The 20 Specials of Christmas: Moral Orel

Holy Baby Jesus this Christmas special is dark.

By itself, Adult Swim’s Moral Orel was a spot-on parody of the Sunday school propaganda many of us were forced to watch as kids. Orel is so completely in love with his religion that you feel awful for him. He’s a younger version of Job, except there is no reward at the end. He’s just suffering.

Mixed with the expectations a child feels around Christmas, it’s tragic.

Nothing about this special is happy. The long shot of Orel’s Mom after she separates from his Dad. The song on the radio using Jesus to sell pizza. Orel’s prayer at the end. Oh God, Orel’s prayer at the end. It’s all so sad.

“The Best Christmas Ever!” is the darkest special I’ve ever seen. While “scary” shows like Tales From The Crypt might use murder to darken Christmas, there’s nothing more horrible than seeing a child’s life shattered on the greatest day of the year.

You need this special now.

Mike Drucker is a lovely man with many positive characteristics. He has written for Saturday Night Live, The Onion, McSweeney’s, and Nintendo. He’s also a stand-up or something, I guess.

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