1959 again. JUDY GARLAND is hosting a television special, live from
CBS in Hollywood, on Christmas Eve. She looks and sounds better than
ever. If all goes well, this will be her greatest comeback yet. (BACK
IN CHRISTMAS TOWN).
welcomes her old friend BING CROSBY, who presents her with the recipe
for his Grandma Maggie's holiday grog. (LET'S
SHARE A CUP OF IRISH CHEER)
During the song Bing flubs a lyric. Was someone blocking his cue
cards? At the commercial break, Judy pretends to brush it off, but
puts down the sugary cheer and uncorks the hard stuff.
arrives with bells on, a box of homemade sticky buns and ENSIGN
RUSSELL, a strapping young sailor who's his " guest" for
Christmas Eve dinner with mother. Judy graciously guides the sailor
offstage and nervously urges Liberace to give the gift of music. (THE
CANDY CANE TWIST)
Yet with each musical chorus, another bulb on his famous candelabra
voice belting out "Silent Night" brings on ETHEL MERMAN,
just in from Honolulu to chat up her new album, "Ethel Goes
Hawaiian." Joined by two hunky fire-baton twirlers, Ethel
performs MAUNA LOA
During the number there's an unrehearsed blackout and Ethel angrily
blames a mysterious, shadowy figure in the wings. In fact, everyone
has seen him. Judy can barely contain her panic. Is someone trying to
ruin her comeback?