The other day, we told you about the Yule Log that has been produced by iN DEMAND for VOD cable viewers in the last decade or so. But the famous televised Yule Log that started it all on WPIX in New York in 1966 is also still burning strong on many broadcast networks after 45 years. The ambient holiday classic — a simple, calming film loop of a log burning in a hearth, accompanied by songs of the holiday season — has inspired numerous other Logs and parodies, and has become a part of pop culture (Log merchandise available for purchase includes boxer shorts with “Nice log!” and “That’s HOT!” slogans on them, and the Log has now embraced social media, and can be followed on Facebook and Twitter). WPIX even offers a portable Yule Log for your iPod.
Social media is not the only technical advances the Yule Log has kept up with. In recent years, the Log has been digitally remastered and fully restored — in 2001, the original film was color-corrected and cleaned, and in 2003 the Log was up-converted to high definition, and WPIX now airs the Yule Log in HD. In 2006, to celebrate the Log’s 40th anniversary, Lawrence F. “Chip” Arcuri and Joe Malzone, creators of fan site theyulelog.com, restored the audio of the Yule Log and, in 2009, with the assistance of Arcuri, WPIX added a fourth hour to the program, including 23 classic holiday songs. The fourth hour leads off with Mantovani’s interpretation of “Adeste Fideles,” which first aired on the Yule Log in the late 1960s and has now been restored to the program. The new hour adds nine artists, including Bert Kaempfert, Mitch Miller, Bing Crosby, Vic Damone and Johnny Mathis.
WPIX in New York, the Yule Log’s original home, will be airing this four-hour broadcast in HD this Christmas Day, Dec. 25, from 9am-1pm local time. Other Tribune Broadcasting stations around the country will be airing the original Yule Log as well, with times listed below (all broadcast times are for Dec. 25, and are shown in that city’s local time. Check your local listings for further information):
KDVR/Denver: 10-11am & 9:30-11pm
WXMI/Grand Rapids: 11-11:30am
KPLR/St. Louis: 4-7am
WDCW/Washington, D.C.: 11:30am-1:30pm
KRCW/Portland: Universal Sports/NRCW/32.3 will air the Yule Log for 24 hours straight, starting at midnight on Dec. 24 and ending at midnight at the end of the holiday on Dec. 25
KTXL/Sacramento will air the Yule Log on its digital subchannel 40.2 beginning at 8pm on Dec. 24, through 8am on Dec. 25.
Happy Anniversary, Yule Log! And burn, baby, burn!