This dark and amazing animation about the end of humankind aired on Ed Sullivan in 1956

Joan and Peter Foldes directed this incredible animation, titled "A Short Vision," in 1956. The couple created the film -- based on a poem by Peter -- in their kitchen. It was funded by a grant from the British Film Institute's Experimental Film Fund. From Wikipedia:

Ed Sullivan saw A Short Vision in England, and promised an American showing. He said his motive was a "plea for peace" However, he may have shown it because of his relationship with George K. Arthur, A Short Vision's distributor. Ten days after he saw it, Sullivan showed A Short Vision on his popular Sunday night show The Ed Sullivan Show on 27 May 1956. Sullivan told the audience to tell their children in the room to not be alarmed, because of its animated nature. The film was very popular, and it was shown again on 10 June; Sullivan told parents to take children out of the room.

More on the film's history here: "A SHORT VISION: Ed Sullivan’s Atomic Show Stopper" (CONELRAD) Read the rest

MADtv's violent Rankin/Bass Christmas spoofs

Some of you may be old enough to remember these most excellent MADtv parodies of Rankin/Bass stop-motion kids' movies, and some of you need a pop culture elder like myself to point you to them. Either way, I think they're brilliant and hope they'll make you laugh as hard as I did when I first saw them. They're definitely not for little eyes though!

This first one is called "Raging Rudolph" (1995) and it's an ultra-violent, Scorsese-esque takeoff of the perennial favorite, Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964):

After the success of the first one, MADtv came out with "Reinfather" a year or two later which, as you guessed, spoofs The Godfather:

In 1999, they aired "A Pack of Gifts Now," a take on Apocalypse Now. A bit of trivia on this one, Patton Oswalt pitched this skit when he was a writer at MADtv. They produced it a year after he left:

Now, all three of these were created by Corky Quakenbush of Space Bass Films. If you liked them, you'll be happy to know he made more in the spirit of the MADtv ones.

On this later one for Larry the Cable Guy, Quakenbush writes, "This is the cleaned up for television version. Jinno was tasked with digitally removing all the bloodshed we meticulously animated as well as us having to edit out 30 seconds of the senseless massacring of every virtually unarmed character from the original Rudolph special prior to rocket bombing Santa's castle..." Read the rest