TV Club: The Simpsons (Classic): “Miracle On Evergreen Terrace”

Early in the commentary track for “Miracle On Evergreen Terrace,” Matt Groening mentions that Christmas-themed episodes make him nervous, because they tend to be crappy. (“I’m a hateful, bitter guy,” he adds.) That’s surprising, considering The Simpsons has gone to the yuletide well a few times—14 specifically, according to the Simpsons wiki. (Let’s not forget the series began with a Christmas episode.) But way back on December 21, 1997, when this episode aired, the show had looked to the holidays for inspiration only a couple of times.

And it wasn’t Christmas, exactly, that inspired writer Ron Hauge (who wrote, and won an Emmy for, “Homer’s Phobia”), but a news story he heard on the radio during his drive to work. It was about a family who’d been robbed around Christmastime, and after the community rallied around them, they ended up with more than …

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