Ozzy Osbourne isn’t even a fan of Christmas, in fact, he hates the bloody thing, so quite what ‘The Prince of Darkness’ was doing stepping into the studio with The Dukes of Hazzard darling, Jessica Simpson, is anyone’s guess. The result, however, is a melon twisting Christmas celebration that is, indeed, fit to herald the birth of Christ. After all, what is Christmas about if not a renowned Rockstar and mentalist dressing as a sort of metal Columbo to duet with an all-American country girl while occasionally screaming at his wife?
As part of The Osbourne Family Christmas Special on MTV back in 2003 – when Ozzy proved to be an early progenitor of culture once more by slipping into the guise of a proto-influencer – he welcomed the likes of Mike Myers, Brendan Fraser and even Britney Spears to celebrate the festive season with him. Guests came, shared stories and skits and then departed from the lord’s manic lair. The pièce de resistance, however, was undoubtedly when Jessica Simpson hung around to perform ‘Winter Wonderland’.
Ozzy begins proceedings with a reverb-laden out of tune howl in the very first second, long before the jingle bells have even had a chance to jangle. He then stands stock-still in his fedora, shades and black suit and wails like a man enduring the comatose upheaval of a Spice stupor clashing with drinking a jar of coffee. The camera then pans to Simpson who seems to have come from an entirely different planet, and she proceeds to seductively croon towards an unflinching Mr Osbourne.
Thereafter, the unabated mayhem only amps up. As Ozzy and Simpson portray the wildest ‘cute couple’ to ever erect an erotic snowman. Then Sharon Osbourne emerges to make a surprise vocal appearance and is greeted by the surprising death howl of Ozzy barking “Shaaaaroooon!” like a man who has just stepped on an upturned plug… while completely immersed in flames. As it happens, this particular moment may well be one of the funniest in the history of recorded music.
Throughout the performance, both Ozzy and Simpson valiantly retain their artistic endeavour to remain complete unsyncopated as the former Black Sabbath man continues to sound like a car horn being blasted into a flushing toilet and Simpson sweetly chirps as though Nick Lachey is standing afore her. In the end, it is best summed up by Ozzy himself, as he proudly proclaims: “That’s the fucking one man!”
Sadly, it wasn’t the one. The song has since faded into obscurity, although you can’t help but get the impression that it was never destined to assail the charts in the first place. Complete with the sneak appearance of an inexplicably grinning Tony Iommi on piano, this is for people who like their Christmas a little more whimsical as it transfigures the oft-covered Christmas epic into a Lynchian acid reimagining of the MTV era. Festive cheer all around! Bliss!