The Channel 11 Yule Log Burns Bright Again

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by jason_els, Dec 25, 2008.

  1. jason_els

    jason_els <img border="0" src="/images/badges/gold_member.gi

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    From 9am-1pm EST, WPIX in New York will air its world-famous Yule Log.

    Yule Log is up there with fruit cake and Christmas trees for New Yorkers and there's nothing quite like it. For those New Yorkers living in tiny apartments without working fireplaces (a rare luxury), the Yule Log provides a bit of Christmas they might not otherwise have.

    Yule Log
    is a 17-second loop of film of a burning yule log originally filmed in 1966 at Gracie Mansion, the official residence of the Mayor of New York. To enhance the experience of a fireplace-in-your-TV-set, various mellow carols are played in the background. That's all it is. It is played without commercial interruption. The idea came from Fred Thrower, the station's general manager who figured nobody would be watching TV on Christmas morning so why not offer fireplaceless New Yorker's with the closest thing to it, even if the great majority of TV sets back then were black and white? The idea worked. People loved it and very quickly one of the first things people did on Christmas morning was turn on Channel 11 for a pleasant electroluminescent fireplace and pleasant Christmasy background music.

    It used to be that Channel 11 (as metro New Yorkers call WPIX) played Yule Log every year but that stopped in the 1989 as the Yule Log was out of fashion and frequently ridiculed. After 9/11 Channel 11 felt a little nostalgia was in order so they put the Yule Log back on the air in 2001 and the response so great that they continue with it to this day.

    Channel 11's Yule Log has spawned many imitators all over the country, though any New Yorker can instantly spot the high andirons with the big brass balls and that one falling ember just slightly to the left of center that clues you to where the loop is spliced, on the original Yule Log. Don't be surprised however, if you see the New York Yule Log all over the country-- many stations just license it rather than create their own.

    It's corny, it's silly, it's fake, but it's also endearing and sentimental for precisely those reasons. Channel 11 realized this and in 2004 they restored Yule Log, remastered the soundtrack, and re-recorded it in high definition. Today, Yule Log will look better than ever and this will be the first year you can download a version of it for your iPod.

    To celebrate this bit of New York tourists never see, here are a collection of links regarding the Channel 11 Yule Log:

    WPIX Presents the Famous Yule Log

    The Downloadable Yule Log in MP4

    The Yule Log.com


    A YouTube clip of the Channel 11 Yule Log
     
    #1 jason_els, Dec 25, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2008
  2. D_Rod Staffinbone

    D_Rod Staffinbone Account Disabled

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    thanks for this. i love hearing about stuff like this. KTLA in los angeles for years had a "twilight zone" marathon on thanksgiving. it was widely copied and now i think it's on the sci-fi cable channel on the fourth of july.

    many fond memories of time spent with friends and the marathon, when it was on thanksgiving on ktla, shortly after i moved to la when i was 21. much mischief and merrymaking.
    my friends were like my new family during that time.

    glad nyc's "yule log" has been revived.
     
  3. Northland

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    It was better in the old days when it burned all day long instead of just a couple of hours. I was going to record it so I could watch it endlessly for the entire evening; but, sadly I forgot to do so.
     
  4. Deno

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    fox 43 did that here this christmas morning, like there wasn't enough reasons to not watch tv.
     
  5. Rikter8

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    Is it just me...or is that yule log recording like a fricking inferno? The audio track sucks. Why in the world would anybody want to listen to that is beyond me.

    There are plenty of screen savers and fireplace tracks on the market today that would put the original Yule Log in moth balls forever.

    Hell....I'll load my fireplace up, record and upload it, and it will look and sound a whole lot better than this.
     
  6. nudeyorker

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    This sort of became a camp tradition for most New Yorkers who do not have fireplaces!
     
  7. B_JasonDawgxxx

    B_JasonDawgxxx New Member

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    #7 B_JasonDawgxxx, Dec 27, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2008
  8. jason_els

    jason_els <img border="0" src="/images/badges/gold_member.gi

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    It's presented without commercial interruption. About the only thing left in Christmas that isn't.
     
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