Cruel to be kind

Because you're expected to keep up a cheery attitude through Christmas, it might be best to let Bill Murray and Billy Bob Thornton do the cussing for you. MTV is airing "Scrooged," "Bad Santa" and "Bad Santa 2" throughout the day. In the long run, watching their characters behave badly might do you more good than another date with George Bailey.

10 a.m. MTV

O holy night

Looking for a more solemn way to spend the evening? Few offerings sound as reverent as "The Marvel of This Night: Christmas at Duke University Chapel," with all the scripture readings, pipe organ music and hymns you'd get at Christmas Eve mass. Just make sure the ushers keep an eye out for Bad Santa.

10:35 p.m. WCCO, Ch. 4

This must be the place

John Mulaney can be a cynical stand-up, but he's put the enthusiasm of a first-year kindergarten teacher behind "John Mulaney & The Sack Lunch Bunch." At first glance, the special seems like a sendup of old PBS programming like "Zoom" and "The Electric Company." But the original musical numbers are just too delightful to be anything but sincere. Plus, would David Byrne pop up in anything less than a love fest?

Now streaming on Netflix

Neal Justin