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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Yule Log Burns On

Posted By on Thu, Dec 16, 2010 at 12:01 AM

click to enlarge That's the basic idea...
  • That's the basic idea...

Is it a sign of the decline and fall of western civilization or, rather, a wonderful thing that one of the Bay Area's highest-rated Christmas TV programs is simply footage of a log burning -- for hours? By now you know: The answer is "yes." 

The "holiday log" once again returns to KICU-TV this year -- in HD. Because if you're going to watch a log burning for five-and-a-half commercial-free hours, it better be HD.

Bay Area natives may recall the "Yule Log" in-between reruns of Barnaby Jones and The Streets of San Francisco on KOFY -- though the burning log was not a Quinn Martin production like so much of KOFY's fare.

Your humble narrator has always been mesmerized by the Yule/Holiday Log -- and I'm not the only one.

I still can't decide to be thrilled or terrified that the burning log outperforms actual TV shows -- by a lot and routinely. But there is something to be said for the use of TV as a background item during family gatherings, and not the attention-dominating, eye-grabbing medium it becomes when sports or other fare are on the tube.

That being said, the anticipation even grown adults have for the intermittent appearances of Santa's gloved hand jabbing at the blaze with a poker must be the most rapturous preoccupation with a mundane activity other than waiting for the pendulum at the California Academy of Sciences to knock over the peg

We asked Jeff Holub, the marketing director for KTVU and KICU, to answer a burning question we had about the Yule Log. How does it end?

Does the log burn out? Does Santa toss receipts on the flame? Was it all a dream? No, Holub says, it simply ends with a "thank you to the people helping us." Huh. Still, there is Johnny Mathis music involved. And, if Christmas ends up being a Spare the Air day, you can watch the Yule Log and not worry about being fined $400 for burning wood.

The log burns on KICU from 7 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and on KOFY for much of late Christmas Eve and Christmas afternoon.

Don't tell newbies how it ends.

Follow us on Twitter at @TheSnitchSF and @SFWeekly 

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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