Did TV forget about Hanukkah this year?
Anyway, it seemed that the holiday's increased profile was also reflected on television. It was a small presence amongst the snowstorm of Christmas specials, with maybe one or two shows related to the Festival of Lights airing each year. Maybe it was a Rugrats cartoon (the Pickles family was half-Jewish) or Comedy Central showing Adam Sandler's movie Eight Crazy Nights. But it was a lot better than what we used to have, which was local news anchors mispronouncing the holiday's name in the throwaway segment between the sports and the weather report. This year, though? Nothing.
Well, not completely nothing; Jimmy Kimmel had the "superheroes" that annoy people outside the theater where his show is shot re-enact the story of the holiday (maybe he did it to make his girlfriend, Sarah Silverman, happy). And I'm sure Jon Stewart mentioned it once or twice; he's almost contractually obligated to do so. But that's the only thing I've seen, and the holiday ended a couple of days ago.
Wonder why that is? My guess goes back to my initial theory: It's a minor holiday that celebrates a war victory and a miracle involving the duration of an oil supply. It's more complicated to explain than the story of Christ's birth, and its significance to the Jews isn't nearly as great as the story of Chistmas is to the Christians. And, despite the creation of Hanukkah Harry and the Holiday Armadillo, Christmas has Santa and reindeer and live snowmen and Charlie Brown. The imagery just isn't there to make a warm, enduring Hanukkah special that will be shown on TV for forty years.
What do you folks think? Is there hope for Hanukkah on TV? Let me know in the comments.