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Hops and Box Office Flops: ‘JINGLE ALL THE WAY – Arnold Meets His Match … Shopaholics’


Jingle All the Way is admittedly silly and over-the-top. That is the point; it is an intentionally absurd and hysterical look at the insanity of Christmas-time consumerism. It’s the time of year when parents across the country will literally stop at nothing to secure that one toy their child cannot live without.

Though it is not a great film, it is a heck of a lot of fun. Arnold Schwarzenegger, as the workaholic mattress salesman Howard Langston, relishes the chance to play a normal guy. He’s having fun, so in turn, we—the viewers—cannot help but giggle at the lunacy of it all, too. Sinbad, who portrays fellow desperate shopper and deranged mailman Myron Larabee, is also clearly enjoying himself. 

Their interplay, bonkers game of one-upmanship, and excellent cast of co-stars elevates what is rather mediocre material. One such complimentary piece is the late, and eternally great, Phil Hartman; his turn as the wonderfully sleazy single-parent neighbor of Langston’s, Ted, is a welcome reminder of his comedic genius.

Those reasons, I believe, are why the movie has endured and why it made money upon its release in November of 1996. On a budget of $60 million, it made nearly $130 million worldwide. Thus, it defied the critics who lambasted it as a “slapstick yuk-fest.” Not my words; those come according to the Critics’ Consensus on Rotten Tomatoes.

And you, dear readers and listeners, should watch it, too! Tis’ the season, after all!

So sit back, pour yourself a Festivus Spiced Brown Ale from Full Pint Brewing, and put that freshly baked cookie down (now!). I, the Thunderous Wizard (@WriterTLK), Capt Cash, and Chumpzilla are going to fight through the havoc of holiday shopping to pursue an oddly shaped doll!

This Week’s Segments:

  • Introduction – We break down this Christmas classic, exploring why it found a following; discussing which of our respective childhood toys was the “TurboMan” of its day; and more.  (00:00)
  • Interesting Facts about the Movie and the “Nobody Likes You, Booster!” Jingle All the Way Trivia Challenge – After briefly discussing some interesting facts about the movie, I challenge Capt. Cash and Chumpzilla to a series of questions relating to this movie and the actors in it. (36:11)
  • Recommendations – As an ode to the holiday season, we each offer our Top-5 Christmas films. (50:23)

And, as always, hit us up on Twitter or Facebook to check out all the interesting factoids—Schwarzenegger’s history with the unscrupulous mall Santa, etc.—from this week’s episode!

You can find this episode of Hops and Box Office Flops on Apple PodcastsGoogle PlayStitcherPodbean, and Spotify!


Thomas L. Kelly

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