|Riffed by||Ghosts On The Big Brown Couch|
|Riffers||Timothy Tompkins, Charlene Cavalcante, Dori Fleischmann, Catherine Wacha|
|Date Released||December 12, 2013|
Scrooge was a 1935 adaptation of Charles Dickens' classic short story A Christmas Carol. Scrooge, however, was far from one of the best versions of this tale, and that is probably a bit of an understatement. With an extremely low budget, flat performances, and almost no special effects (most of the famous Christmas spirits are never even shown!), it is a deadly dull affair. It was therefore a perfect target for riffing, particularly by a trio of ghosts.
The WraparoundEditStopping at the corner convenience store on the way home on Christmas Eve, Johnny runs into across-the-hall neighbor Mrs. Hinkle. The kindly old lady informs him that the Ghost of Christmas Future appeared to her earlier that day, and explained to her that her grandson would grow up to be a spoiled brat if she spoiled him with too many presents. Because she thinks Johnny is a nice young man, Mrs. Hinkle then had the building's landlord let her into Johnny's apartment, where she dropped off several items, including the new Sony Playstation 3 that she had originally intended to give to her grandson.
Suspecting that someone has tricked the nice old lady, Johnny storms home and confronts his three ghostly roommates, who deny everything and point out that they are literally unable to leave the apartment to go playing practical jokes. Johnny reluctantly admits that they have a point, and he and Babs settle in to watch 1935's Scrooge (Dori and Becky having stormed off, claiming to have been insulted by his accusations).
Eventually the other two ghosts join in for the viewing of the (truly awful) film, after which Johnny is aware of a strange presence. He then realizes that Death himself is hovering about the room. The Grim Reaper appears and introduces himself, after which he has a brief conversation in which he explains that it was he who posed as the Ghost of Christmas Future and got Mrs. Hinkle to give away the Christmas goodies. When questioned further on the matter, Grim simply says that "There is always a plan."
Grim shows Johnny one of his most interesting tricks, that although Death is faceless, a person always sees his own face on the Grim Reaper when it is his time to die. Grim also explains to Johnny that there was a purpose to him being introduced to the three ghostly roommies, although it is one that only time can reveal. Then, ominously, Grim takes Johnny to go visit Mrs. Hinkle again. Friendly as ever, Mrs. Hinkle greets Johnny, before (predictably) looking at the Grim Reaper and exclaiming, "Oh, Ghost of Christmas Future, why do you have my face?" She then topples over dead. Stumbling back to his apartment, Johnny realizes that there is indeed always a plan, in this case a reason why Mrs. Hinkle didn't need to hang onto all of those Christmas presents.
Beginning with this episode, actor/voiceover artist Nick Koontz took over announcing duties, and has introduced each program since. Joseph O'Brien, screenwriter of the Robocop: Prime Directives miniseries, as well as writer/director of the upcoming horror release Devil's Mile guest starred as the Grim Reaper.
The kind (and doomed) Mrs. Hinkle was portrayed by experienced stage actress Lisa Graham.
Scrooge was actually the third episode produced for Ghosts On The Big Brown Couch; at the time it was made, the riff for Air Collision (as well as its wraparound) had already been completed. However, when the director realized that he could have a Christmas episode finished by the end of November, when it would be most welcomed by potential viewers, he decided to temporarily shelve the earlier episode and shuffle the release order.
Dori and Becky's absence during the first half of the riffs was due to the real-life emergency of Hurricane Sandy, which had destroyed the home of cast members Dori Fleischmann and Catherine Wacha. Amazingly, in spite of their need to hurriedly relocate, the two performers still took the time to come in and record riffs for the second half of the film.