How Murray Saved Christmas

How Murray Saved Christmas

DVD cover
Based on How Murray Saved Christmas
by Mike Reiss
Written by Mike Reiss
Directed by Peter Avanzino
Starring Jerry Stiller
Sean Hayes
Kevin Michael Richardson
Jason Alexander
John Ratzenberger
Dennis Haysbert
Narrated by Dennis Haysbert
Theme music composer Walter Murphy
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
Producer(s) Claudia Katz
Lee Supercinski
Editor(s) Paul D. Calder
Running time 42 minutes
Production company(s) Rough Draft Studios
Universal Animation Studios
Distributor Universal Television
Original network NBC
Original release
  • December 5, 2014 (2014-12-05)

How Murray Saved Christmas is a 2014 Christmas musical television special directed by Peter Avanzino and written by Mike Reiss. The special stars Jerry Stiller, Sean Hayes, Kevin Michael Richardson, Jason Alexander, John Ratzenberger and Dennis Haysbert. It is based on Mike Reiss' 2004 children's book of the same name which was illustrated by David Catrow. The special premiered on December 5, 2014, on NBC.


Somewhere in the world is a quaint little town called Stinky Cigars. The town is a secret hiding in plain sight, for the name "Stinky Cigars" drive the unsuspecting people away. The town is actually a haven for all of the holiday characters, from the well known (Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny) to the minor (Arbor Day Aardvark and Labor Day Amos).

All of the town's residents are happy, all except for Murray Weiner, the Curmudgeon owner of the town's diner.




The special received 3.57 million viewers and a 0.9/3 rating/share.[1]

How Murray Saved Christmas received mixed reviews from critics. The review-aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes gives the special a score of 50% based on reviews from 6 critics, with an average score of 3.7/10.[2] The review-aggregation website Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 top reviews from mainstream critics, calculated a score of 60 out of 100 based on 4 reviews, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[3]

Patrick Kevin Day of the Los Angeles Times gave the special a positive review, saying "It's the kind of special that harried parents may want to turn on for their own tired parents to help babysit the kids. They'll enjoy the extended tribute to milkmen."[4] Robert Bianco of USA Today gave the special a positive review, saying "The very multicultural Murray is one of those rare holiday specials the entire family can enjoy for years to come."[5] Brian Lowry of Variety gave the special a negative review, saying "Reiss has talked about bringing a "Simpsons" sensibility to Christmas specials, and in that sense: mission accomplished. But at the risk of sounding like a Grinch, while Murray gets the sleigh off the ground, How Murray Saved Christmas doesn’t manage to stay airborne."[6] Erik Adams of The A.V. Club gave the special a C+, saying "Sentiment- and story-wise, How Murray Saved Christmas is all over the place, but its joke-telling abilities live up to the shiniest lines on its creators’ resumes."[7]

Home media

How Murray Saved Christmas was released on DVD on December 16, 2014.[8]


  1. Bibel, Sara (December 8, 2014). "Friday Final Ratings: 'Grimm' Adjusted Up & Final College Football Numbers". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved December 8, 2014.
  2. "How Murray Saved Christmas". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 6 December 2014.
  3. "How Murray Saved Christmas - Season 1 Reviews - Metacritic". Metacritic. Retrieved 6 December 2014.
  4. "'How Murray Saved Christmas' skews older". Los Angeles Times. 5 December 2014. Retrieved 6 December 2014.
  5. Robert Bianco, USA TODAY (5 December 2014). "Weekend TV: 'How Murray Saved Christmas'". USA Today. Retrieved 6 December 2014.
  6. "TV Review: 'How Murray Saved Christmas'". Variety. Retrieved 6 December 2014.
  7. "Review: Character counts in Toy Story That Time Forgot and How Murray Saved Christmas". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 6 December 2014.
  8. "How Murray Saved Christmas". Retrieved 6 December 2014.
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