Our walk down memory lane, exploring Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman in the absence of Supergirl until late January, has taken an abrupt yuletide turn this week.
Instead of digging through a single episode for Easter eggs like we've done for the last coupleof weeks, we figured it was as good a time as any to take a look at "Season's Greedings," "Home is Where the Hurt Is," and "'Twas the Night Before Mxymas," better known as the Christmas episodes of Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman.
Yesterday, we just talked about the stories, the themes, the acting, and compared which was the best.
Today: Let's dig around for Easter eggs and references in "Season's Greedings."
So...what did we see? What did we miss?
Read on, and comment below.
The Coates Orphanage, which plays a key role in the story and is run by Dick Van Patten's "Santa," is named for Phyllis Coates, who played Lois Lane on The Adventures of Superman in 1951 as well as in the movie Superman and the Mole Men.
While Coates does not play Lois Lane's mother in any of the Christmas episodes, she did play the role in the season 1 finale. This followed in the tradition of her Adventures of Superman successor Noel Neill, who played Lois's mother in Superman: The Movie, and Teri Hatcher (Lois on this very show), who played Lois's mom in Smallville.
Given the relative ages of Superman in Supergirl and Erica Durance in real life, it seems unlikely that Supergirl's Lois could play the role of Lois's mother anytime soon.
In addition to her role on The Adventures of Superman, Coates was one of Hollywood's most prolific actresses in the '50s and '60s after having got her start in Vaudeville in the '40s.
The Toyman, front and center in this episode, is well-known to Superman readers as a villain who's been around for decades...and to Supergirl viewers as the father of Winn Schott, Supergirl's computer whiz.
In the days before racebending traditionally-white characters was really a thing (let alone a "controversy"), Schott became a black man -- but he wasn't just any old character actor. This was Sherman Hemsley, better known to the world at large as George Jefferson from The Jeffersons -- and his secretary/love interest in the episode was played by Isabel Sanford, who played George's wife Louise.
In 1995, and with the slightly-older audience that Lois & Clark tended to draw than the average superhero show, that probably made Schott's indignant cry of "She's been with me for twenty years!" resonate even more.
DICK VAN PATTEN
Dick Van Patten, the legendary actor you might recognize from the original Westworld, the 1975 Wonder Woman, or almost any Mel Brooks movie, makes an appearance in this episode as "Santa," the proprietor of the Coates Orphanage.
ATOMIC SPACE RATS
Something that's taking place in the '90s having "Atomic Space Rats" as a MacGuffin certainly has a certain Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles vibe to it.
Before she was known for roles in movies like Drop Dead Gorgeous, Wild Things, and The World is Not Enough, Denise Richards made her appearance here as Angela, the gorgeous girl at the office Jimmy Olsen has a crush on.
This was far from her first job: by now she'd been acting regularly for almost five years, with roles like Seinfeld, In Living Color, Doogie Howser M.D., and Saved By The Bell in her rearview mirror. Still, seeing her this young and in this small a role is a surprising treat 20 years later.
CLARK JEROME KENT
Apparently here, Clark Kent's middle name is a tribute to Jerome "Jerry" Siegel, the writer who co-created the character.
Clark's middle name in the comics is given variously as either Joseph, Jerome, or Jonathan. The first two are allusions to creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, and the third is the name of Clark's in-story father.
We don't see Professor Emil Hamilton, Superman's resident science expert in the comics around this time, but we do get a name-drop of the character when Lois is on the phone getting answers about the chemical inside the rats.
S.T.A.R. Labs, DC's finest super-science facility and a fixture on both versions of The Flash (1990 and the current one), also gets a name-drop.