Scriptwriter Walt Jaschek finds rare, 1992 CBS-TV holiday spot with performances by dozens of TV stars of the day.
Here’s a holiday TV blast from the past, never before seen on the internet, at least as far as we know.
In 1992, CBS-TV offered our agency Paul & Walt Worldwide the opportunity to write and submit scripts for its annual, big-deal, on-air holiday promo spot. The network had aired one annually since the dawn of the medium. Intended as a sincere gesture to express a sentiment on behalf of the brand, they’re seen and appreciated by tens of millions of TV viewers each year.
(Before it became a Paul & Walt client, the network had a long and happy relationship with Paul Fey, my partner; I wouldn’t have had a chance to work on any of these national campaigns if not for him.)
In submitting our stack of scripts, we included my holiday poem, “The Wish,” written specifically for the stars of the network’s hit shows of the day, and intended to be performed by them. Holiday miracle: our pals in the promo department bought it! And brought it to amazing life with their in-house production crew.
From Angela Lansbury (“Murder, She Wrote”) to William Shatner (“Rescue 911”) to Burt Reynolds (“Evening Shade,”) these iconic actors brought their holiday A-game to the performances. Thought lost to time, the 30-second spot showed up on a VHS tape in the bottom of a box at the bottom of another box. Yeah. I had it digitized.
Take a breath. Here are a dizzying array of 1990s TV icons. And their holiday wishes.
JAY THOMAS: We wish you the gift…
SUSAN DEY: That love can bring.
JOHN RITTER: The gift that keeps on giving.
BURT REYNOLDS: I wish for just one win this year!
ESTELLE GETTY: I wish to just keep living!
ANGELA LANSBURY: I wish you love and lasting joy.
DIXIE CARTER: We wish you a scrumptious diet!
WILLIAM SHATNER: I wish you hope and peace on Earth.
BOB NEWHART: Or at least some peace and quiet.
JANINE TURNER: We wish you warm and cozy nights.
MICHELLE LEE: And the greatest wish of all…
GERALD McRANEY: ..is a wish you make with your family.
CHARLES KIMBROUGH: No matter how big…
CANDICE BERGEN: …or how small. Happy holidays! ‘
© 1992 Walt Jaschek and CBS-TV
Shows represented: Love & War, Hearts Afire, Evening Shade, The Golden Palace, Murder, She Wrote; Designing Women; Rescue 911; Bob; Knot’s Landing; Major Dad; Murphy Brown.