A few years ago I found a photo on eBay of Mr. T dressed as Santa Claus. At first I figured it was from his day as the White House Santa. But, this photo was different. This had a different Santa suit and Emmanuel Lewis!
Yup, TV’s Webster. Of course, that’s not so surprising because I put his name in the title.
But, believe me, if I hadn’t you would be shocked right now.
So, with the knowledge of Mr. T and Webster starring in a film together, I turned to the IMDB where I found NOTHING about this film!
So, I went to Hollywood Blvd. If you have ever been to Hollywood, you have probably have been in the ‘headshot shops.’ These are stores (4 of them on Hollywood Blvd.) that sell pretty much NOTHING but movie and TV head shots. If you need to find one, someone on that street has it and will sell it to you for under $5.
After about an hour of searching I found what I was looking for.
Another picture of Mr. T and Webster, only this one also had NYC Mayor Ed Kotch. On the back it read “Mr. T and Emmanuel Lewis star in ‘A Christmas Dream’ on NBC. It also told the original airdate and the show description.
So, after searching for 6 months EVERYWHERE for this show on tape. I found it. Actually, I found two different copies of it almost at the same time.
So, here is a review you won’t find anywhere else on the web: Mr. T and Emmanuel Lewis in ‘A Christmas Dream’.
The show opens with Mr. T in a Santa suit trying very hard to talk while wearing a fake beard. Emmanuel Lewis approaches; he is a ‘latch key’ kid and doesn’t believe.
Let me be more specific, it’s not that he doesn’t believe in Santa, Emmanuel Lewis doesn’t believe in CHRISTMAS.
You probably have encountered people that don’t believe in Christmas before, be they Jews or Muslims, and you let them go on believing what they believe.
Not Mr. T.
Mr. T is determined to show Emmanuel Lewis the magic of Christmas. So much so that he bets him a dollar.
Anxious to show him some magic, Mr. T takes him to FAO Schwartz. There we find David Copperfield who is doing magic for a little girl who is far more interested in lifting up her dress than his magic tricks. This scenario would be repeated years later when Copperfield married Claudia Schiffer.
Since the magic of David Copperfield is not enough to match the magic of Christmas (or the magic of a $20 magic kit at Toys R’ Us, but that is a different matter) Mr. T takes Emmanuel on a Handsome Carriage ride through New York.
Then in a mind numbing series of travel video shots, they watch skaters in Rockefeller Center, meet Ed Kotch, sing with Maureen McGovern see the American Boy Choir and watch the Rockettes. Emmanuel even dreams he IS a Rockette.
Of course what young boy hasn’t dreamed of being a Rockette?
My favorite cameo in the picture is from ventriloquist Willie Tyler. He shows up with Lester and a new dummy named Buster.
Finally, the whole thing wraps up with Mr. T telling the story of the birth of Christ. At this point Emmanuel’s parents arrive to pick him up. Being so moved by the magic of Christmas he gives Mr. T a dollar.
Or, maybe he was moved by his desire to end this bizarre special. I would have paid a dollar for that.