Off The Wall: Deck The Halls

Mike – My family and I are obsessed with your version of Deck the Halls. We’ve memorized the new words, and plan to sing them on Christmas Eve during our neighborhood caroling event. Should be fun! In the meantime, a few quick questions.
1) How does a promo this outrageous come into existence?
2) What do you think the original composer would think of your version?
3) In the current version, you make a passing reference to “fixin cats,” which is accompanied by a faint but distinct “meow.” Makes us laugh every time, loudly. Is there really going to be a full segment episode about castrating cats? On Christmas? If so, God Bless Us, Everyone! See you Sunday!
Dan Elvin

Hi Dan – Glad you like the promos. I would very much like to see a video of your family singing the Dirty Jobs version of Deck the Halls to your neighbors. I would also like to see your neighbors faces as you do.
In reverse order, yes – cats will be castrated this season. Lots of them. In fact, I wrote a specific verse to commemorate the job, which you can see below. You’re welcome.

I suspect the original lyricist of Deck the Halls, a Scot named Thomas Oliphant, would be outraged by the liberties I’ve taken with his original poem. On the other hand, anyone who writes lines like “fa la la la la la la la la…” can’t be overly incensed if someone comes along with actual words. More importantly, Thomas Oliphant and John Hughes, (who wrote the original melody), are both long dead, and their work is now undisputedly in the public domain. Making the prospect of a lawsuit unlikely. Hallelujah! Whether that excuses me from using a beloved Christmas melody to celebrate the removal of a cat’s testicles is another matter.

Like all better-than-average marketing, this campaign was the result of a good collaboration with a conspicuous lack of corporate oversight. Josh, the marketing guy at Discovery, sent me the Karaoke version of Deck the Halls a few weeks ago, and invited me to “make it my own.” Later that day, I did. After narrating the final episode of Bering Sea Gold, I wrote a dozen verses in the booth and sang them all to the best of my ability. Andy the Engineer made me sound better than I am, and sent the audio files over to Josh, who turned them over to Jason, one of his brilliant editors. Jason, with some occasional feedback from Pablo and Jamie, added some appropriate, (or perhaps inappropriate) footage, to put a new shell on an old chestnut. Next thing you know, we’re castrating cats for Christmas. And singing about it!

Ho Ho Ho!!!

PS. The first episode, as you may have heard, airs tomorrow on Discovery at 8pm. That one is cat-free. But very, very dirty…

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