If I were asked to throw a rough estimate up into the air, I would say I've seen *NSYNC's “Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays” music video at least 200 times since it debuted on Total Request Live back in December of 1998. No, there isn't any life-changing choreography, no, there aren't any action figure prosthetics, and no, there aren't any rooms that look like something out of a Dr. Seuss book. And yet, "Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays" remains one of my favorite *NSYNC videos. It's just too weird to not love.
The video begins on Christmas Eve. Santa Claus’s well-dressed assistant (played by Gary Coleman) finds St. Nick stuck in bed with a fever. Rather than call off the holiday altogether, the bucket hat-wearing gent decides to enlist the help of a popular music group. After a few magical finger snaps, Justin Timberlake, Lance Bass, Joey Fatone, Chris Kirkpatrick, and JC Chasez are at the North Pole. They climb into Santa’s sleigh, fly in front of a constantly changing green screen, and save Christmas.
Every time I watch this strange odyssey, I am left with a sleigh load of questions. Here are the questions I have for the "Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays" music video that may never be answered:
1. Does Santa Claus sleep inside a greeting card?
2. Why don't I have matching lime green bucket hat + suit combination like this?
3. Did Joey forget his winter coat?
4. Or does Joey run especially warm?
5. Couldn’t they use some Xmas magic to add another row of seats to Santa's sleigh?
6. You know, so Chris and Joey don't have to sit on the runners?
7. Or maybe Chris and Joey don't mind being perched on the runners?
8. OK, what is this:
9. Are they flying next to the world's biggest Christmas ornament?
10. Does that red and white wall mean what I think it means?
11. Are they trapped inside a candy cane?
12. Um, what is this yellow, green, and purple room?
13. Is it Mardi Gras?
14. Did the sleigh end up in the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon?
15. Is the sleigh about to destroy the Death Star?
16. We see Joey holding the reins, but why don’t we ever see the reindeer pulling the sleigh?
17. Were there ever any reindeer?
18. What’s with the clipboard?
19. Wait, what about Santa?
20. Isn't anyone else worried about Santa?
21. How's his fever?
22. Did his stomach bug ever go away?
23. Or has *NSYNC saved every Christmas since ’98?
24. What's the resolution?
May your holiday season be full of ski goggles, patent leather bucket hats, and parties inside of candy canes.
Images: NSYNCVEVO/YouTube (9)