Zzzap! Christmas Annual (CITV, 1996-1997)
As Christmas is coming (yes, really), I thought that I would do something a little different, and review a Christmas special of a TV show. One of my most successful pieces in recent years has been my look back at the CITV show Zzzap!, the show that featured the crazy comic characters that came to life. That one attracted a lot of interest, and a fansite even linked to it. There are clearly still a lot of fans out there. So I thought, why not take a look at a special variation of this show?
As well as the regular weekly editions, real comics would bring out special editions in summer, and an annual at Christmas, so it only seemed right for Zzzap! to do the same. The first of these was in 1996, a few years into the show’s run. It featured all of the usual characters, Cuthbert Lilly, Smart Arty, The Handymen, and Daisy Dares You. What was a little different though was that all of the characters appeared together in a house.
I don’t know if this meant that they actually all lived together, or they simply all wanted to gather for a big Christmas party. Zzzap! was of course a show that featured no dialogue, apart from the occasional groan (and these were provided by Neil Buchanan who played Smart Arty and was also one of the producers). I’m not that sure what he’s up to nowadays, but it was always enjoyable seeing him on CITV.
For this show there were a few special sketches made (accompanied by some suitably festive music), such as the characters wondering what presents they would get from Father Christmas, having a kiss under the mistletoe, and having some trouble with the decorations including too much tinsel and the rather large tree. They didn’t have to wonder what was for dinner though, as they were all going to have a big turkey, if they could fit it in the oven.
Also featuring were a few repeats of some memorable sketches (including Cuthbert having some trouble with a vacuum cleaner), along with a compilation of some of the funniest moments over the years. Each edition of Zzzap! Christmas Annual was only about ten minutes long, and there were only five made, four in 1996, and one in 1997, but there were no more after this, even though the show continued until 2001. This was rather disappointing, as these specials contained the usual amount of silliness.