Yep, it’s our last show of 2016, and we go out with a tune — several of them, actually. Our guest is our good friend Pat Sajak, and along with the returning @RobLong, we end the year with a look back at the big stories (yes, there were a few), and some of our favorite Christmas tunes. What are yours? Tell us in the comments.

Thanks for listening to us this year — it was our biggest year ever in terms of downloads. We very much appreciate it and look forward to serenading your ears in 2017.

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Music from this week’s podcast: I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day by The Carpenters

The opening sequence for the Ricochet Podcast was composed and produced by James Lileks.

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Members have made 29 comments.

  1. Profile photo of LC Member
    LC

    All that singing…so good. If Steyn was there, he would monopolize all the singing.

    • #1
    • December 23, 2016 at 1:19 pm
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  2. Profile photo of Leslie Watkins Member

    It was great having Pat back on the podcast! Quite a jolly time.

    For Peter and Pat and James, this is my favorite rendition of The Holly and the Ivy, by pianist George Winston. It will make you remember the tune no matter who’s playing it.

    Cheers and best wishes to you all. Very glad to be continuing with Ricochet into 2017—and beyond!

    • #2
    • December 23, 2016 at 2:17 pm
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  3. Profile photo of Rightfromthestart Thatcher

    Was that Ann Murray at the end? Always loved her.

    • #3
    • December 23, 2016 at 3:52 pm
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  4. Profile photo of Blue Yeti Admin

    Rightfromthestart:Was that Ann Murray at the end? Always loved her.

    View comment in context.

    The Carpenters!

    • #4
    • December 23, 2016 at 3:57 pm
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  5. Profile photo of Mitchell Morgan Thatcher

    Holly and the Ivy, now there’s a blast from the past. We’d sing it in music class in elementary school (1970’s in Maryland).

    My favorite has always been Carol of the Bells but then Trans-Siberian Orchestra absolutely pounded that song into the ground. This year’s favorite is I Want A Hippopotamus for Christmas.

    • #5
    • December 23, 2016 at 4:20 pm
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  6. Profile photo of James Lileks Contributor

    Mitchell Morgan: This year’s favorite is I Want A Hippopotamus for Christmas.

    And it worked! Wikipedia:

    A popular legend holds that this 1953 hit had been recorded as a fundraiser to bring the city zoo a hippo; but in a 2007 radio interview with Detroit-based WNIC radio station, Peevey clarified that the song was not originally recorded as a fundraiser. Instead, a local promoter picked up on the popularity of the song and Peevey’s local roots, and launched a campaign to present her with an actual hippopotamus on Christmas.

    The campaign succeeded, and she was presented with an actual hippopotamus, which she donated to the city zoo. The hippopotamus lived for nearly 50 years.

    • #6
    • December 23, 2016 at 4:55 pm
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  7. Profile photo of Mitchell Morgan Thatcher

    That’s neat James! Thanks for the story 🙂

    • #7
    • December 23, 2016 at 6:26 pm
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  8. Profile photo of TaleenaS Member

    The Holly and the Ivy is all about Jesus’ death as foreshadowed at his birth! Rob’s Episcopal hesitance is showing again. Holly has berries as red as Jesus’ blood, thorns like Jesus’ crown, and bark as bitter as the gall given to Jesus on the cross. It is a beautiful carol.

    For my money though the best version of I Heard the Bells is the new version by Casting Crowns. It emphasizes the struggle with despair and the realization of hope, better than traditional version.

    • #8
    • December 23, 2016 at 8:30 pm
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  9. Profile photo of Johnnie Alum 13 Coolidge

    Since you asked for our favorite Christmas Carols. Mine is Coventry Carol. I particularly like the Anthony Newley version.

    • #9
    • December 23, 2016 at 10:44 pm
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  10. Profile photo of Sabrdance Member

    In re: Episcopalian hymns:

    • #10
    • December 23, 2016 at 10:57 pm
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  11. Profile photo of Seawriter Member

    I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day is in the public domain. It was written by Longfellow. There is a story behind it. I presented the story in a post last year.

    Seawriter

    • #11
    • December 24, 2016 at 7:05 am
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  12. Profile photo of Eustace C. Scrubb Member

    @jameslileks, I know it was just ad patter, but still when you say “The Trouble With Harry” was “toward the end of Hitchcock’s career”… He made the film in 1956 and he had nearly a dozen more films to make, including North by Northwest and Psycho.

    • #12
    • December 24, 2016 at 9:46 am
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  13. Profile photo of Mona Charen Contributor

    TaleenaS:The Holly and the Ivy is all about Jesus’ death as foreshadowed at his birth! Rob’s Episcopal hesitance is showing again. Holly has berries as red as Jesus’ blood, thorns like Jesus’ crown, and bark as bitter as the gall given to Jesus on the cross. It is a beautiful carol.

    For my money though the best version of I Heard the Bells is the new version by Casting Crowns. It emphasizes the struggle with despair and the realization of hope, better than traditional version.

