Nothing says Christmas like synergy. Announcing six shows in Las Vegas this week in April and May next year. Michael Buble took to the stage in New York for Christmas in the City (Hulu). A light Christmas special with a version of the classic jazz you’d expect from a Canadian singer. As well as some special guests and lots of jokes.
30 Rockefeller Plaza, the Christmas tree is glowing red.
Inside, the NBC page opens the door to Studio 8H. It has long been the home of Saturday Night Live, but I had a different engagement tonight. Michael Buble and his band returned to the stage performing Elvis Presley’s blues standard “Blue Christmas”.
Michael Buble is no stranger to Christmas. Her 2011 Christmas album, entitled Christmas, has sold six million to date, and the singer hosts Your Christmas in town, the current season of a TV special sponsored by Bubly Sparkling Water.
“I want to be with you tonight,” he said upstairs, “He said if I hear a guy coughing, get out of here,” and with a hint of that tone, he crackles a chestnut “Holly Jolly Christmas”, which quickly turns into “Christmas (darling, please come home),” in which a special guest accompanies Buble. His first was Hannah Waddingham from Ted Lasso.
With familiar settings, camera angles and lighting:
Christmas on the town often feels like a mirror on SNL, and that feeling is complete when Jimmy Fallon goes crazy, fueled by a performance by Rudolph the Red-nosed Deer. The fun continues with Kermit the Frog’s “The Frog, Myth, Legend” release, and Michael and the Muppet crack a few jokes before starting “Jingle Bells”. (Will your Christmas come to an end when you hear Kermit kick off a jazz game in formal wear? Maybe.)
And with that, Leon Bridges sets the scene. With a well-dressed soul singer accompanying Buble in a duet version of “The Christmas Song”. They are saturated with smooth strings and piano. It was followed by a big band/vocal group performance of “White Christmas”. Which followed by acute bubble drink and a comedy segment. Where the singer talked to cute children at Christmas. “It’s starting to look like Christmas” and “Silent Night”, the latter playing with the boys’ choir and ending the night.
If Michael Buble didn’t plan on changing sides to a variety show hosted by Lawrence Welk, then he would have lost his calling. He has a welcoming and engaging Christmas presence around town, familiar with a touch of humour like the classic Christmas carols he brings here, many of which follow the format of his million-dollar album from 2011. Except for Fallon’s “Rudolph” part, which dissolves the evening felt entirely imported by SNL or the host program itself.
Buble teamed up with pop show titan Kermit, the Frog:
Both he and Leon Bridges matched their Christmas carol duet. There could have been more interaction with her guests. Hannah Waddingham just disappeared after her big show. And Camilla Cabello performed separately and entirely apart from Buble.
But Christmas in town felt a little curtailed, abused, and abused during the hour-long show period. A man like Buble could certainly sing his favourite holiday forever and easily roast an assembled audience; there will probably be a three-hour lag time for Christmas 2022 NBC/Hulu.
Or at least record and stream as background material for the Christmas season. Christmas in the City is a satisfying visual companion to Michael Bubble’s existing Christmas albums, with added flavours from special guests, both people and dolls.