The Christmas season is filled with television specials that remind us of our childhood. From “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” to “The Grinch,” holiday favorites offer a lesson for viewers, while enabling them to celebrate and experience the Christmas spirit.
But when a new, animated holiday cartoon called “A Krampus Carol” was produced for the Travel Channel, it was apparently a bit too creepy and disturbing to be aired. So, executives decided to pull the plug.
Anthony Bourdain, a chef and television personality who hosts the Travel Channel’s “No Reservations” show, apparently wrote the short cartoon. He took the Austrian legend of Krampus, a mythical demon-like creature who accompanies Santa and punishes children who land on the “Naughty List,” and attempted to bring it to the small screen.
Gawker reports about why the network made the decision not to air the cartoon:
Apparently, they felt the world was not quite ready for a stop-motion retelling of Santa’s “whip-toting sidekick” who “whips and licks naughty children” with his 12-inch tongue then “carries them off in his sack” — a source tells us they cited sensitivities regarding the Penn State scandal when delivering Bourdain the disappointing news.
But while the short cartoon isn’t going to air on the Travel Channel, it can be seen on YouTube in its entirety. Below, watch Bourdain’s ”A Krampus Carol:”
Krampus is the dark companion of St. Nicholas, the traditional European winter gift-bringer who rewards good children each year on December 6. The kindly old Saint leaves the task of punishing bad children to a hell-bound counterpart known by many names across the continent — Knecht Ruprecht, Certa, Perchten, Black Peter, Schmutzli, Pelznickel, Klaubauf, and Krampus. Usually seen as a classic devil with horns, cloven hooves and monstrous tongue, but can also be spotted as a sinister gentleman dressed in black or a hairy man-beast. Krampus punishes the naughty children, swatting them with switches and rusty chains before dragging them in baskets to a fiery place below.
Here’s a short video that provides a quick Krampus recap:
And here’s a disturbing parade of Krampuses that was filmed in Graz, Austria, back in 2010:
Thankfully, Krampus wasn’t a part of my own Christmas tradition growing up. He’s enough to scare any mischievous child back onto the Nice List with ease.