Hard Ticket to Ho-Ho-Home Video: Switchmas


Switchmas (1965)


*Spoilers Throughout*

Ira_Finkelstein's_ChristmasWhat’s It About: Christmas-obsessed Jewish kid from Hollywood decides to switch identities with a gentile at the airport after he learns that the gentile is going to some place called Christmastown, Washington. Oy Vey!

Here are some of my observations as I watched the film:

  • You can’t mistrust a movie made by “Von Piglet Productions” can you?
  • Why is Dom’s kid David DeLuise a very Italian man, playing a Jewish film producer? I mean he’s playing a decent Jew but why didn’t they just get a Jewish actor? They managed to bride Elliott Gould into this Shtunk.
  • This Jewish kid is basically a younger version of McLovin. But he also somewhat resembles Wormser from Revenge of the Nerds.
  • I’d like to show Ira’s mom who’s boss. She’s quite the shayner.
  • This kid is so obsessed with Christmas that he gets so upset when he can’t go to Aspen to see real snow. The reason they’re all not going to Aspen now is because his movie producer/director father just hired some ditz to play the part in his shoddy B-grade sci-fi/Christmas movie and starts production IMMEDIATELY!
  • To appease their Christmas obsessed kid they ship him off to his Florida grandparents. They couldn’t pick a less Christmasy place.
  • This movie actually splurged some gelt to make a short Christmas animated dream sequence. Suffice to say, it’s bupkes.
  • There’s a Christmastown, WA? Is that a real place?! [editor’s note: short answer: No. The movie was filmed in Leavenworth, WA which is known for it’s elaborate Christmas/Bavarian theme and decorations. I wish this movie was filmed in Leavenworth prison.]
  • Ira says he saw every Christmas movie ever made. BULLLLLLLSHIT!
  • Mikey says “Finkelstein? That’s funny.” After he is introduced to Ira. What a bigoted little bastard.
Shlemiel! Shlimazl!

Shlemiel! Shlimazl!

  • Just because his grandparents haven’t seen Ira in person in years doesn’t mean they haven’t seen pictures right?! They should know that this isn’t really Ira. This is a shanda!
  • So, Mikey’s aunt is a fox and his uncle is a drunk. This should be interesting.
  • Ira is having a Christmagasm!
  • The goth daughter, Jessica, asks the other daughter, Clare, if “Spike called?” She replies “How should I know?” Well did the phone ring?
  • How fucking stupid is this family that they think Ira is Mikey when Clare, talking to Ira directly about the ornament she made for him with Mikey’s recent picture in it and she still can’t see the difference.
  • Eliott Gould is quickly losing all his Trapper John cred by playing this 2-dimensional Jewish stereotype. He’s literally spouting out all the typical and well known Yiddish words like mensch, shlemiel and rabbi, sometimes out of context even.
  • Ira’s so obsessed with Christmas and is basically committing fraud being someone else to see and celebrate Christmas with total strangers, yet risks it all by lighting some candles because he’s missing Hanukkah.
  • Look I like Christmas and all the hullabaloo but a whole town devoted to it 365 days a year seems really fucking stupid. Why would anyone want to live here? 
  • Isn’t it a little strange that there’s a store in Christmastown that sells Hanukkah merchandise by a woman who celebrates Kwanza? It’s Meshuggina! 
  • Shit. There’s actual bullies in Christmastown! How is it possible to have such momzers in such a happy and merry town? Christmas town is seriously flawed.
  • Hahaha. The main bully’s name is “Jack the Jerk!” And he kinda looks like Brian when he was younger.


  • I like to jack the jerk from time to time.
  • One day in Christmastown and already Ira’s having major regrets. Maybe if he wasn’t such a shmendrick he wouldn’t be having such bad luck.
  • I would love this movie if the Wilson’s figured out Ira wasn’t Mikey if Clare walked in the bathroom and saw that he was circumcised.
  • Christmastown’s Santa is a Jewish albino.
  • Ira said his grandfather was in Vaudeville. How old is his grandfather?! Vaudeville started to wane in the early 30s.
  • So now Ira (who came clean to Clare) and Clare plan on putting on a Christmas musical. They ask Clare’s sister Jessica to play guitar in the show. She asked how much were they willing to pay her. Ira says it’s a “labor of love sort of thing.” Is this how they got Gould and DeLuise in this dreck?
  • Hahaha. One of Gould’s Jewish friends called Mikey a “Schmucko!”
  • My lord is this movie chock full of Jewish stereotypes. A real shmegegge wrote this terrible script.
  • Seeing Jack the Jerk’s dad, Jack the Jerk Sr. berate and abuse his son reminded me that we haven’t seen Clare’s parents since the first act when they drove Ira from the airport. They are totally non-existent in this movie.
  • Oh, here they are. And now they have Jack the Jerk’s pit bull (because Jack Jerk Sr. basically made Jr. let him go into the wild) and the youngest son asks if they can keep it. The mom says that it’s not a good time and that they just don’t have the expenses right now. But what she really means is they’re probably getting divorced.
Oy Gevalt!

Oy Gevalt!

  • So things are easily patched up with Jack the Jerk and he agrees to help with fixing up the damage to the set of the play that he and his buddies broke. He is such a shtunk!
  • So glad the sub-plot about Ira’s dad’s movie with the very lousy actress he hired that’s becoming a fershlugina went absolutely nowhere.
  • Mikey’s mom arrives in Christmastown unbeknownst to Ira but it doesn’t matter since Mikey and Ira’s family arrive from Florida (in the same day!) and everyone is just so happy and proud of everyone because of this musical. A very merry Christmas indeed. I’m about to plotz! Mazel Tov!

Is It Actually Jolly: I’ve seen way worse Christmas schlock. But not much.

Jolliest Moment: Sadly, it wasn’t Christmas related but when Elliott Gould and Mikey are playing tennis with two other elderly Jewish fellas. Gould cranks the Jewish stereotype up to 11 and it’s both hilarious and embarrassing to watch.

Dumbest Moment: I know it’s integral to the plot that the two kids switch roles but seeing how family members can’t tell the difference or care that there’s a difference is one really bad plot point. At the airport when they first switched I can understand that the airport liaison’s who were assisting the two unaccompanied minors to their connecting flights got them confused since they first met them but Ira’s grandparents had zero clues!

But the rest of the movie is really fucking dumb too.

What a putz!

What a putz!

Overall: Having a Christmas-obsessed Jewish kid who wants the pomp and circumstance involved with the merriest of holidays is a great theme. I have Jewish family members who celebrate Christmas with us and the kids kinda admit to liking a lot of aspects to the Christmas festivities. So the film had a great idea. Unfortunately, it was cheaply-made, poorly-written and mediocrely-acted. This is on par with something ABC Family produces. The general theme to the movie is “Christmas is for Everyone!” just like the song Ira wrote for the musical he made. They tried to shoe-horn the love of family trumps all but overall Ira got what he wanted despite he being a real asshole. But both he and Mikey’s parents don’t seem to be bothered by their dangerous and reckless stunt so why should I?

Score: 3 Schmaltzs (out of 10)

8 thoughts on “Hard Ticket to Ho-Ho-Home Video: Switchmas

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