Every live performance brings with it the possibility for an error or two. There's always a chance something unexpected and unplanned will occur, just like when Matthew Broderick almost said "reinbeer" on A Christmas Story Live! instead of "reindeer." The internet immediately jumped on the little flub.
Broderick was playing the part of the Narrator, an older Ralphie who was reminiscing about his childhood as the events of the show played out before his eyes. Though none of the other characters could see him or interact with him, he walked through the scenes and commented on the action, offering up Little Ralphie's inner thoughts and fears so the audience was never in the dark. That meant that Broderick had quite a lot of dialogue; his part was essentially one long monologue. It was understandable that he might stumble over his words once or twice in what amounted to a three-hour speech (give or take a break provided by a musical number).
But missing a character's name or fumbling a line did not have quite the same humor as intending to reference one of Santa's sleigh-pulling helpers and instead coming out with something that sounded kind of like a misguided holiday cocktail.
Those who were dissatisfied with the musical adaptation of the much-beloved holiday movie took Broderick's misspoken line in a different way: after watching hour after hour of a telecast they didn't enjoy, they wouldn't have turned down a beer, reindeer-themed or regular. Others were critical that Broderick would make a small error considering his extensive theater experience (the man does have a Tony Award, after all), but hey — everyone makes mistakes! Live television productions are sure to be stressful in a totally different way than a stage play.
But other viewers simply enjoyed the intrinsic funniness of the faux pas, taking to Twitter to announce that it was one of the favorite moments in the entire live production. Often it's the mistakes that make live shows as fun as they are. People love seeing actors break when they're supposed to be following the script, whether it's getting the giggles or simply misspeaking. The delight in catching something that wasn't supposed to happen is at least half schadenfreude (enjoying the misfortune of others, for those not in the know), but why not take your laughs where you can get them?
For the most part, FOX's A Christmas Story Live! went off without a hitch. All three hours zipped along at a brisk pace full of songs, dancing, quick costume changes, and sharp cuts from one moment to the next. Broderick was there to accompany viewers through the entire thing. If he made a couple of mistakes, then they were small moments in an otherwise fairly smooth television musical.
If nothing else, Broderick's blink-and-you'll-miss it stumble just provided audiences with a momentary laugh — or even a tip. When you celebrate Christmas this year, feel free to rechristen your holiday drink of choice with a more thematically appropriate name. Turn your lemons into lemonade, or your live show flubs into inside jokes that no one will ever let you forget about.
A Christmas Story Live! definitely earned mixed reactions from the people watching at home, but there's one thing (almost) everyone can agree on: it's funny when actors mess up. Those are just the facts. If their tiny mess-ups just so happen to result in absurdly silly, brand new word combinations then it's even better. And maybe one day the internet will let Broderick live "reinbeer" down — but probably not for a little while longer. The joke will last until after Christmas, at least.
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