Laugh and also contact him names all you want, yet there’s no denying that the furry misfit at the heart of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” has actually outshone his naysayers to become the most famous holiday TV star of all.

The seasonal perennial was the brainson of producers Arthur Rankin and Jules Bass, that in 1964 took Johnny Marks’ novelty song and also turned it right into an immediate tv classical. When “Rudolph” first aired throughout a Sunday afternoon on NBC, it attracted a 50 share of the audience, which was sensational also in a three-channel universe. Five years later on, fans are still shouting out with glee.

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This year on CBS, “Rudolph” celebprices its 50th anniversary, extending its reign as television’s longest-running one-of-a-kind. Like “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” which turns 50 next year, “Rudolph” is a beloved heirimpend handed down from parents to their children.

“It’s a feel-excellent story of redemption, with a distinctive, magical look to it,” claims Rick Goldschmidt, author of “The Enchanted World of Rankin-Bass.” “Obviously, it’s a component of the holiday tradition for many kind of families.”

Paul Soles, who offered the voice for Rudolph’s pal, Hermey the elf, believes the concept of outcasts climbing as much as be heroes is a vital aspect in the program’s remaining power.

“I don’t think tbelow are many children that, while prospering up, didn’t at some allude feel favor an outsider or choose they didn’t meacertain up,” he claims. “So it’s not challenging to relate to — and also love — these characters.”

Over the years, the legfinish of this animated gem has obtained plenty of shine, however via the assist of Goldschmidt, we unspanned 10 things you didn’t understand around “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” Pull up an ice block and also lfinish an ear:

1. An international flavor

Rudolph might appear to be an all-Amerideserve to reindeer, however he and his pals were lovingly carried to life abroad by Japanese stop-activity animators functioning in a structure that had actually previously been used to test engines for fighter planes. In fact, many kind of of the Rankin-Bass “animagic” specials were swarm in Japan.

2. Northern exposure

While the animation for “Rudolph” was done in Japan, the voice work was percreated nearly entirely in Toronto by Canadian actors. They were largely known for their fine work in radio dramas, which, at the time, were still exceptionally popular north of the border.

3. Say what? Rudolph’s a girl?

Speaking of the world behind the puppets, it could come as a surpincrease that Rudolph was voiced by a woman. Billie Mae Richards, then 43, was an actress and also singer who had a knack for doing little-boy characterizations. Late in life, Richards became a neighbor of Soles at Toronto’s Percreating Arts Lodge, a real estate facility for showbiz vets. She died in 2010 at the age of 88.

4. A bit nip-and-tuck

Like many type of display screen stars, Santa Claus and also bit Rudolph have had some cosmetic work done. The two original puppets were in miserable form once discovered in someone’s attic in 2005. Santa’s fluffy eyebrows and also fifty percent his mustache were missing, as was Rudolph’s famous nose. After being appincreased on “Antiques Roadshow” (estimated value: $8,000 to $10,000), they were bought by a fan and brought back to mint problem by a Los Angeles computer animation studio.

5. A not-so-holly-jolly Dolly

On the Island also of Misfit Toys, the Dolly for Sue doesn’t appear to have anything wrong with her, and also for years, fans wondered why she was tbelow. Rankin assumed all the speculation a tiny silly, so he concocted a silly earlier story. Dolly, he asserted, experienced from depression and self-esteem worries.

6. Making a side expedition

The original 1964 airing of “Rudolph” did not have Santa traveling to the Island of Misfit Toys on Christmas Eve to rescue its downtrodden inhabitants. Some disappointed viewers protested, and also the show’s sponsor, General Electric, prodded Rankin and Bass to alter the finishing. Score one for the outcasts.

7. His song went dvery own in background

Marks, who in 1949 penned his tune around a reindeer through an incandescent snout, initially was reluctant to lend the song civil liberties to television. Recorded by Gene Auattempt, Andy Williams and also others, “Rudolph” was his gold mine, and he feared overexposing it. Marks not just relented, he wound up writing all the show’s various other songs.

