Christmas around the television

Alook at the upcoming holiday specials on TV:

* "Tony Danza's Christmas Eve Special" (NBC). Former "Who's the Boss?" star reads "Twas The Night Before Christmas" to puzzled P.S. 51 students in his thick Brooklyn accent (". . . an' all tru da house, not a creecher was stirrin', not even a mouse, ya know what I'm saying?")


Guests: Heather Locklear, Tupac Shakur.

* "A Peanuts Christmas" (CBS). (Animated). Charlie Brown and the gang, now in their mid-30s, compare cholesterol levels and discuss Lucy's recent divorce.


Linus recounts a stint in rehab.

* "Frosty the Snowman" (ABC). (Animated). Frosty scoffs at friend Chilly's theory of global warming, until 85-degree temperatures cause his head to melt and his carrot nose to fall off.

Frosty's voice: Charlton Heston.

Chilly's voice: Marv Albert.

* "The Andy Williams Christmas Special" (PBS). The venerable entertainer meanders through his traditional low-key performance at the Moon River Theater in Branson, Mo., as ushers poke audience members to keep them awake.

Guests: Florence Henderson, Louis Farrakhan.

* "A Regis and Kathie Lee Christmas!" (ABC). Popular morning talkmeisters struggle through "Silent Night," bake a mince pie and make fun of Gellman because he doesn't celebrate Christmas.

Guests: Maria Shriver, Shimon Peres.


* "Ricki Lake's Salute to the Holidays" (FOX). Six wives who slept with their brothers-in-law are hooted at ("Tramp! Slut!") by the audience as they weep and sing Christmas carols.

Streetwalkers tell how they pick up johns when "The Nutcracker" lets out at the Washington Ballet.

Special guest appearance: Heidi Fleiss.

* "A Newt Gingrich Christmas Carol!" (TNN). The next House speaker entertains troubled inner city youths with inventive carols ("You Won't Be Home For Christmas," "Hark the Herald Angels Dial 911") and calls for mandatory drug testing for all members of the Clinton administration.

Guests: Rush Limbaugh, Gennifer Flowers.

* "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" (DIS). (Animated). Rudolph talks to PETA activists and leads a labor stoppage among the reindeer that has Santa seeing red -- until a mysterious mob "mediator" arrives on the scene.


Rudolph's voice: Kris Kristofferson.

* "A Malibu Christmas with Susan Anton," (CBS). Washed-up actress takes time out from her new job at Sizzler's to host an evening of bad singing, dancing and puppet acts.

Guests: Shari Lewis, Congressman Sonny Bono.

* "Siegfried and Roy's Las Vegas Christmas!" (TNN). Famous lacquer-haired animal trainers taunt lions and tigers at the Mirage Hotel to the strains of Handel's "Messiah."

Guests: Ann-Margret, NRA president Wayne La Pierre.

* "Dolly Parton's Country Christmas" (HBO). Bosomy entertainer wanders Tennessee countryside in tight-fitting sweaters while warbling tunes that only partially resemble "Joy to the World," "Jingle Bells," etc.


Guests: Vince Gill, Dr. Jack Kevorkian.

* "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" (TBS). (Animated.) Annoying green creature and equally annoying citizens of Whoville irritate viewers with goofy rhymed speech patterns.

* "Def Comedy Christmas Jam" (HBO.) The holidays come to the 'hood as Russell Simmons is host of a hilarious evening of profanity.

* "The Simpsons' Holiday Special" (FOX). (Animated). When Homer's Christmas bonus is canceled, Marge and the kids beat him with sticks and make him sleep in the tool shed.

* "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation" (NBC) -- Yuletide mischief and mayhem dog the Griswalds as they stay home for the holidays and investigate Clark's cache of Semtex explosives.

* "Hopes for the Holidays" (NBC). Celebrate 40 years of Christmas memories with Bob and Delores Hope from their home in Palm Springs, Calif., while exhausted firefighters battle hilltop blazes in the background.


Guests: Clarence Thomas, AP All-America Team.

* "Christmas in Washington" (NBC). President and Mrs. Clinton join host Helen Hunt for an evening of listless holiday music and faux yuletide cheer as the president's approval rating plummets.