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With Stan's dissatisfaction of the family's Christmas decoration, he takes them out in the dead of winter to find a more adequate Christmas tree.
Leaving the family in the car Stan heads out alone only to be crushed by the perfect tree. Having a near death experience he spends time in limbo in court so they can decide if he should get a second chance at life.
With no luck in court, he kidnaps his lawyer and heads to God's house to confront the only person who can save himself & his family.
Jim Henson and Kermit the Frog are portrayed as being trapped in a thin piece of glass, similar to General Zod and his Kryptonian accomplices encasement in a device known as the Phantom Zone in the 1978 movie Superman and 1980 movie Superman II.
Haley: “I picked up all the Charlie Brown holiday specials, from the very first one where he learns the true meaning of Christmas, to the one from the 80's where he meets the kid with AIDS”
The first special Haley is referring to is the classic 1965 Peanuts special, “A Charlie Brown Christmas”, the second special however is either completely made up (since there are no Christmas specials from the 80's) or the “kid with AIDS” could be a reference to the character “Lila” from 1972's, “Snoopy Come Home”.
She was Snoopy's original owner who was sick in the hospital & confined to bed.
Roger: “...I stole his holiday spirit, and that made my holiday spirit grow stronger, because that's how it works right? Like Highlander? There can be only one?”
was a 1986 action/fantasy movie starring Christopher Lambert (1957-)
& Sean Connery (1930-)
The tag line for the movie was “There can be only one”
The premise of the movie series basically being, immortals battle each other to the death and each time one is killed the victor receives power from the vanquished and eventually the lone remaining survivor receives “The Prize”.
Stan: “The INXS guy hung himself with more care”
Stan is referring to Michael Hutchence (1960-1997)
, the former lead singer of the rock group INXS (1977-Present)
His death was officially ruled a suicide but the lack of a suicide note and other evidence at the scene suggested he accidentally strangled himself performing auto-erotic asphyxiation.
Roger: “Oh my god, I can see my heart light”
This is a reference to the 1982 song, “Heartlight”
by Neil Diamond (1941-)
The song was inspired by the 1982 family film “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial”
because when E.T. left earth his heart glowed bright red, hence the title of the song.
Roger: (singing) “Last night a Santa saved my life”
This is a variation of a line from the 1983 song, “Last Night a DJ Saved My Life”, written by Michael Cleveland & performed by the R&B group Indeep.
Obviously Roger has replaced “DJ” w/ “Santa”
The manner in which the mandrill treats Haley after she's born are the same things “Rafiki” did to “Simba” when he was born in the 1994 Disney movie, “The Lion King”
Michelle: “I guess you could say this father realized he didn't know best”
Reference to (and a play on the title of)
the radio show that became the sitcom “Father Knows Best” (1954-1960)
starring Robert Young (1907-1998)
& Jane Wyatt (1911-2006)
Saint Peter: “The last guy that tried to sneak in here was Jim Henson and we all know what happened to him.”
Jim Henson (1936-1990)
, the creator of “The Muppets”
makes an appearance in this episode along side his most famous creation, “Kermit the Frog”
1970's brother and sister singing duo Donny (1957-)
and Marie Osmond (1959-)
are mentioned in this episode as Stan & Michelle's disguises to sneak past the doorman.