8. A Burl-y snowguy

Burl Ives, the voice behind the show’s dapper narrator, Sam the Snowmale, was a late enhancement. Sam wregarding be played by Larry Mann, the male who voiced Yukon Cornelius. But NBC and General Electric believed the present essential some star power. Go into the banjo-playing Ives.

9. No distinct delivery

In the original manuscript, baby Rudolph was meant to be yielded to Donner and also his wife by a stork called Gus. The sequence, yet, was reduced for time.

10. Ratings silver and also gold

Even currently — in an era of DVDs and splintered audiences — “Rudolph” remains a crowd favorite, as the special generally wins the Nielsen race on the night it airs. Last year, more than 13 million viewers tuned in to watch Rudolph rescue Christmas when aobtain.

‘Rudolph’s lasting legacy: Even Hermey is surprised

Paul Soles, the man that gave the voice of Hermey in “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” is as surprised as anyone that the beloved holiday TV timeless is celebrating its gold anniversary this December.

He didn’t think the regime would last 2 years, let alone 50.

“Throughout the recording sessions, I remember thinking that this specific task is amazing and fun, however I figured it wouldn’t have any legs,” says Soles, 84. “I believed we would do it and also it would be done.”

A native of London, Ontario, Soles was one of a number of Canadians hired to execute voice work-related for “Rudolph” back in 1964. Producers Arthur Rankin and also Jules Bass were impressed by the talent pool in Canada, wright here, unchoose the UNITED STATE, radio dramas were still going solid.

“The sessions in Toronto were a little choose a kid’s birthday party,” Soles recalls. “We laughed a lot, made faces at one an additional and had actually tons of fun.”

Soles admits, but, that it was somewhat problematic to envision himself as a misfit elf who yearned to be a dentist.

“I’ve had actually my problems over the years with dentists. They’ve been the source of so much pain,” he says. “So it was a small tough to put myself in the body of a dentist.”

Soles clintends he doesn’t very own copy of “Rudolph” (“I’m not that vain”), however still watches the present yearly. As for the sweet Hermey voice, he is asked occasionally to perdevelop it for radio interviews, but admits that he can’t pull it off also, thanks to years of cigarette smoking.

In an interesting late-life twist, Soles came to be next-door neighbors of Billie Mae Richards, the womale that voiced Rudolph. They both lived in Toronto’s Performing Arts Lodge (PAL), a housing complex for showbiz veterans.

Richards, who died in 2010 at the age of 88, even operated via Soles an additional time once the two played a married couple in “Bram Stoker’s Shadowbuilder,” a 1998 horror film that had Soles percreating a very un-Hermey favor act.

“I ended up murdering her with an ax,” he says.

* * A Rudolph quiz * *


1. Of the eight reindeer who typically pull Santa’s sleigh, how many have actually speaking roles? What are their names?

2. How does Rudoph’s elf friend distract the Abominable Snow Monster?

3. What are the female reindeer in “Rudolph” lacking that actual female reindeer possess?

4. What breeds of dogs are in the load pulling Yukon Cornelius’ sled?

a. Huskies b. Cocker spaniel c. Dachshund

d. Malamute e. Collie f. Saint Bernard

5. When Yukon Cornelius, his dogs and also the Abominable Snow Monster fall off a cliff, why are none of them hurt?

6. Commenting on the weather, Yukon Cornelius states the fog is as thick as …¶

a. pea soup b. whipped cream

c. peanut butter d. jelly

7. What is the name of the King of the Island also of Misfit Toys? What is he?

8. What is the name of the jack-in-the-box on the Island of Misfit Toys?


1. Three. Donner is Rudolph’s father; Comet is the young reindeers’ coach; Dasher is additionally at the reindeer games with the youngsters.

2. He oinked favor a pig.

3. Antlers

4. Everything however (a) Huskies and (d) Malamute, which are typical sled dogs.

5. Since Bumbles bounce, of course.

6. Peanut butter

7. King Moonracer is a winged lion.

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So he’s sort of a griffin, although traditionally a griffin has the body of a lion and also the head and also wings of an eagle.