Mel Brooks Strikes Back -- HBO, Monday, 9 p.m.
- One of the greatest comedic minds of the 20th century comes to HBO for a one-hour retrospective on his life and career. His work speaks for itself: The Producers, Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein, Spaceballs and the fourth season of Curb Your Enthusiasm. Expect anecdotes on his early life and his ascent in the comedy world, as well as hopefully an explanation as to how he was ever able to get Anne Bancroft to look at him, let alone marry him.
Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town -- ABC, Tuesday, 8 p.m.
- People are really into origin stories these days (e.g. Skyfall, 2009's Star Trek, Katy Perry: Part of Me), and there's no greater origin story than Santa Claus is Comin' To Town, the rinky-dink Rankin-Bass special that traces Kris Kringle's rise to the top of the world... literally. Before Mickey Rooney was a crusty load of cantankerous lard, he starred as the soothing voice of the titular character, with Fred Astaire playing the narrator, who breaks federal law by opening Santa's mail to answer children's questions. There's also Santa's boy, Topper the penguin, along with the kind-of creepy Winter Warlock and the hilariously plump Burgermeister Meisterburger.
Survivor: Phillipines -- CBS, Sunday, 8:30 p.
- Do you know that this past season of Survivor was its 25th? Imagine how many pairs of cargo shorts Jeff Probst has gone through in that time period. He must have a Doug Funnie closet filled with just cargo shorts and denim button-downs. This Sunday is the 2-hour finale, after which is the always-entertaining reunion special which includes respective segments on the season's winner, runner-up, villain, sex symbol and the family member that ate the most grubs. The winner? You have to hope for Michael Skupin, the guy who had to be evacuated from the game after falling into the fire in The Australian Outback season.
The Bachelorette: Ashley and J.P.'s Wedding -- ABC, Sunday, 9 p.m.
- Ashley Hebert's marriage to J.P. Rosenbaum is just the second one out of eight seasons of The Bachelorette, and the first since Trista Rehn got married in season one -- that is so surprising! Fortunately (mostly for ABC executives), the ceremony happened on Dec. 1, so we get to watch it this Sunday in all its beautiful, edited, poorly-lit glory. Apparently, the guest list included four former Bachelorettes -- is that what happens when you're on a reality TV show? All your friends end up being reality TV people? One last thing: Will ABC please cast Ryan Lochte as the next Bachelor, for the sheer amusement of watching him have to interact with women?
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