burgess and Julianne Hough co host.
NFL FOOTBALL (4:30p ET, FOX) — Minnesota Vikings at New Orleans Saints.
NBA BASKETBALL (8p ET, ABC) — Dallas Mavericks at Los Angeles Lakers.
HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS (8p ET, NBC) — Animated classic.
WWE FRIDAY NIGHT SMACKDOWN (8p ET, FOX) — New.
SEASON FINALE: THE CHRISTMAS CAROLER CHALLENGE (8p ET, CW) — New. The final two groups face off to win the competition, with performances by judges Mikalah Gordon, Brandon Rogers and Garry Gary Beers.
HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS (8:30p ET, NBC) — Jim Carrey is the Grinch in the 2000 film.
SURPRISING SANTA CLAUS (9p ET, HGTV) — Lara Spencer works with a team to give the town of Santa Claus, Indiana, the biggest Christmas present it has ever received.
WONDER WOMAN 1984 (HBO Max) — Gal Gadot is back in the title role of director Patty Jenkins’ 2020 superhero sequel. Chris Pine, Kristen Wiig, Pedro Pascal, Robin Wright and Connie Nielsen star.
SERIES PREMIERE: BRIDGERTON (Netflix) — This new romantic period drama series from Shonda Rhimes is set in Regency-era England and based on the novels of Julia Quinn. Matriarch Violet Bridgerton wants to marry off her children, but she also wants them to find true love. Meanwhile, their entire high-society world has become obsessed with a gossip column that discloses secrets and seems to know every detail of their lives. The column is written anonymously by someone who calls herself Lady Whistledown (the voice of Julie Andrews).
SOUL (Disney+) — This new animated film follows a middle-school band teacher (voice of Jamie Foxx) who gets the chance of a lifetime to play at the best jazz club in town. But one small misstep takes him from the streets of New York City to The Great Before – a fantastical place where new souls get their personalities, quirks and interests before they go to Earth. Tina Fey also voices.
SYLVIE’S LOVE (Amazon Prime) — In this new romantic drama, a young woman (Tessa Thompson) in 1950s Harlem falls for a sax player and the film follows their love story over the course of a decade.
WE CAN BE HEROES (Netflix) — This new family sci-fi adventure (a stand alone sequel to The Adventures of Sharkboy & Lavagirl in 3D), follows a team of superheroes called The Heroics who need to be rescued by their super-powered kids after getting kidnapped. Pedro Pascal, Christian Slater, Boyd Holbrook and Priyanka Chopra Jonas star.
HISTORY’S GREATEST MYSTERIES (9p ET, History Channel) — New.
THE MAGIC SCHOOL BUS RIDES AGAIN: IN THE ZONE (Netflix) — Miss Frizzle (voice of Kate McKinnon) and her young charges have a New Year’s Eve misadventure in this animated tale.
SEASON PREMIERE: LETTERKENNY (Hulu) — Season 9 of this Canadian comedy will feature Katy taking her “scorched earth dating strategy” back to Letterkenny. Meanwhile, a competing restaurant opens in Letterkenny, and Tanis (Tiio Horn) creates her own energy drink.
NFL FOOTBALL (8p ET, NBC) — Tennessee Titans at Green Bay Packers.
SERIES PREMIERE: THE MASKED DANCER (8p ET, FOX) — This spinoff of the hit The Masked Singer will feature celebrity contestants on the dance floor while covered from head-to-toe in elaborate costumes and face masks, leaving audiences to guess their identities. Craig Robinson hosts, with judges Ken Jeong, Paula Abdul, Brian Austin Green and Ashley Tisdale.
2021 FOX WINTER PREVIEW (9p ET, FOX) — A look at the new and returning shows, hosted by Mayim Bialik, Craig Robinson and Curt Menefee.
SHAMELESS HALL OF SHAME (9p ET, Showtime) — This new six-episode series celebrates the show in its final season, and will feature new and original Shameless scenes with a retrospective look at each character’s journey over the past 10 seasons.New episodes will be interspersed throughout the 11th and final season.
IN THEATERS TODAY _ Wonder Woman 1984 is in theaters — and on HBO Max. Tom Hanks play a Civil War veteran on a mission to deliver a young girl back to her family in News of the World. Also in theaters is Pinnochio which a number of reviews have called “visually stunning”.
