December 1 in freethought history…

woodyallenDecember 1, 1935 – Woody Allen is born Allan Stewart Konigsberg in New York City. Regarded as one of the greatest American filmmakers, his movies include Annie Hall, Manhattan, Hannah and Her Sisters and Midnight in Paris. Some of his works incorporate religious or skeptical themes, including Crimes and Misdemeanors, Scoop and Magic in the Moonlight. Allen, who describes himself as a “militant Freudian atheist,” started his career as a comedy writer and standup comedian, and many of his best quips concern religion, including “If only God would give me some clear sign. Like making a large deposit in my name at a Swiss bank,” “To you I’m an atheist. To God, I’m the Loyal Opposition,” and “Not only is there no God, try finding a plumber on Sunday.”

December 1, 1995 – Trey Parker and Matt Stone release their short animation “The Spirit of Christmas” (a.k.a. “Jesus vs. Santa”). Produced for $1,000 for Fox TV executive Brian Graden (who had seen their 1992 short, also called “The Spirit of Christmas,” in which Jesus fought Frosty the Snowman) to send as a video Christmas card to friends and associates. These two identically named short films, rendered in crude cutout animation, featured protypes of the South Park kids. The popularity of “Jesus vs. Frosty” and “Jesus vs. Santa” landed a deal for Parker and Stone to develop an animated series for Comedy Central: South Park premiered in 1997.

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