A Christmas Connection

‘Twas the day after Halloween..
I was browsing around the film prop store in Vancouver and they had some fake tombstones out front. On one of the tombstones was written “Ebenezer Scrooge” and immediately I knew I had seen it somewhere before.

Ebenezer Scrooge's tombstone from Rich Little's Christmas Carol

A picture of myself next to Ebenezer Scrooge’s tombstone from Rich Little’s Christmas Carol

Back in the early 1980’s my dad showed me a comedy version of the Christmas Carol starring Rich Little entitled “Rich Little’s Christmas Carol” or “The Merriest Christmas Yet”. It was my first introduction to the classic tale by Charles Dickens. I still have it recorded on a Beta tape somewhere 😉

I have always loved reading the credits of movies.. even when I was a kid. So, I remember that “Rich Little’s Christmas Carol” was made in Vancouver in 1978 by the CBC and debuted on HBO in 1979. So, it was very possible that this tombstone was an authentic film relic. But just to be sure that it was in fact the same prop before buying it, I went home and checked the video on Youtube. It turns out I was right.

Rich Little as W.C. Fields / Ebenezer Scrooge grasping with his possible fate.grasping with his possible fate.

Rich Little as W.C. Fields / Ebenezer Scrooge grasping with his possible fate at the mouth of a freshly dug grave

Rich Little as W.C. Fields / Ebenezer Scrooge grasping with his possible fate.

Rich Little as W.C. Fields / Ebenezer Scrooge begging the Ghost of Christmas Future to remove his name from the tombstone and to be given a new chance at life

Now, 36 years later, the prop tombstone has a lot of wear and tear, some smoothing and discoloration, pock-marked with styrofoam peeking through as it has probably been used in a lot of haunted houses or other productions since 1978 and it has slightly darker tones on the bottom half now. However certain marks on the tombstone do line up upon close inspection in a side-by-side comparison. There is also writing on the back possibly from another show.

Ebenezer Scrooge's Tombstone

Besides the type face and spacing, and the distinct shape of the tombstone, there were a few chips and marks which helped me to id this prop as authentic 🙂

If you haven’t seen this version of “A Christmas Carol”, do yourself a favor and check it out. It’s a bit dated, but still very funny as Rich Little played every character in the show. Just as Jim Carrey played many of the characters in the 2009 version of A Christmas Carol (which I worked on as a matte painter). It has been noted that Carrey is also quite the fan of Rich Little.. both of them being proud Canadians eh.
You can spot the tombstone here @ 6:07:

more info about the show:


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