Ugly Sweater Party & Bea Arthur In Star Wars

Ugly Sweater Party 2009Last night I attended an “Ugly Sweater Party” at the home of a local friend, Mike Kurtz. The premise of the party is that you’re suppose to find an ugly sweater or sweatshirt to wear to the party. You have the option of buying something new that’s hideous or comb the racks of the local thrift stores to find something ugly. It’s just a fun excuse to have a great theme party.

The party is also a pot luck of sorts and I brought some cookies. I didn’t have time to make some sugar free ones so I just bought some pre-made cookie dough packages from the supermarket and baked those up for the party. Pretty quick and easy. Some people did some creative things, such as one person brought a whole plate of olives that were creatively stacked and stuffed with some carrots and cream to look like penguins. Mike and his partner Ian had wonderful meatballs for the party.

To compliment the theme of ugly sweaters, one of the worst television holiday specials ever was screened. It’s the 1978 Star Wars Holiday Special. It’s so bad that George Lucas has said if he had the time and a hammer he would track down every bootleg recording of it and smash it. And yes, it was horrible. I’m amazed they got the original actors to consent to making this steaming pile of crap holiday special. The sets looked terrible. The costumes were pretty bad, especially the Wookies that made up the rest of Chewbacca’s family. Even the animation for the cartoon segment introducing Boba Fett was bad too.

Bea Arthur Star Wars Holiday SpecialAlthough it did have an interesting moment or two, but mostly pretty darn bad. In some unusual bit casting, the special also featured a song by Diahann Carroll, a song by Jefferson Starship, and some bad acting by Art Carney. Harvey Korman from The Carol Burnett Show did a couple of bit parts, one of which was in drag as some alien Julia Childs like persona that had four arms, and the second bit he played some alien who drinks through a hole in the top of his head that has affections for Bea Arthur who plays a bartender for the Tatooine cantina. Bea interracts with Harvey for a scene before singing a song as well. If you want to check it out for yourself, the song is on YouTube, click here to see it. I would have never have believed Bea Arthur every did anything related to Star Wars if I didn’t see it for myself. The song itself isn’t too bad, but what unusual casting. I learned something new in this special.

And to completely redeem the whole Star Wars Holiday special, it was followed up with a screening of the Family Guy “Blue Harvest” Episode which is an incredibly funny and brilliantly done parody/love fest for the original Star Wars film. The celebrity guest voices from Rush Limbaugh to Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo and the use of actual Star Wars music and sound effects really enhanced the whole play on pop culture and Star Wars in general. I loved it. I’m going to have to get that one for my collection someday.

And for those who stayed there was also a screening of a couple of episodes of the old “Dungeons & Dragons” cartoon series. I had forgotten those over the years. I didn’t think I’d seen any of them before until we started watching the episodes and I instantly recognized the opening credits. I had seen them before. We spent a bit of time discussing the actors doing the voice work as it was filled with known people such as Peter Cullen who’s better known as the voice of Optimus Prime of “Transformers”, Willie Aames and Adam Rich from “Eight Is Enough,” and Donnie Most from “Happy Days.”

Anyway, a fantastic party overall. Some hideous sweaters and some definitely creative ones. I had a great time. Many thanks to Mike Kurtz for the party and Dave Oeskovic for the photo of the party I used above.



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