Hard cut to 2004. If you would have asked me what the best show on television was at that moment, I would have said Aqua Teen Hunger Force. My favorite on the Adult Swim lineup. It felt like the maximum in everything the network was trying to do. Extreme irreverence and contempt for television production.
In fact, one of my picks for best episodes of television was this show. See example from said episode
And all was good, till the show jumped the shark. Don’t get me wrong, there is still stuff I like, but I just remember thinking its best days were behind them. I saw the movie in the theater, and I remember being really pissed. It felt weak compared to everything else….
So at that point…I kind of tuned out.
Cut to YEARS later. Like sometime in the 2010s when streaming services were just coming out. I found the record that is the subject of today’s post on lala on accident. I had NO IDEA that it existed. Never saw an ad (probably wasn’t watching adult swim back then, if it had ads). I picked it up on Amazon. And…..
I still say this album holds up as THE Christmas parody record. Straight from track one
The boys were doing something slightly off their regular stuff. Its like they knew they had to survive assuming NO ONE had seen a single episode of ATHF. And somehow it totally works. There are very very few references to stuff in the show. Its more straight parody. See their version of Feliz Navidad in which a mariachi band reads a menu from a mexican restaurant. This seems like a such an easy joke about how this is the only aspect of mexican culture america even knows about that I am shocked no one ever actually tried to do this joke before.
The whole album is just that. Standards that they figure out an interesting way to get a turn at, intercut with originals. That sounds simple, but I think they find a way to do that dammingly difficult thing of keeping it simple. Not overthinking it. Let me give another parody example.
Carl’s Pathos is where this track shines.
But I specifically want to highlight two albums that make this something I come back to every single year. First, this one. Ill even include a live version.
Hits all the christmas notes. Free shit. Not getting quite what you want. Ass beating. Getting together in the end. All over a really simple melody, like every fucking Christmas song. Its so perfect I wish I would have done it.
One last masterpiece, and really….the fucking highlight of the album.
HOW? HOW is this not a standard? This is the single BEST Christmas parody song. Fuck all those other ones. Master Shake’s commentary to the birth of Jesus is one of the greatest things that ever happened to humanity, including Jesus. “I’m not saying that didn’t happen…but lo….I’m not saying it DIDNT happen….but it probably happened” I still say that today.
Frylock’s building frustration just is the cherry on top. I have stuck this in Christmas mixes before just to watch people react to Shake’s rant.
3.5/4 – This is the last GREAT thing that came out of Aqua Teen Hunger Force. This is better than the last 3 seasons of the show. And lets remember the core message of this album. Please, for the love of god. Shut up. Shut up.