KUAC debuts Fairbanks-based Christmas TV special
The Fairbanks-based storytelling program “Dark Winter Nights: True Stories from Alaska” will debut a Christmas television special at 9 p.m. Dec. 16 on KUAC-TV channel 9.1. It will be available on YouTube following the broadcast.
The hour-long program blends fiction with nonfiction and is a parody of vintage Christmas TV specials from the 1980s. It features highlights from seven years of “Dark Winter Nights” woven into a fictional plot about a powerful blizzard hitting Fairbanks and threatening Christmas. The show stars Rob Prince, a University of Alaska Fairbanks communication and journalism professor and the creator-host of “Dark Winter Nights.”
"We wanted to do something special for our audience since we couldn't have live events due to COVID," Prince said. "I've always loved the cheesy, vintage Christmas specials from the ’80s, so we decided to make our own with a very Fairbanks-based spin to it.”
The program takes place on Christmas Eve while Prince is hosting a Christmas party at his home and features many props used in past “Dark Winter Nights” live events. Featured storytellers from past shows include Sarah Manriquez, Mercia Kalloch and BJ Bennedsen, along with a live, on-stage interview Prince did with local celebrity Curry the Goat. The program includes a musical performance by the Fairbanks-based rock band Kinky Slinky.
"Our goal was to make this one huge Fairbanks inside joke," Prince said. "Many of the jokes won't make sense if you don't live in Fairbanks, and some won't make sense if you haven't lived in Fairbanks long enough, but it will still be fun for the whole family."
The “Dark Winter Nights: True Stories from Alaska” program has grown rapidly in popularity since it started in April 2014. It typically hosts two big live events every year in Hering Auditorium. It has a companion podcast and a monthly radio program on KUAC.
More information about “Dark Winter Nights” and its podcasts are available at darkwinternights.com.