A Christmas Carol (Shower of Stars, 1954)/The Stingiest Man In Town (Alcoa Hour, 1956)/The Stingiest Man In Town (Rankin-Bass, 1978)
You've riffed that 1959 Coronet Films Christmas Carol Short that starred Basil Rathbone and was introduced/narrated by Fredric March. This is quite interesting, because both March and Rathbone were involved in other versions of A Christmas Carol, the second of which was remade for animation. All three of them have their merits, but have just enough retro-cheesiness to make for good riffs.
In 1954, the anthology program Shower of Stars (sponsored by Chrysler) presented an hour-long musical version of A Christmas Carol starring Fredric March as Scrooge and Basil Rathbone as Marley. Being who they were, the lead actors turned in terrific performances...especially Rathbone as Marley, who conveyed the character's suffering in every word. The script was good, and the music was terrific--being composed by Bernard Herrmann, an accomplished film and classical composer who'd go on to compose for several Hitchcock movies, including Psycho. But being an hour-long version, some things had to be rushed over and condensed. For example, Belle and Ebenezer's breakup (a matter of only a few sentences) happens only seconds after they'd sung a loving duet--with only slight indication that any time has passed. (And for the record, most of the American actors don't even attempt English accents.) Then there's the Christmas Yet To Come sequence. We're all braced for the eerie, robed spectre who will lead Scrooge through the bleak future his present path will lead him to, and what we get is...a myna bird perched on a tree in a graveyard. Said graveyard is the entirety of the Yet to Come sequence. No corpse-robbers cackling over their finds, no debtors relieved that Scrooge is gone and their ruin is staved off, no coming across his own shrouded, neglected dead body, no grieving Cratchit family consoling each other over Tiny Tim's death...Scrooge is the only person we see in this sequence, and it consists of his stumbling around tombstones on a fog-shrouded stage until he finds his own, and then Tiny Tim's, and then awakens in the present. And the whole sequence lasts less than two minutes, and Scrooge doesn't even have any real dialogue during it! So despite its merits, this is somewhat hampered by the limits of its early-television format. (Plus, it was originally broadcast in color, but the only surviving prints are in black-and-white.)
Two years later, Rathbone himself would star as Scrooge in The Stingiest Man In Town, another musical version co-starring Vic Damone as young Ebenezer and the singing group The Four Lads as a sort of Greek chorus. Again, it was broadcast in color but its only surviving print is in black-and-white--a kinescope that was lost for some time. Again, the music's good and the vocal performances are stunning (Belle's played by a trained opera singer), but the limitations of the early television format are apparent.
Then, in 1978, The Stingiest Man In Town was remade by Rankin-Bass--in traditional animation, not stop-motion as so many of their specials were. It was cut down to an hour but nearly all of the songs from the original were preserved. This was around the same time R-B made The Hobbit, and many of the character designs looked like they could have stepped straight out of The Shire. There were quite a few well-known voices--Walter Matthau as Scrooge, Theodore Bikel as Marley, Dennis Day as nephew Fred, and Robert Morse as young Ebenezer. But there was a rather glaring addition. To make it more kid-friendly, and to keep up the tradition of every Rankin-Bass special having some kind of celebrity-voiced narrator, there's a Jiminy Cricket-like insect narrator named B.A.H. Humbug, voiced by Tom Bosley. The result is a strange mixture of Dickensian seriousness, good music and vocal performances, and pseudo-Disney whimsy.
All three of these have just enough cheesiness to give us some hilarious holiday riffs, but are charming enough to be good holiday fare as well.
I especially support the Shower of Stars one.