Christmas Smackdown

a depraved musical revue 
by Mark Nutter & Cynthia Carle



Christmas Smackdown is a holiday show that gathers up your most cherished Yuletide sentiments, slams them to the mat and stomps them lifeless. With special appearances by Vixen, the Nutcracker, and Ebenezer Scrooge, the Smackdown features all-original holiday songs about arson, suicide, demons, stalkers, alcohol abuse, cannibalism, murder, rug damage and colonic hydrotherapy.

Deliciously depraved, irreverent and hilarious musical revue.
— KPBS, San Diego

The Origin Story

Mark Nutter (SNL, Third Rock from the Sun, Re-Animator the Musical, The Bicycle Men) and Cynthia Carle (The Sixth Man, You Wish, Sharkpunching in America), having discovered each other, also discovered that they’d each written a number of Christmas songs that were not right. Cynthia had written about eight. Mark also had written about eight. They then co-wrote a couple of new not-right Christmas tunes and put all these together in the Christmas Smackdown. Never satisfied, they added a full-blown oratorio which they call “Keeping the Dick in Dickens.”

A lovely evening of theater, fun amidst dysfunction.
— Stage Raw

The show has become a beloved holiday tradition for many who, like the Smackdown itself, are just not right. Bringing someone to the Smackdown is a litmus test. If your plus-one does not laugh at these songs, it will be clear that although they may be a perfectly nice person, they’re not the plus-one for you.

A feast of funny holiday songs.
— Chicago Tribune
Edgy, unabashedly cynical and merrily
vulgar farce.
— Chicago Sun-Times
Clever, tuneful, unpredictable…never lacks
for wit or smarts.
— Chicago Reader
If hearing Burl Ives sing ‘Holly Jolly Christmas’ makes you suicidal, Christmas Smackdown is your show.
— Broadway World



Christmas Smackdown

by Mark Nutter & Cynthia Carle

The Teaser

 The podcast



Warning: What follows pushes the boundaries of good taste to the breaking point... and beyond.

I am straying off the cinema path for this podcast because my two guests are so deliciously depraved that I could not resist ending the year with their annual "Christmas Smackdown" show.

I was introduced to the work of Mark Nutter and Cynthia Carle when I covered "Re-Animator the Musical" for NPR back in 2011.

Nutter worked with Stuart Gordon to create a musical stage version of Gordon’s 1985 splatter fest movie "Re-Animator" (there, that’s the slim film connection for this episode) and Carle was in the cast. I fell in love with the musical and with their work. Check out Cinema Junkie podcast 41 for my love letter to "Re-Animator the Musical."

Then I heard that they do something called "Christmas Smackdown" that was "all of your most cherished holiday sentiments pinned down to the mat in an Argentine death choke." Needless to say I had to see it. But this was the first year I could actually make it up to Los Angeles to see the show.

It was all that I could have hoped for and more. It went beyond irreverent and into the realm of bad taste ... but bad taste of the most delectable kind.

Read more…

The gallery