Behold a “Star”: “Jor-El”

Perhaps the greatest icons in our culture take their cue from Christianity. You get how Superman is Christlike and all, right. Perfect for a Merry Christmas song, no?

Michelle Osorio has it boiled down to Ted Talk precision with her “Jor-El: Superman Christmas Carol.” Listen and learn, culture-philes. This is educational, amusing, and pretty.

Behold a “Star”: “Harry Potter” (and pals)

Perhaps the less said about the J.K. Rowling series the better. It’s unoriginal, plodding, and mean-spirited. But it is the best selling literary series in the history of forever, and she is the only author made billionaire strictly from her creation.

The cottage industry of pop songs dedicated to the fan base is also a bit dull-witted.

The obvious is “Voldemort  is Coming to Town.” Bella Luna Wrock has an adorable version of this. Several others recorded their own to a set of venal lyrics that went viral several years ago.

Draco and the Malfoys have a talky bit of comedy song in: “A Very Voldemort Christmas.” The young Tom Riddle here has a stand off with Santa… sorry, fell asleep there a bit. They make up for that one a bit with “All I Want for Christmas” in which Draco himself dictates a holiday wish list to Lord He-who-shall-not-be-named naming names and spells.

For my money the best pop song tribute to Harry Potter is the pop song tribute to Harry Potter fans: Joel Kopischke’s “Have Yourself a Very Harry Potter Christmas.” Take that, fans! (I also wish your parents don’t get killed.)

Behold a “Star”: “John McClane”

The original ‘Die Hard’ was set during a holiday office party and as such has become a guy Christmas thing. The protagonist, John McClane, according to our friendly neighborhood Wikipediea, was originally based on the fictional character Detective Joe Leland from Roderick Thorp’s bestselling novel, Nothing Lasts Forever. As portrayed by Bruce Willis, he’s a whiny yet unapologetic, self sabotaging yet unstoppable romantic narcissist. Role model!

Insane Ian & Bonecage retell the tale with the Bing-Bowie ‘Drummer Boy’ backgrounding in “Die Hard Christmas.” Be patient, or be a big fan.

Mike Karschti paints and sings “Merry Christmas, John McClane” with such winning talent that I forgive him his excuse making via vlog after the song.

Behold a “Star”: “Scooby Doo”

Joe Ruby and Ken Spears created the Scooby-Doo, Where are You? cartoon series of the 1970s, although they say the Great Dane’s name was chosen by head of CBS Fred Silverman from Sinatra scat. The show lasted two seasons but has been resuscitated more times than a mummy. Countless ‘movies,’ direct-to-video dreck, and guest appearances on other cartoons (not to mention the 2002, ’04 big budget cinema) have cemented this dog as a cultural sticking post (gluttonous, cowardly, lucky).

Scott Innes, a 1990s voice, sings Claude Parish’s “Christmas with the Monsters” as a Christmas card to Shaggy and his big best friend.

Behold a “Star”: Stars “Wars” et “Trek”

The debate over who’s more popular–the character you play or the actor you are–has become passe. Richard Dean Anderson is McGyver to some and Col. Jack O’Neill to others, but who cares who cares who this soap opera star is at home? Come on! (Not that I have Xmas wishes sung to either of those characters… next year, Santa, please?!)

So some stars are fictive, like Sherlock Holmes or Ronald McDonald or Garfield the cat. They occupy a massive swath of the constellations in our culture and we need to recognize the Christmas tributes in music just for them.

The obvi kickoff here is the TV universe of Star Trek and the movie universe of Star Wars. Yes, i know they are multimedia, but let’s face it: the big difference between them and their fans is the down home box in the front room vs. going out into the dark world with strangers. Since i don’t take sides they appear together today.

Sasha sings Tai Shindehai’s “Santa Vader” in pretty good English, but this is the French take on the whole Star Wars mythos. Anywho, Vader is compared to a workaday Santa and seems somehow sexier because, i guess, he might kill Jar Jar for that little girl for Christmas.

