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BWW Interview: Meet the Creators of Your New Holiday Obsession, Advent Carolndar!

We're catching up with Julia Mattison and Joel Waggoner.

If you're looking for some extra crazy this holiday season, look no further than Advent Carolndar, the absurd musical comedy advent calendar created by Broadway veterans Julia Mattison and Joel Waggoner.

Following the success of last year's inaugural season, viewers can punch in the digital doors of @adventcarolndar on all social media platforms for the first 25 days of December and receive a daily musical surprise inside. Season One included such beloved holiday hits as "Why is Sausage Not a Christmas Food?", "O, Religious Christmas Song", and "A Very Sondheim Christmas." Season Two promises new holiday classics like "Vaccine For Christmas" and "Martha Has Not Been Socially Distant".

Find out even more from Julia and Joel about how the delightfully bizarre series came to be and get a taste of some of the Season 2 songs!


What was the response like after last year's carols and when did you decide you had to do more?

Julia first had the idea to write some fake Christmas carols at a party she threw in 2018. It wasn't until the next year that we decided to make a plan to record 25 of them and throw them up on Instagram and see what would happen. A week or so before we were set to record from our iPhones in her living room, she roped in her friend Nathan Change at Halleloo Creative and said that we were gonna film there instead because it would look super profesh, etc. Joel remembers being like, "should we really be doing this with professional equipment? We haven't rehearsed anything...". We really only had about 7-10 actual ideas, the rest was a list of concepts that we improvised on the spot.

We managed to make 25 "somethings" in one day. Once we started seeing the footage, we were both sort of shocked at how much WE liked them and they made US laugh, and we knew at least one other weird soul would laugh, too. Little did we know that people were going to grab on so much. Once we felt how much joy it gave us and everyone who followed, it was pretty clear to both of us that we had to try again.

Of course, when 2020 hit, things changed big time and were going to be really hard. But we made a bunch of 'Covid Quarelndar' videos and kept up our writing and it helped us stay (in)sane through the summer. We knew we had to try to do it again to lighten everyone's spirits during this sh*tstorm of a year. We put it in our schedules and quarantined and tested so we could brainstorm and film in another marathon day. We both looked at each other after filming, completely exhausted and zombified and were like "...we don't know if we can do this again." Of course, now that it's done and we just get to sit back and enjoy the work we did, of course we're already planning next year in our heads! Hopefully with a sponsor haha.

I can tell from the bloopers that you guys have so fun making these... which one has been the hardest to get through without cracking up?

There is one coming up that has really nothing to do with the holidays and was very difficult to do without losing it. We have so many takes. And honestly, this round, there are probably a few where the final product just has us laughing through it because we were running out of time and had to move on!

So many of these concepts are wonderfully ridiculous- if you could expand one into a full-length musical, which would you choose?

Ooooooh, this is a brill question! We definitely picture "On The Brink!" as a full Vegas-style production number. And we definitely need a full music video of Stable Girl. But we think ultimately a big bizarre Christmas special of all of these characters and songs would be fun!

Which real holiday carol do you think needs a rewrite?

Besides "Baby, It's Cold Outside" because creepy predator lyrics... "Frosty the Snowman" should address what happens to him when the snow melts.

Can you give us a hint as to which new carol you are most excited for people to see this year?

There are a few, but there definitely is one that we mentioned earlier that.... We really just have no idea how anyone will react. All we can say is... it was an unhinged improv that happened during a brainstorm session and we didn't change a word.

What are you hoping people take from following along this month?

We honestly hope that it helps December fly by for all of us and that we're all laughing and singing so loud that we forget what's going on in the world for a bit. We also hope that people incorporate these tunes into their family traditions!


Watch more @adventcarolndar

Exclusive Season 1 merchandise is now available on a brand new online store, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting No Kid Hungry.

Julia Mattison Broadway: Godspell. Off Broadway/Concert: Is Anyone Alive Out There? (Audible Theatre), Noel and Julia's Wayward Brainchildren (Joe's Pub), Ruby Manger! (Feinstein's/54 Below), Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (MCP/Lincoln Center). Television/Film/New Media: Jimmy Kimmel Live!, The Late Show, Funny or Die, How To Be Single, Brooklyn Sound (Webby Award Nominee, Streamy Award Winner, NYTVF Winner for Best Actress, Comedy Central Development Deal.), Doug Loves Movies, Stomach People (debut short film, Michael Showalter EP). She has co-written multiple musical commercials for Olay, including "I Can't Wait To Wash My Face," which has garnered millions of views online and aired on the MTV VMA's.

Joel Waggoner Broadway: Be More Chill, School of Rock. Off-Bway: Southern Comfort (Public Theater), Regional: Knoxville (Asolo Rep). The Joel Waggoner Experience (Joe's Pub). TV/Film: Jimmy Kimmel Live!, $100,000 Pyramid Season 3 Premiere, An Inspired Mind (Amazon Prime). Featured guest on podcasts Doug Loves Movies and In The Room. Comedy: Daniel Franzese's House of Glen Coco Comedy Show (Featured Comic). Composer: Presto Change-o, SupaDupa Kid, Hester Street. Vocal Arranger: Broadway Bounty Hunter Off-Bway. MFA from NYU Tisch. "Unlikely Warrior" and "Get Into It, Queen" available on iTunes.


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