Stars align for the 87th An­nual Hol­i­day Christ­mas Pa­rade

Texarkana Gazette - - REAL TALK LATE LAUGHS - By Kenneth An­deel

Christ­mas in Tin­sel­town: On the first day of Christ­mas, my TV gave to me a pa­rade and celebri­ties. If that kind of gift sounds ap­peal­ing to you, per­haps you might scrawl a note upon your ad­vent cal­en­dar to re­mind you to check out the 87th An­nual Hol­ly­wood Christ­mas Pa­rade when it airs Fri­day, Dec. 14, on CW.

The yearly cel­e­bra­tion oc­curs the Sun­day af­ter Thanks­giv­ing and is recorded be­fore un­der­go­ing a brief phase of post-pro­duc­tion magic (in­clud­ing the ad­di­tion of mul­ti­ple live per­for­mances that ac­tual at­ten­dees of the pa­rade sadly miss out on) to gussy it up for its even­tual mid-De­cem­ber air­date on CW.

It may be tempt­ing to ques­tion the bona fides of a Christ­mas pa­rade that’s held in 60 de­gree weather, is hosted by celebri­ties in re­dun­dant pea­coats and scarves, and trav­els down a pre­pos­ter­ously wide red car­pet in­stead of frigid, snow-packed pave­ment, but with 86 suc­cess­ful editions in the books, the Hol­ly­wood Christ­mas Pa­rade (née the “Santa Claus Lane Pa­rade,” then oc­ca­sion­ally known as the “Hol­ly­wood Santa Pa­rade,” and at least once as the “Block­buster Hol­ly­wood Spec­tac­u­lar Pa­rade”) is prob­a­bly older (and maybe even wiser) than we are. So maybe we should cool down and em­brace its thor­oughly Hol­ly­weird take on hol­i­day spirit.

Notwith­stand­ing a few years amidst the tur­moil of World War II when the pa­rade was sus­pended, the event has been held each year since 1928 and has bat­tled through pe­ri­ods of wan­ing in­ter­est and a chang­ing me­dia land­scape to sur­vive into the 21st cen­tury. Touted as the largest Christ­mas cel­e­bra­tion in Amer­ica, the Hol­ly­wood Christ­mas Pa­rade blends pa­rade sta­ples (cos­tumes, march­ing bands, floats, el­e­gant horses, enor­mous bal­loons in the shape of Ker­mit the Frog, and a wav­ing Santa Claus) with a sprin­kling of Hol­ly­wood glitz in the form of celebrity hosts, guests and per­form­ers.

This year’s pa­rade grand mar­shal is en­ter­tain­ment jour­nal­ist Nancy O’Dell, and she’s but­tressed by vet­eran pa­rade hosts Erik Estrada (“CHiPs”), Laura McKen­zie (“Laura McKen­zie’s Trav­eler”), Dean Cain (“Ri­p­ley’s Be­lieve It or Not!”) and Mon­tel Wil­liams (“The Mon­tel Wil­liams Show”). Celebrity guests in­clude mul­ti­me­dia per­son­al­ity Kerri Kasem, ac­tress An­neliese van der Pol (“That’s So Raven”), ac­tress and singer Kiara Barnes (“The Bold and the Beau­ti­ful”) and oth­ers. Per­form­ers in­clude Grammy win­ner Ashanti and “Amer­i­can Idol” alumni Mikalah Gor­don, Ruben Stud­dard and David Archuleta.

With a mil­lion at­ten­dees, rec­og­niz­able faces and a glammed-up feast for the eyes, the 87th An­nual Hol­ly­wood Christ­mas Pa­rade is Tin­sel­town’s lux­u­ri­ous kick­off to the hol­i­day sea­son. Catch it on CW on Fri­day, Dec. 14.

Yule­tide ser­e­nade: On the sec­ond day of Christ­mas, my TV gave to me sev­eral croon­ers croon­ing. If your tastes tend to­ward live mu­si­cal per­for­mance over pageantry, then per­haps your best chance at hol­i­day cheer is “CMA Coun­try Christ­mas,” air­ing Mon­day, Dec. 10, on ABC.

This year’s “CMA Coun­try Christ­mas” is the ninth in­stall­ment of the spe­cial and fea­tures Reba McEn­tire re­turn­ing as host for a sec­ond con­sec­u­tive year. McEn­tire is also sched­uled to per­form, and she’s joined on the stage by a wide ar­ray of other fa­mil­iar voices from the coun­try mu­sic genre and be­yond. Ad­di­tional per­form­ers in­clude Tony Ben­nett, Amy Grant, Diana Krall, Dan + Shay, Martina McBride, Brad Pais­ley, Brett El­dredge, Lind­sey Stir­ling, Old Do­min­ion, The Isaacs, and oth­ers.

The spe­cial caps off the Coun­try Mu­sic As­so­ci­a­tion’s most won­der­ful time of the year, fol­low­ing on the heels of Novem­ber’s CMA Awards cer­e­mony (where Old Do­min­ion took home the “Vo­cal Group of the Year” award).

If coun­tri­fied takes on hol­i­day fa­vorites sounds like a present you’d en­joy un­wrap­ping, the ninth an­nual “CMA Coun­try Christ­mas” spe­cial will as­suredly de­liver the goods. It airs Mon­day, Dec. 10, on ABC.

Pim­ple all the way: On the third day of Christ­mas, my TV gave to me ... 12 un­speak­able night­mares. If parades and mu­sic are sim­ply not dis­gust­ing enough to pique your in­ter­est,TLC has you cov­ered with its Christ­mas edi­tion of the un­ex­pected hit show “Dr. Pim­ple Pop­per,” air­ing Thurs­day, Dec. 13.

The name of the show re­ally sums up the spe­cial’s con­tent.The epony­mous doc­tor is Dr. San­dra Lee of Up­land, Cal­i­for­nia, a der­ma­tol­o­gist who gained no­to­ri­ety via YouTube videos of her per­form­ing grue­some skin treat­ment pro­ce­dures on pa­tients.

Icky surg­eries and med­i­cal or cos­metic pro­ce­dures are a sur­pris­ingly pop­u­lar sub­genre of in­ter­net video — the fris­son of observing an un­com­fort­able or painful con­di­tion and its re­sult­ing elim­i­na­tion through pro­fi­cient treat­ment is highly sat­is­fy­ing to a cer­tain sort. Lee made her mark in this weird niche by com­bin­ing her mag­netic per­son­al­ity with high pro­duc­tion val­ues, and it led to TLC nab­bing her and le­git­imiz­ing the bizarre view­ing habits of the in­ter­net by turn­ing her into a real tele­vi­sion star.

Lee says the hol­i­day sea­son is a busy time for her prac­tice as pa­tients pre­pare for high-stakes fes­tiv­i­ties and strive to look their best. If nee­dles, scalpels and other in­tense solutions to skin con­di­tions sound like a de­light­ful guilty plea­sure, then “Dr. Pim­ple Pop­per: The 12 Pops of Christ­mas” could bring you an evening of skin-crawl­ing hol­i­day joy. And there’s no shame if you re­quire a stiff mug of spiced rum be­fore tun­ing in on Thurs­day, Dec. 13, on TLC.

Erik Estrada and Laura McKen­zie host the 87th An­nual Hol­ly­wood Christ­mas Pa­rade

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