Directed by: Jules Bass
Arthur Rankin Jr.
Written by: Romeo Muller
(from the original adaptation by Janice Torre)
Charles Dickens
Release date: December 23, 1978
Running time: 50 minutes

The Stingiest Man in Town is an animated version of the 1956 Alcoa Hour special based on A Christmas Carol produced by Rankin/Bass and released in 1978. The musical special features the voices of Walter Matthau as Ebenezer Scrooge and Tom Bosley as the narrating insect, B. A. H. Humbug, Esq., a pun off Scrooge's most famous catchphrase "Bah, Humbug."


The 1978 version, based on the famous Dickens classic A Christmas Carol, is a tale of Ebenezer Scrooge told through the perspective of narrator B.A.H. Humbug (voiced by Tom Bosley) obviously a word play on Scrooge's catch phrase, "bah humbug". Scrooge (voiced by Walter Matthau) is portrayed as the tightwad Charles Dickens intended him to be with his consistent resistance to assist the poor or even have Christmas dinner with his nephew Fred, performed by Dennis Day and his family. In hopes of resuscitating the goodness of his one-time friend, the ghost of Jacob Marley (voiced by Theodore Bikel), Scrooge's former business partner, visits Scrooge in his mansion, exhorting him to change his ways. Scrooge deems this to be madness and soon prepares for bed.

Nevertheless, Scrooge's attitude soon changes after a fateful night wherein three ghosts also visit him and take him through his past. Within these pernicious shadows (which Scrooge created because of his avarice) and maliciousness toward his fellow men, Scrooge sees a younger caricature of himself, voiced by Robert Morse and realizes how cryptic he has become. The Ghost of Christmas Present (performed by Paul Frees) proceeds to take Scrooge to the home of his diligent employee Bob Cratchit and discovers just how much poverty Cratchit and his family wallow in. Cratchit's crippled son Tiny Tim (voiced by Bobby Rolofson) touches Scrooge's heart and instigates a transformation within his personality. The production concludes with Scrooge manifesting his enhancements as he assists those less fortunate than himself.



Voice actor Character
Walter Matthau Ebenezer Scrooge
Tom Bosley B. A. H. Humbug, Esq.
Theodore Bikel Marley's Ghost
Robert Morse Young Scrooge
Dennis Day Nephew Fred
Paul Frees The Ghost of Christmas Past
The Ghost of Christmas Present
Sonny Melendrez Bob Cratchit
Debbie Clinger Martha Cratchit
Robert Rolofson Tiny Tim
Steffani Calli Belinda Cratchit
Eric Hines Peter Cratchit
Darlene Conley Mrs. Cratchit
Dee Stratton  ?
Shelby Flint Belle
Diana Lee  ?

External links

Rankin/Bass Holiday Specials
Christmas Rudolph the Red-Nosed ReindeerCricket on the HearthThe Little Drummer BoyFrosty the SnowmanSanta Claus is Comin' to Town'Twas the Night Before ChristmasThe Year Without a Santa ClausThe First ChristmasFrosty's Winter WonderlandThe Little Drummer Boy, Book IIRudolph's Shiny New YearNestor, The Long-Eared Christmas DonkeyThe Stingiest Man in TownRudolph and Frosty's Christmas in JulyJack FrostPinocchio's ChristmasThe Leprechauns' Christmas GoldThe Life and Adventures of Santa ClausSanta, Baby!
Other holidays The Mouse on the MayflowerHere Comes Peter CottontailMad, Mad, Mad MonstersThe First Easter RabbitThe Easter Bunny is Comin' To Town