    Thanks TaleenaS for the explanation of this carol. It’s one of my favorites. I included it on Need to Know’s Christmas music podcast: https://ricochet.com/podcast/need-know-goes-christmassy/

    • #13
    • December 24, 2016 at 11:13 am
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  14. Profile photo of Ford Penney Member

    C’mon, we all know it’s not really Christmas until Hans Gruber falls off Nakatomi Plaza.

    • #14
    • December 24, 2016 at 1:05 pm
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  15. Profile photo of Eustace C. Scrubb Member

    @fordpenney – Agreed. http://www.moviechurches.com/2016/12/seen-on-small-screen-in-california.html

    • #15
    • December 24, 2016 at 2:08 pm
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  16. Profile photo of TaleenaS Member

    Mona Charen: Thanks TaleenaS for the explanation of this carol. It’s one of my favorites. I included it on Need to Know’s Christmas music podcast: https://ricochet.com/podcast/need-know-goes-christmassy/

    View comment in context.

    @monacharen have you ever heard the Annie Lennox version? She has such an arresting voice, and added some amazing harmonies to it.

    • #16
    • December 24, 2016 at 3:30 pm
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  17. Profile photo of James Lileks Contributor

    Eustace C. Scrubb:@jameslileks, I know it was just ad patter, but still when you say “The Trouble With Harry” was “toward the end of Hitchcock’s career”… He made the film in 1956 and he had nearly a dozen more films to make, including North by Northwest and Psycho.

    View comment in context.

    Yes, of course – I was “riffing,” and couldn’t get a segue out of “Family Plot.” 😉

    • #17
    • December 24, 2016 at 11:27 pm
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  18. Profile photo of RufusRJones Member

    Sherman Hemsly, aka “George Jefferson” is the greatest human being of all time, after Don Rickles.

    • #18
    • December 25, 2016 at 5:12 am
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  19. Profile photo of J Ro Member

    I think I just heard Peter invent the term ‘Post Dramatic Stress Disorder’ (PDSD).

    It sounds like something Lefties experience when they realize they have said/done/tweeted something over the top and now need to delete their Twitter account and go underground.

    • #19
    • December 25, 2016 at 6:27 am
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  20. Profile photo of Wolverine Coolidge

    James, how can you not like Laugh-In? You didn’t find Lily Tomlin and Ruth Buzzi hysterical? One ringy-dingy…

    • #20
    • December 25, 2016 at 9:12 am
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  21. Profile photo of Eustace C. Scrubb Member

    @jameslileks – How about “Late in Hitch’s career he made a film about Cuba called Topaz which was dull as a Cuban made razor, if only…” I guess I’ll leave this to the professionials, such as yourself.

    • #21
    • December 25, 2016 at 11:48 am
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  22. Profile photo of Bryan G. Stephens Reagan

    @roblong We heard our Choir sing The Holly and the Ivy today at the service. I have never heard it sung live, but I paid extra attention to a carole that I have long ignored thanks to you. Thank you so much.

    Merry Christmas,

    Bryan

    • #22
    • December 25, 2016 at 11:56 am
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  23. Profile photo of C. U. Douglas Thatcher

    Ahem.

    • #23
    • December 27, 2016 at 8:56 am
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  24. Profile photo of Briana LeClaire Member

    I thought it was Rosemary Clooney at the end. Too vibrato-ey for Karen Carpenter. I kept going back and forth.

    • #24
    • December 27, 2016 at 5:25 pm
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  25. Profile photo of Briana LeClaire Member

    Speaking of Karen Carpenter, as far as I’m concerned she *owns* “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.” Such a sad, wonderful song.

    • #25
    • December 27, 2016 at 5:27 pm
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  26. Profile photo of Blue Yeti Admin

    Briana LeClaire:Speaking of Karen Carpenter, as far as I’m concerned she *owns* “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.” Such a sad, wonderful song.

    View comment in context.

    • #26
    • December 27, 2016 at 5:38 pm
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  27. Profile photo of Wolverine Coolidge

    Briana LeClaire:Speaking of Karen Carpenter, as far as I’m concerned she *owns* “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.” Such a sad, wonderful song.

    View comment in context.

    Can’t think about her or listen to her music without sadness. You should read Little Girl Blue , a biography of Karen Carpenter by Randy Schmidt.

    • #27
    • December 28, 2016 at 4:19 am
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  28. Profile photo of John Peabody Member

    @Rob Long, you just melted my heart when you mentioned your songs…casually mentioning “O Holy Night” as your ‘high-brow’ choice, and then wistfully mentioning “Holly and the Ivy”. A beautiful song that I associate with my upbringing at the Episcopal St. Marks Cathedral in Minneapolis. As an Episcopal organist myself, who can dislike a hymn that mentions the “merry organ”?

    Listening to the Christmas podcast three days after Christmas certainly worked for me. Thank you all at Ricochet, and Happy New Year!

    • #28
    • December 28, 2016 at 4:26 am
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  29. Profile photo of Wily Penelope Member

    Rob, I had literally just said to myself, “O Holy Night” for the serious carol and “The Holly and the Ivy” for prettiest carol before you gave your picks. Awesome!

    My children sang “Jesus Christ the Apple Tree” at their Christmas concert this year. That is a beautiful song, especially for little voices.

    • #29
    • January 5, 2017 at 10:23 am
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