Balladeer’s Blog continues its TENTH Annual Christmas Carol-A-Thon!

Ghost of Christmas PresentJON MALIN’S CHRISTMAS CAROL (2019) – We can all have A Very Malin Christmas with this audio play version of A Christmas Carol. Internet cult figure CECIL of Cecil Says fame stars as Scrooge and, since he sounds a lot like Buddy Hackett he gives this Carol a healthy retro feel so young and old alike can enjoy it.  

Regular readers of Balladeer’s Blog will remember Jon Malin from Graveyard Shift Volume Two, covered earlier this year. Rest assured this Yuletide production is very holiday-ish, lest Malin’s association with the monsters from Graveyard Shift cause raised eyebrows (except by Malin himself, of course, who is often ribbed for supposedly not having any).  

masc graveyard newProductions of A Christmas Carol are all about who plays Scrooge, naturally, and Cecil, “who is life AND who is love” as the saying goes, doesn’t disappoint. And best of all this Carol is being done for charity, raising money for some wonderful people. No, not the Malin Militia, but the good people at Saint Jude’s Children’s Hospital.

Moving on to the Carol itself: 

Jon Malin’s Christmas Carol is terrific for Carol fanatics like me since it uses nothing but Dickens’ own words, letting listeners relish the virtual prose poetry of Charles’ work. People who dismiss A Christmas Carol as a children’s story can listen to this audio drama and learn to appreciate the depth of the writing.

As for the performers, they are not professional thespians. So they won’t get to kiss in any Star Wars movies. (It’s a joke. Lighten up.) Seriously, though, the individual performances vary wildly but remember, it’s a charity benefit so normal standards of criticism don’t apply.  

How would I judge this version against other audio versions of A Christmas Carol? Obviously it’s nowhere near my all-time favorite, the 1991 recording of Patrick Stewart’s one-man performance of the Dickens tale. On the other hand, it definitely packs more emotional punch than Ponsett’s Christmas Carol but not as much as the Orson Welles radio version. And since Scrooge and the Stars is intended as comedy it’s not a fair comparison. 

As for other spoken word renditions of the Carol, Malin’s production is about equal to Bah! Humbug!, the version with James Earl Jones and Martin “Eyes of a Rapist” Sheen reading aloud from the novel. This Malin piece is DEFINITELY more moving than the televised reading by Dr Frank Baxter, who made everything sound as dry as the educational films he used to present.     

Jon Malin’s Christmas Carol is NOT a “book on tape,” since it is not word for word from the entire Dickens novel, but is also more complete than the prompt-copy that Charles Dickens himself used for his public readings.

Tune into this production while wrapping gifts and soak in the holiday feel. NOTE: The opening of this YouTube video shows brief scenes from silent horror films since that’s the standard opening for the acclaimed series Malin After Midnight, of which this is a special presentation. 

For this Christmas Carol click HERE 


© Edward Wozniak and Balladeer’s Blog, 2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Edward Wozniak and Balladeer’s Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.



18 responses to “JON MALIN’S CHRISTMAS CAROL (2019)

  1. Cara

    It was fun listening to it. I thought my son wouldn’t let me get through the whole thing, but he listened too intently. I don’t know how much he understood, but when Bob Crachit’s wife came on he found it very funny and laughed a lot.

    The man who poor Scrooge’s ex girlfriend married sounded so kind.

    But my favorite was the man who did Marley’s ghost. He elevated the prose to poetry with his elocution. That was a treat.

    I didn’t think the Scrooge character did well enough – just my opinion. He felt the same all through. I didn’t feel the change he’s supposed to go through.

    • I am so glad you and your son listened to it! That’s like a Christmas gift to me! Thank you! I agree about Cecil as Scrooge being flat the whole way through but he is an internet cult figure so his name in the credits was a big draw to get people’s attention.

  2. Cara

    I found the part of Scrooge a little offensive too.

    It was clear from the beginning that he was imitating a man from a Yiddish background. I got the joke… not funny really.. but alright whatever.

    But in the scene where Scrooge’s girlfriend is telling him that money has become more important than her, he says to her, “I’ve not become a Jew.”

    Was that really necessary? To bring the Christmas Carol down to that?

  3. Cara

    P.S. Despite that I did and my son did enjoy listening to the play. It was the first time I ever listened to a radio play till the end. It was entertaining all the way, very rare for us.
    Thank you for the post and the link.

  4. Dr Syn

    Malin Militia!

  5. Tammy

    Malin’s cute but I have no idea who these other people are.

  6. Super Gurkin

    I’m not a Cecil fan. He sends me away from livestreams too.

  7. Taylor

    I can sit through any Christmas Carol but the guy playing Scrooge in this was pretty weak.

  8. Nadia

    I think you were too generous. This version sucks, especially the guy playing Scrooge.

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