The 12 Black TV Shows of Christmas

If you're still not in the holiday spirit, maybe Martin Payne, Whitley Gilbert or George Jefferson will get you in the mood. Ha, ha, ha -- Merry Christmas!

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  • 'Martin' (1993)

    'Martin' (1993)

    Martin surprises Gina at the last minute with a trip to Philly for the holidays. But instead of enjoying family fun on Christmas Eve, they get snowed in at a Detroit bus station. From a bootleg Santa singing “Deck the Halls” to Ms. Jeri stomping on Martin’s tuna sandwich, there are plenty of laughs in this Christmas travel snafu. 

     

    Captions by Erin Evans

  • 'A Different World' (1989)

    'A Different World' (1989)

    Whitley is the resident Scrooge this holiday season after her mother decides they should go to the French Riviera instead of spending a quiet Christmas at home. But one night she is visited by the ghosts of Christmas past (Mr. Gaines), present (Walter) and future (Jaleesa). The thought of Freddie marrying Dwayne frightens her into the Christmas spirit. (Gotta love the Diahann Carroll cameo.)

  • 'Good Times' (1977)

    'Good Times' (1977)

    While she’s shopping for a Christmas gift for Willona, Penny’s wallet is stolen. Although Penny, who resorts to shoplifting, wanted to show Willona how much she loves her by buying the best gift $10.50 can buy, she nearly jeopardizes her permanent adoption.

  • 'In Living Color' (1990)

    'In Living Color' (1990)

    Homey D. Clown is the meanest Santa Claus out there. He’s balding, he won’t let you sit on his lap and he won’t get you anything you want for Christmas. Homey don’t play that. Oh yeah — he’s abusive, too. 

  • 'Amen' (1987)

    'Amen' (1987)

    The church gets invited to a Christmas singing competition, but they can’t decide which song to sing. “Silent Night”? “12 Days of Christmas”? “We Three Kings of Orient Are”? Instead of picking one song, they decide to wing it. Watch their Christmas medley here. Bonus clip: Rolly Forbes’ Christmas rap

     

  • '227' (1985)

    '227' (1985)

    Lester is guilt-tripped into moving his church to a new location over the holidays. But while he, Mary and the rest of the cast are preparing for the upcoming Christmas pageant, the portable church is stolen. Determined not to disappoint the kids who’ve worked so hard to put the play together, Lester and company build a makeshift church.

  • 'The Game' (2006)

    'The Game' (2006)

    The Sabers have a chance to go to the playoffs, so Derwin and the team stay in San Diego to have a team-bonding moment. But Melanie’s not feeling the Christmas spirit away from her family. She flies home to Connecticut but quickly realizes how much she wants to spend the holidays with Derwin

  • 'The Jeffersons' (1976)

    'The Jeffersons' (1976)

    The Jeffersons and the Willises can’t agree on the arrangements for Lionel and Jenny’s wedding. George wants a Baptist minister. Tom wants a band. So Louise comes up with an idea on Christmas Eve to silence all the arguing

  • 'Everybody Hates Chris' (2007)

    'Everybody Hates Chris' (2007)

    Instead of celebrating Christmas this year, Julius hips the family to Kwanzaa to save some money. But when Tanya’s friend gives her a gift, she’s too ashamed to admit that she’s not celebrating Christmas and steals a gift from Doc’s store. It’s not the greatest demonstration of Ujamaa.

  • 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air' (1993)

    'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air' (1993)

    Little Nicky is christened with five middle names: Andrew, Michael, Shawn, Nathan and Wanya, the last four belonging to the members of Boyz II Men. And it’s all thanks to Will, who manages to get the group to sing at Nicky’s holiday christening service. Hear Boyz II Men’s “Silent Night” rendition here.

  • 'A Different World' (1990)

    'A Different World' (1990)

    Whitley goes to Brooklyn with Dwayne for the holidays. After a less-than-stellar first meeting with Mrs. Wayne (Patti LaBelle), Whitley tries her best to prove that she’s a good match for “Chipmunk.” Too bad she gets mugged on a New York subway platform in the process.  

  • 'Living Single' (1998)

    'Living Single' (1998)

    Just before the New Year, Max decides that she wants to have a baby and goes to a sperm bank. Little does she know that Kyle once donated sperm to the same bank. While Kyle is in Cleveland for the holidays, Overton tells him about Max’s pregnancy. Kyle and Max finally get over their differences and confess their love for each other