Music — December 3, 2015 11:40 — 1 Comment

A Very Alan Thickemas

Whether we know it or not, we’ve all had at least a minor obsession with the actor, TV host and songwriter, Alan Thicke. We’ve seen him on middle-class sitcoms, hummed his tunes and sung his cheesy lyrics. The man who was famous for the fatherly role of Jason Seaver on Growing Pains is also responsible for the theme songs for shows like Diff’rent Strokes and The Facts of Life. Thicke, though, is also the star and basis for the Seattle-based movie – and my new holiday season obsession – A Very Alan Thickemas, produced by Seattle-based film collective, The Beta Society.

Thickemas, which was made in 2009 but which I only recently discovered (the movie, inexplicably, only has about 100 views on YouTube), is part South Park, part Crank Yankers and part Adult Swim. It’s a musical featuring puppets, live action and animation about a little boy’s search for Christmas, which quickly, after he’s kidnapped by his talking Chihuahua, turns into something even better: a search for “Thickemas,” the fictional Canadian holiday that involves singing, joy and, well, I’m not sure. But it’s centered around Alan Thicke!

“Six years ago, we took our bizarre fixation/relationship with Alan Thicke to a whole new level,” says co-writer, Celene Ramadan, who is also the front woman for the Seattle band Prom Queen, “and made a puppet film in his honor.”

The 38-minute movie begins with Ramadan on the telephone with the real Alan Thicke – both are portrayed as puppets. Thicke is curious and flattered as to why so much time would be devoted to a movie about a made-up holiday based around him. He says the film would be more commercially successful if he was involved in a newsy “scandal.” He also offers to come up with something to “stick” in Ramadan’s “stocking,” which gets an imagined sad trombone sound from me. But this is where the movie really takes off on its oddly successful journey.

We are shown a small town Christmas scene and sung a song with the refrain, “It’s fucking Christmas! Holy shit!” Some of the singers land at the front door of a vegan family who curse them as “ethno-centric jerks” but here we are introduced to the movie’s other main character, Benjamin, a young blond boy who wants to rebel against his doting, TV-removing parents and celebrate Christmas against their wishes. “I’m tired of being tweated diffewently,” he says with a little kid slur. “I’m see-wee-us!”

What follows is a trip through space (Canada) and time (a day or two) where Benjamin learns all about the world he’d been sheltered from by his flaxseed-eating parents. He encounters dirty song lyrics, poutine, a suicidal Santa, a Crash Test Dummies parody, puppet Céline Dion and, yes, even puppet Alan Thicke sitting at a white grand piano. Benjamin is explained the joys of Thickemas, meets Santa, who is also a Thickemas convert, and goes back to his parents a changed boy.

In the end we learn what we already basically knew: Christmas is all about tradition. When I was a kid I would watch A Muppet Christmas Carol over and over after shoveling snow. More recently, I like to curl up by the fire and watch Pee-Wee Herman’s Christmas Special (which he puts online for free every Christmas). But now, I have a new obsession. Yes, the joy of Thickemas has found my heart and, I can say confidently, you should let it find yours, too.

Watch it here:


Jake Uitti is a founding editor of The Monarch Review.

One Comment

  1. Rob Thompson says:

    Jake-great fun! Merry Fuckin’ Christmas. Thanks for making the Monarch good.

Leave a Reply

The answer isn't poetry, but rather language

- Richard Kenney