Not everyone dreams of a white Christmas; some like it red. Stranger Things actor David Harbour entered the small, but beloved, niche genre of holiday horror this year with Violent Night. And here’s Saturday Night Live‘s latest offering: “A Christmas Carol.”
The sketch, featuring Martin Short as Scrooge at the end of a seemingly faithful adaptation of the Charles Dickens classic, is virtually indistinguishable from any other version you’ll find on basic cable this time of year, right down to the Victorian pjs and stocking cap. He’s just woken from his sojourn with the ghosts and is ready to give up his miserly ways.
Everything is played completely straight until Sarah Sherman shows up as an impoverished, yet bubbly orphan. In her first year on the show, she appeared almost exclusively as grotesque and shrill monsters who injected a much-needed burst of energy into a lagging season. This year, she’s been cast a lot more as the normal person in sketches, so it’s good to see that she hasn’t lost her edge as her orphan almost immediately has her eye gouged out by a gold coin.
From then on, it’s sheer chaos. Scrooge’s light-hearted attempt to give someone the money he’s so callously hoarded for decades turns into a bloodbath. People gather as an errant coin lodges in the orphan’s other eye, blinding her completely. The Ghost of Christmas Past (Short’s co-host, Steve Martin) shows up and, in short order, blinds another orphan (Marcello Hernandez) and lodges an icicle in his chest. The blood spurts all over passersby as the Ghost cheekily informs Scrooge that, since he’s invisible, it looks like Scrooge is a psychopath who’s killed another kid.
Tiny Tim then shows up and if you think he makes it out of this sketch unscathed, you should google “comedy rule of threes.” Mikey Day’s character is beheaded and there’s enough blood on the screen to make you think you’ve stumbled into a documentary on the French Revolution.
If you’ve got a weak stomach or have just eaten a whole Christmas goose, maybe give this one a pass. But if you’ve already lost Whamageddon and Mariah Carey’s giving you a migraine with all her holiday cheer, this might be just the thing to make the season bright.
Elsewhere in the episode, Short and Martin eulogized each other in their opening monologue.
How’d the two co-hosts fare? Grade the episode below, then drop some comments!