Captain & Tennille: The Christmas Show
Fans of tacky and mediocre 1970s variety programs may find some retro interest in The Captain & Tennille Christmas Show. For everyone else, this DVD is about as much fun as watching muskrats making love.
This holiday offering is actually an episode from the Captain & Tennille’s unsuccessful 1976-77 TV show. In keeping with the protocol of that era’s programming, the show has a couple of second-tier comedy guests (Tom Bosley and Don Knotts) and a genuinely entertaining musical act (the Pointer Sisters, here in the original four-woman configuration). For no clear reason, Toni Tennille’s three less-than-charming sisters are also brought in for musical numbers.
Unfortunately, the holiday festivity is an utter bore. A bizarre opening number features Tennille in a lame Carmen Miranda-inspired impersonation, supported by four effeminate male dancers and a visibly uncomfortable "Captain" Daryl Dragon dressed like Scrooge. Huh? Dragon tries to redeem that fiasco with clumsy, overproduced instrumental takes on White Christmas and March of the Wooden Soldiers that sets the cast into an orgiastic frenzy.
Away from his keyboard, though, Dragon was uncomfortable with the lame comic dialogue of the show (his shy line readings are painful). But Tennille was even more disastrous. The poor woman was clearly clueless about her lack of versatility. Her attempts to join the Pointer Sisters’ soulful singing were embarrassing, and her comic abilities with Bosley and Knotts in a bad sketch about smoking on an airplane were nonexistent.
Rarely has a holiday presentation been as dreary and inert as this sad little affair. This has to be among the worst Christmas shows on DVD. Bah, humbug, indeed!
New audio commentary by Daryl Dragon and Toni Tennille.