TELEVISION: ANYTHING ON, EBENEZER?

SOME CHRISTMAS SHOWS MIGHT SOFTEN SCROOGE; OTHERS WOULD CONFIRM THAT HE WAS ABSOLUTELY RIGHT

Thirty years ago, it could have been a routine performed by Bob Newhart (George & Leo): "What if a television executive got a phone call from God, who wanted to do a show based on the story of Christmas? I think it might go something like this. 'So you've got this woman who's pregnant, but she hasn't had sex with anyone...And there are these, these three kings?...Then they lay the baby in a manger. Pardon me, what's a manger?...Is this a gag? Is this one of the guys in the office?'"

The religious aspect of Christmas has never fit very well...

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