Four Things from A Very Murray Christmas


Each year I set aside one day during the third week in December to catch up, buy those last few Christmas gifts, and add some final decorating touches before our annual Cocktails & Carols soirée. Today is that day and when I’m at home, I can promise you that A Very Murray Christmas will be playing the background. To say I was giddy the first time we watched it would be an understatement. If you’ve seen in or plan to, here are a few fun notes/facts to save you from the post-Netflix google rabbit hole!

Bemelmans Bar

A snapshot from our last visit to Bemelmans Bar | Hannah & Husband

Bemelmans Bar, located on the first floor of The Carlyle, has kicked off more than one magical evening for us in New York City. I’m particular to this bar for a few reasons but the main one is the incredible artwork that covers every inch of the place down to the lampshades.

Ludwig  his wife Madeleine (source)

Ludwig his wife Madeleine (source)

The murals were painted by Ludwig Bemelmans, best-known for his Madeline series, in exchange for lodging when he and his family lived at the Carlyle for a year and a half. My very favorite scene in the bar depicts winter in Central Park complete with snowing and ice skating. Bemelmans hand is unmistakable.


While I would argue that A Very Murray Christmas is best enjoyed while sipping champagne, here’s another idea. Maya Rudolph refers to her drink as a “soiled kimono,” and being the cocktail hour devotees that we are, we needed to know what that was.

The Soiled Kimono cocktail from A Very Murray Christmas | Hannah & Husband

The drink is a reference to one of the original writers and creators on SNL: Michael O’Donoghue. It’s a cocktail referenced in one of his “Mr. Mike’s Least-Loved Bedtime Tales,” and when Bill Murray announced his death on stage at SNL, he toasted with a Soiled Kimono. The drink is meant to be garnished with a butterfly but Maya’s is garnished with olives. To each his own.

The Soiled Kimono

Mix 23 glass costly French champagne

With 13 glass Japanese plum wine

recipe from season 3 episode 8 transcript

A Very Murray Christmas | Hannah & Husband

He’s the taxi driver.

If you spent the first half of the movie looking at the bartender (& his fabulous hair) wondering, “Why do I know that guy?” It’s because David Johansen played the taxi driver in Bill Murray’s other holiday hit circa 1988: Scrooged.

A Very Murray Christmas | Hannah & Husband


Real Life Conversations Between Hannah & Husband

Me: */gasp/* This is what the inside of my brain looks like.

Husband: Everyone is wearing either red or sparkly, and there’s a bari sax playing.

Me: And George Clooney serving cocktails.

A Very Murray Christmas | Hannah & Husband

Obviously I will be needing everything Miley is wearing. And silver glitter reindeer antlers.

Alright, I’m off to run errands. If you’ve seen A Very Murray Christmas: Did you love it as much as I did?

13 thoughts on “Four Things from A Very Murray Christmas

  1. I am in your tribe. This program serves as a litmus test for that. Thank you for the SNL history of the Soiled Kimono. That is how I found your site in the first place.
    Here’s another nugget about the bartender: He sang for several seasons of SNL with the house band as Buster Poindexter.

  2. You know, I wasn’t entirely sure how I was feeling about A Very Murray Christmas. But when the inimitable Maya Rudolph shoved a soiled kimono down Jason Schwartzman’s throat, I had to know what it was (thanks for the research!). Your comments put the show in a perfect frame of reference, i.e., drink in hand and having a good time. While nearly the entire show has a not-so-sub-textual vibe of lonely bachelorhood (“I’m so alone!” he declares), it is yet a rollicking good time from a throwback era of playboys. Darn it if I don’t throw a singles cocktail party next Christmas with this movie projecting on the wall in a loop.

    One more fun thing: Bill says, “It’s either Slovenia or Mexico” while pouring shots from two different bottles. Guessing one was tequila, I had to decode the other part, and learned that Bill Murray backs a craft vodka called Slovenia. Now I’m dying to try it, but it seems to be somewhat limited to the NY area. Cheers!

  3. Love AVMC. David Johanssen was the lead of singer of the legendary New York glam punk band New York Dolls…and later went out to do a solo act under the name Buster Poindexter. His big hit was a cover, Hot, Hot, Hot.

    Seeing him sing the Pogues’ Fairytale of New York was my favorite moment of the show.

  4. Rematching this year. Love so much about this special. Found your site by researching Soiled Kimonos. Thanks to you and all the commentors for the info.

  5. So glad there are others who love this the way I do. It is probably about two years old now but quickly becoming a classic “in my eyes.” I toast you all with a soiled kamino. Hit “up” on that love button people!

  6. Yes, David Johanssen was in the glam punk band New York Dolls in the early ’70s. He’s been around a long time! I forgot he did a season on SNL. I love AVMC a whole lot. Watched it three times this season!

  7. Hey, thanks for the info. I came here from a search for the Dirty Kimono and found more good stuff. Cheers and Mery Christmas!

  8. Another fun fact:

    One more fun thing: Bill says, “It’s either Slovenia or Mexico” while pouring shots from two different bottles. Guessing one was tequila, I had to decode the other part, and learned that Bill Murray backs a craft vodka called Slovenia.

    The TEQUILA is actually George Clooneys!! It’s called Casamigas Resposado. And it is DELICIOUS!

  9. Again… Soiled Kimono search. Brilliant Christmas show in our home every year since its inception. Everyone is brilliant in this nod to modern Americana. Maya Rudolph is as sexy as Rachel Welch or Sophia Lauren has ever been. Thank you for the recipe. It will he the cocktail served at Christmas Eve with friends this year and every year in perpetuity.

  10. Stumbled across this post seeking info on the ‘Soiled Kimono’. Sofia Coppola’s spare, quirky style, Bill Murray’s unmistakeable charisma, an incredible cast, and the eclectic music selection make it ‘Must Watch’ for me every season.

    Also, the cocktails!!

    Anyway, I’m glad to have found my way here (although obviously late to the party). Each of you seem like people I’d love to stumble across at a cocktail party.

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