The 800 pound gorilla in this cateogory is the Bon Jovi “R2D2, We Wish You a Merry Christmas” from the unsanctioned 1980 album Christmas in the Stars. Both of these have been posted earlier by me.

Internet/cable host Richard William Wheaton III is famous for playing the ingenue on Star Trek: The Next Generation. He has never grown out of his smug pinched expression, however, so now resides comfortably as an expletive on The Big Bang Theory. Chelsea P Manders has an electronic girlish fantasy dedicated to him in her “Will Wheaton’s Christmas Dance Mix.” So there’s that.

Zoe Yadira Saldaña Nazario has been in several Billions of Dollars of movies (Pirates franchise, Star Trek franchise, Marvel universe, ‘Avatar’–others). Not bad for a ballet dancer from New Jersey (whose looks could kill). Her fan base is not balanced: “All I Want for Christmas is Zoe Saldana” is a rap adulation from Gerald Walker (mostly appearing here as a teaser to get you to download his work). I’m not sure if he’s smitten as a kitten or just riding the coattails of name recognition to get you to notice his song.

But now I’d like to mention (again) the odd Christmas album from Christian Rick Moyer: Merry Trekmas. This guy pulled out all the stops tricking up carols for the Federation. Please enjoy “Benji the Spaceman” in which our fave black Cap. Benjamin Sisko competes against STTNG with DS9 running what seem to be Middle Eastern jihadists against each other with peacekeeping metaphors.

Since STTNG ran longer and harder, let’s leave on “Jean Luc, the Bald Head Captain” also by Moyer but featuring the suavest, classiest, most classically trained Cap. of all who showed us how to lead without punching so much. Dreamy….

Behold a Star: Squeaky Fromme

Lynette Alice Fromme was a casualty of the ’60s from hallucinogenic drug use and excessive counterculture deprogramming. She had been a cutsie California entertainer but was exploited by Charlie Manson to help out with his murder spree to ignite the inevitable apocalyptic race war. Her big headline grab after Charlie was sidelined was shooting at President Gerald Ford (the least likely target of assassination ever), resulting in 34 years of incarceration.

Reverend Glen Armstrong takes a turn at psychoanalyzing this pop culture footnote, concluding that “Even Squeaky Fromme Loves Christmas.” It’s worth your while to peer into his bouncy pop lyrics and judge his own stability.

Behold a Star: Charlie Manson

Charles Milles Maddox was a nutball criminal turned murderer by the Beatles (it happens). He didn’t invent the persona of cult leader with daddy-issued groupies, but he sure got more media for it. Blame California, everybody else does.

Dirty Sick Europeans have crafted a dreamy jello serving of psychedelia “Merry Christmas Charly Manson.” It seems to ironically dig at the curious followers as well as at his own psychopathy. No ‘Helter Skelter’ wildness, this is soothing.

Behold a Star: Winona Ryder

Winona Laura Horowitz had her ’90s in the sun. Her over publicized brush with the law right after her Hollywood sidewalk star let everyone know she was complicated package. Her recent return to cable TV (‘Stranger Things’) has let her play her own messed up self to some acclaim.

Fake Shark Real Zombies has a lovely tango number “Winona Ryder Hates Christmas,” but it’s all conjecture. I’m sure she’s a perfect hostess.

Behold a Star: Patrick Swayze

Action stars aren’t always romantic leads, but Patrick Swayze was People’s Sexiest Man of the Year in 1991. Because he was so sensitively in ‘The Outsiders’ and ‘To Wong Foo…’ and even ‘Ghost’ he gets a pass as a boot-to-the-head lunk. Cool guy.

The Mystery Science Theatre Three Thousand jokers have a mini-hit on their hands with “Let’s Have a Patrick Swayze Christmas.” It’s a gentle blend of mean and fun with some lifting vocals.