SEX AND THE CITY MAY BE REVIVED AS HBO MAX LIMITED SERIES _ Sex and the City is coming back. Page Six says the hit franchise will return to the small screen with a limited series reboot coming to HBO Max, and would include all the original stars — except Kim Cattrall, who has “repeatedly said she is not interested in returning.”
… Sarah Jessica Parker said in an interview with Entertainment Tonight in September she’d be up for a revival in wake of returning for Hocus Pocus 2. She said, “I’d like to see where all of them are. I’m curious, the world has changed even since the movie. I mean, the world has changed so much, technology and social media.”
🎧 New to the PRO AUDIO page.
• Florida woman finds iguana in toilet. (12/24)
• Guys hate it when she says, “Don’t get me anything for Christmas.” Or her birthday. Or Valentine’s Day. Really? This guy has the solution.
• Ask listeners to share their corny Christmas jokes. Here’s a guy who shared his.
• Kids share what they leave out for Santa on Christmas Eve.
• Here’s a guy playing Jingle Bells using wrenches dropped to a concrete floor. • VIDEO
• Blippi made $17 million on YouTube in 2020. If you don’t know who Blippi is, your little kids do. He’s the Mr Rogers of YouTube with 27 million subscribers. Here’s part of his video on Christmas trees.
• Festivus is December 23. Here’s a clip from the episode of Seinfeld that made it famous. Festivus is a secular holiday celebrated on December 23 as an alternative to the pressures and commercialism of the Christmas season. Originally created by author Daniel O’Keefe, Festivus entered popular culture after it was made the focus of the 1997 Seinfeld episode The Strike, which O’Keefe’s son, Dan O’Keefe, co-wrote.
• Who still leaves voicemail messages? Good conversation about whether there’s a point to leaving voicemail. If you get no answer, most people just hang up and text, right? Here’s a call that will add to the conversation.
• What odd thing does your kid want for Christmas? Here’s a caller with her child’s requests.
• Guy on TikTok offers dating advice similar to a dog training video. (12/21)
Once again, the North American Aerospace Defense Command and Google will provide a way for kids to track Santa as he make the rounds on Christmas Eve.
THE WORST CHRISTMAS FILMS
If you like Christmas movies, it’s a great time to be alive. Thanks to hundreds of cable and streaming channels, the menu of quality holiday films is large. And of course there are more than a few bad Christmas movies, too. Here are the ten worst, based on their Rotten Tomatoes scores.
10. The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause (2006) – 17% fresh rating. Starring: Tim Allen, Elizabeth Mitchell, Martin Short, Judge Reinhold.
9. Jingle All the Way (1996) – 17% fresh rating. Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sinbad, Phil Hartman, Rita Wilson.
8. A Merry Friggin’ Christmas (2014) – 14% fresh rating. Starring: Joel McHale, Robin Williams, Lauren Graham, Clark Duke.
7. Black Christmas (2006) – 14% fresh rating. Starring: Katie Cassidy, Michelle Trachtenberg, Kristen Cloke, Crystal Lowe
6. An American Carol (2008) – 12% fresh rating. Starring: Kevin P. Farley, Kelsey Grammer, Leslie Nielsen, Trace Adkins.
5. Mixed Nuts (1994) – 10% fresh rating. Starring: Steve Martin, Madeline Kahn, Rita Wilson, Anthony LaPaglia.
4. Surviving Christmas (2004) – 7% fresh rating. Starring: Ben Affleck, James Gandolfini, Christina Applegate, Catherine O’Hara.
3. Deck the Halls (2006) – 6% fresh rating. Starring: Danny DeVito, Matthew Broderick, Kristin Davis, Kristin Chenoweth.
2. Christmas With the Kranks (2004) – 5% fresh rating. Starring: Tim Allen, Jamie Lee Curtis, Dan Aykroyd, M. Emmet Walsh.
1. The Nutcracker in 3D (2010) – 0% fresh rating. Starring: Elle Fanning, Nathan Lane, Frances de la Tour, John Turturro.
THE MOST DANGEROUS TOYS OF ALL TIME
Lawn Darts! – During their brief (and generally awesome) reign in 1980s suburbia, Jarts racked up 6,700 injuries.
Gilbert U-238 Atomic Energy Lab – For a mere $49.50, the kit came complete with three “very low-level” radioactive sources, a Geiger-Mueller radiation counter, a Wilson Cloud Chamber (to see paths of alpha particles), a Spinthariscope (to see “live” radioactive disintegration), four samples of Uranium-bearing ores, and an Electroscope to measure radioactivity.
