New Year's Eve TV: Air Farce, Ron James, Just for Laughs, Jersey Shore, and more

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      If you've decided to forgo the dressed-up, money-spending, champagne-popping New Year's Eve party scene this year for a quieter night at home, there are plenty of television specials to keep you going until the countdown to midnight. Hop into your Snuggie, grab a bottle of cheap bubbly, and settle onto the sofa for the last 24 hours of 2010.

      Here are just some of the highlights, with an emphasis on Canadian offerings.

      Something for the Early Bird

      Those who aren't planning for an all-night rager, probably won't be needing those extra few hours of sleep. For early risers, Canada AM, CTV's national morning news program, is preparing a New Year's Eve special from 6:30 to 9 a.m. Anchors Beverly Thomson, Seamus O'Regan, and Jeff Hutcheson will begin the morning with an ice-skating lesson from Canadian figure skating champion Jennifer Robinson. Then, the cast will be joined by regular contributors Loren Christie, Libby Norris, Richard Crouse, Pat Foran, and Karl Lohnes to look at the year in review.

      Laugh in the New Year

      To keep the mood as bubbly as your drinks, the CBC is airing three comedy specials. Highlights from this year's Montreal Just for Laughs Festival will kick things off at 7 p.m. with Best of Just for Laughs' 2010 New Year's Eve Special. This special will boast some big-name comedians such as Steve Martin, Sugar Sammy, Lewis Black, and Cheech and Chong.

      Then, Air Farce New Year's Eve 2010 will take the reins at 8 p.m. with a no-holds-back look at 2010. Air Farce vets Jessica Holmes, Roger Abbott, Don Ferguson, and Luba Goy will join regulars Craig Lauzon, Alan Park, and Penelope Corrin to poke fun at Justin Bieber's sex symbol status, Prince William and Kate Middleton's long-awaited nuptials, Celine Dion's baby mania, the rescued Chilean miners, the World Cup, WikiLeaks, and the G8 and G20 chaos, to name a few.

      Then, Canadian funnyman Ron James will follow up with The Ron James Show: New Year's Eve Edition at 9 p.m. This CBC regular combines standup comedy and satirical sketches about navigating the modern Canadian maelstrom, and this episode is chock full of special NYE sketches using classic characters from the show. In addition, the host will be joined by Canadian stars like Barenaked Ladies member Ed Robertson, rocker Kim Mitchell, and Scott Thompson from Kids in the Hall.

      Finally, ring in the New Year with George Stroumboulopoulos and George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight: New Year's Eve Special, starting at 11:05 p.m. The talk show host will look at the year's biggest stories, biggest blunders, and biggest stars, as well as sit down with a surprise guest.

      If All Else Fails

      Lay on the hair gel and get ready to fist pump because MTV is letting the stars of perhaps the year's biggest reality TV show, Jersey Shore, take over their NYE special. From MTV's Times Square studio, Pauly D will DJ his favourite club beats, while the Situation tries for the Guinness World Record by leading the crowd in the biggest collective fist pump. If you're still not convinced to GTL (gym, tan, laundry) in the New Year, Snooki will be placed inside a ball just before it drops to the MTV rooftop at midnight. The special will also feature comedian Whitney Cummings, Saturday Night Live's Bobby Moynihan, internet star Keenan Cahill, and R&B singer Flo Rida.

      Happy TV watching and all the best for 2011!


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      Vince Shank

      Jan 4, 2011 at 5:21am

      Why did you list the start times for all of the Canadian stuff and not for Jersey Shore? Why even mention "the Shore"? All of us northern urban sophisticates were too busy trying to guess George Stroumboulopoulos' mystery guest! By the way-who was it?

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