Any Christmas special that starts with Conan O’Brien’s head doing stand-up is going to be fine.
Even outside of its holiday trappings, “Xmas Story” is one of Futurama’s best episodes. The writers make great use of New New York to comment on the sorrow that is the Christmas season. Suicide booths — already a part of Futurama — have a line. People decorate palm trees because we’ve killed all of the evergreens. And a robotic Santa Claus designed to reward good behavior punishes everyone for thinking about themselves.
And it is Robot Santa Claus who shines as the star of the special, both because of John Goodman’s sweet voice (later replaced in subsequent specials) and because, hey, violent Santa Claus. Mistletoe/Tow Missile jokes down sweet, as well as his descriptions of each character’s moral failings.
Except for Zoidberg.
Mike Drucker is a lovely man with many positive characteristics. He has written for Saturday Night Live, The Onion, McSweeney’s, and Nintendo. He’s also a stand-up or something, I guess.