Max Headroom is certainly one of the strangest things to come out of the eighties. Take his 1986 song "Merry Christmas Santa Claus (You're A Lovely Guy)," for instance.
There's an old man on a sleigh
Who's like me for just one day
When he bestrides the world like a huge co-co-co-colostomy
He gets no presents, no fun
And he's forgotten when he's done
So here's a little gift
A little song to him, fr-fr-from me:
Really puts you in the holiday spirit, don't it?
Forever Young gives some context:
1986 was a big year for Max (and Matt [Frewer]) – they already scored an international hit with "Paranoimia" (with The Art Of Noise), there was a British cult TV show called THE MAX HEADROOM SHOW in its third and final season, and they were on the verge of an American drama series, MAX HEADROOM, which started in the Spring of 1987 – and Coca-Cola commercials somewhere inbetween.
Not long after the success of "Paranoimia," Max Headroom did a holiday special in the U.K., MAX HEADROOM'S GIANT CHRISTMAS TURKEY, and from that special, a limited edition 7" holiday single was commissioned and was released on Chrysalis records: "Merry Christmas Santa Claus (You're A Lovely Guy)."
Wait, a Christmas special too? OMG hahaha, I wasn't ready:
Bury the lede bonus: Oh, and there was another Christmas (unproduced) special and it was written by George R.R. Martin! He wrote about it on his blog in 2017:
Our week-long M-M-Maxathon concluded on Satuday night at the Jean Cocteau with a staged table reading of "Xmas," my thirty-year-old unproduced (until now) MAX HEADROOM script. And I have to say, we went out on a high note. We had a sold-out theatre, and the audience seemed to enjoy every moment of the performance, laughing and applauding at all the right places.
…"Xmas," written in 1987, was actually the first time in my short television career that I tasted the disappointment that so many screenwriters come to know so well. I had been writing for television for less than two years, after all, and up to "Xmas," I'd had a charmed career. My only previous gig had been on TWILIGHT ZONE, where I wrote five scripts, every one of which was greenlit, produced, and telecast (though, okay, "The Road Less Travelled" got butchered on the way). "Mister Meat" had been a stumble, but I never went to script on that one. With "Xmas," I went all the way, and the script had been delivered and slated, scheduled… only to have the show cancelled abruptly.
It's been said that a writer's characters are his children. If so, then unproduced scripts are a screenwriter's stillborn children, and I have far too many of them (for my taste, at least — those who have worked longer in film and TV have many more). To have the oldest of those, "Xmas," brought to life at long last… to hear the lines spoken, to hear the audience laugh… well, it meant a lot to me.