Monday, December 5, 2011

Rudolph was a Gimmick

Posted by Jack

This is part 2 of my own personal "war on Christmas" (not this kind). For further context, be sure to read my earlier post about why the Grinch was Right.

Today, we turn our attention to the popular and beloved character, star of stage and screen, subject of song and sonnet, one Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

For the unenlightened, Wikipedia provides a charming introduction:

Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer is a fictional reindeer with a glowing red nose. He is popularly known as "Santa's 9th Reindeer" and, when depicted, is the lead reindeer pulling Santa's sleigh on Christmas Eve. The luminosity of his nose is so great that it illuminates the team's path through inclement winter weather.

I think we all know the story. Actually, most readers are probably familiar with the song, or the famous Rankin/Bass stop-motion television special. But many don't know that the tale of Rudolph began as a storybook.

Rudolph was created in 1939 as part of a promotional gimmick to attract customers.