Merry Krampus!

December 14, 2011

Though he isn’t even remotely as well-known as his sidekick Santa, Krampus always has been closer in spirit to my attitude around the holidays:

Krampus,
 

What’s that? You aren’t aware of this mythical monster of the Alps said to accompany St. Nicholas on his rounds but flipping the script by punishing the bad little boys and girls, stuffing them in a sack, and hauling them back to his lair to serve as the main course at dinner while the good kiddies play with the toys that jolly old elf left behind?

Well, I’ll confess that I never knew about him either, until the official Kris Kringle of Sound Opinions, Andy Cirzan, a vice president with local concert promoters Jam Productions by day and a relentless collector of Christmas music obscura by night, began playing a Krampus song every once in a while on our annual holiday episode. (And, by the way, Andy’s appearance this year begins airing on Friday, the same day a free download of the 2011 edition of his Christmas music collection goes up online here, and believe me, you need this one—it may be his best ever!)

Krampus fans may be a small bunch, but we’re dedicated, and it seems that another former Sound Opinions guest—chef, writer, and raconteur Anthony Bourdain—also is one of us. According to a story that first broke on Gawker, a Krampus short done up in the classic Rankin-Bass stop-action animation style was to have been part of the No Reservations Christmas episode that began airing this week, but the Travel Channel asked Bourdain and his producers to cut it because of “sensitivities regarding the Penn State scandal.”

It's a loss, but what's left of the Bourdain special is pretty great, with appearances by "the Vegan Black Metal Chef" and F*cked Up. And, thankfully, the Krampus short now lives on YouTube.