Snacktime Cabbage Patch Dolls – With no mechanism to turn off the munching should trouble arise, it was only a matter of time before some child’s long blonde hair got caught in the doll’s rabid jaws. After 35 fingers and ponytails fell victim, the Snacktime Kids were removed from retail shelves forever, and 500,000 customers were offered a full $40 refund.
Sky Dancers – Injuries included scratched corneas and temporary blindness, mild concussions, broken ribs and teeth, and facial lacerations that required stitches. Nearly nine million Sky Dancers were eventually recalled.
Creepy Crawlers – Nothing says safety like an open hot plate. And nothing says fun like using that open hot plate to create molten, rubbery insects you can throw at your sister while narrowly avoiding setting the house ablaze. At least those who dodged serious injury or disfigurement could safely eat their creation. Oh wait, the critters were toxic, too.
Johnny Reb Cannon – The Reb fired hard, plastic cannonballs with a spring mechanism. No word on exactly how fast the cannonballs flew, but they traveled up to 35 feet and seemed perfectly sized to lodge into an eye socket or down an open mouth.
TRIVIA: In a survey, men said their third least favorite outdoor chore is mowing the lawn; cleaning the garage is second; what’s No. 1? (Gutter cleaning)
TRIVIA: There are 125 million of these around the world. (People who are part of a set of twins, triplets, etc.)
TRIVIA: The 1896 movie Widow Jones had the first what? (The first on-screen kiss)
SURVEY SAID WHAT?
ℹ️ You don’t have to do this as a contest. Quiz a cohost or a sales person and turn one of these into a conversation starter.
According to a study by a psychologist, during which season are grownups the grumpiest?
According to the School of Biosciences at the University of Westminster in London, England, which is more hygenic in public restrooms:
• Paper towels*
• Using the hand dryer
* Paper towels. Hand dryers can blow potentially dangerous bacteria at you.
According to a Harris Poll, when redecorating, what is the number one thing husbands and wives disagree on?
• Quality (in essence, price)
HOLE IN THE HEADLINE
Guess the word that’s missing from this real news headline: “TWO PASSENGERS AND ______ SLIDE OUT OF MOVING PLANE!”
C) Keg of beer
Passengers on a plane about to take off from New York’s LaGuardia airport were stunned when two fellow travelers suddenly opened an emergency exit and slid down to the tarmac, taking their dog with them. The bizarre incident resulted in a delay to the flight and the arrest of 31-year-old Antonio Murdock and 27-year-old Brianna Greco on charges including criminal mischief and trespassing. The couple boarded the plane but then switched seats several times as they became agitated. At the flight began to taxi out to a runway, Murdock stood up, ignoring a flight attendant’s order to sit, saying that he had post-traumatic stress disorder. He forced open a cabin door, activating an emergency slide, and then he, his female companion and their dog slid their way out of the plane. The exiting passengers were quickly taken into custody. Their dog, a great Dane puppy, was given to an animal shelter.
• Maggie Smith (Harry Potter) is 86
• Denzel Washington is 66
• TV personality Gayle King is 66
• Seth Meyers is 47
• Joe Manganiello (True Blood) is 44
• John Legend is 42
• Sienna Miller is 39
• Miles Brown (Black-ish) is 16
IT HAPPENED TODAY
• 1612: Galileo Galilei became the first astronomer to observe the planet Neptune, although he mistakenly cataloged it as a fixed star.
• 1869: William E. Semple of Mount Vernon, Ohio, patented chewing gum.
• 1902: The first indoor professional American football game was played in New York City at Madison Square Garden.
• 1945: The U.S. Congress officially recognized the Pledge of Allegiance.
• 1975: Trailing 14-10 with only 32 seconds left and no time outs, from 50 yards out Roger Staubach hit Drew Pearson in a crowd at the goal-line to give Dallas the NFC title over Minnesota. In a post-game interview, Staubach said, “You throw it and pray he catches it. I guess it’s sort of a ‘Hail Mary’ pass.”
• 2010: Remains of a human that lived 400,000 years ago were discovered in Israel, challenging the theory that humans originated in Africa.
• Endangered Species Act Day
• Box of Chocolates Day
• Pledge of Allegiance Day
• Card Playing Day