You’re most likely familiar with today’s entry, since it’s been covered by everyone from Aimee Mann to RuPaul over the years. It was written by Albert Hague (who later played Mr. Shorofsky in the Fame movie and TV series) for Chuck Jones’ classic animated TV special Dr. Seuss’s How The Grinch Stole Christmas! in 1966. (Make no mistake: when I say “classic,” I mean the only acceptable adaptation of Theodor Geisel’s beloved story. Don’t even talk to me about that live-action monstrosity from 2000. It’s bad enough that most TV stations chop up the original to fit in more commercials.)
The song features the vocal stylings of Thurl Ravenscroft (1914-2005), who had done voice work in Disney and Warner Brothers cartoons for decades before the special. (Ravenscroft was uncredited in How The Grinch Stole Christmas, though Geisel wrote to newspaper columnists around the country to tell them of Ravenscroft’s contribution.) Ravenscroft was the voice of Tony the Tiger in Kellogg’s commercials for more than fifty years, and his voice can be heard on Disneyland attractions such as the Haunted Mansion and Country Bear Jamboree to this day. He flew courier missions for the US War Department during World War II, and served in the US Army Air Transport Command. Plus, as a fan of the Gilmore Girls’ “The Festival of Living Art” episode, I was intrigued to learn that he was the voice of the real-life Laguna Beach Festival Arts Pageant of the Masters for decades. This accomplished man remained modest, claiming “I’m the only man in the world that has made a career with one word: Grrrrreeeat!” He certainly was.