Patti LaBelle Absolutely Mutilating The Words To ‘This Christmas’ At The 1996 National Tree Lighting Ceremony Will Forever Be The Gift That Keeps On Giving


Patti LaBelle will always be the Godmother of Soul. A Grammy Hall of Famer who sold 50 million records worldwide. Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Singers of All-Time. A consummate professional with seven decades of performing experience. My mom’s favorite artist to get blasted to on a weekday.

And then there was Patti LaBelle on December 5, 1996, who momentarily turned into a girl in class who took an edible but forgot she was supposed to give a presentation on the reading she never did.

LaBalle was commissioned to sing Donny Hathaway’s “This Christmas” at the National Tree Lighting Ceremony with then-President Bill Clinton and First Lady Hillary Clinton, and it stood atop America’s list of Most Awkward On-Camera Moments for 25 years until it was dethroned by that New York Times guy who was bagged beating off on a company Zoom.

Before watching, it should be known that six years prior, LaBelle released her first Christmas album titled This Christmas, named after the very tune she’s going to mutilate after you click play.

Take a moment. Catch your breath.

I’ve seen people more prepared when Chris Hansen catches them entering a middle schooler’s home with a bottle of Seagram’s and a ball gag.

LaBelle should have just called it a night after prematurely walking on the stage as Rick Moranis’s brother was introducing her.


This is the same face my wife makes when I ask her if we can watch Monday Night Football instead of The Bachelorette.


Even the violinists kept playing as the Titanic was sinking and passengers were getting decapitated by the rudder.


Others were just looking for a piece of driftwood to float on away from the carnage.


Anything sounds pleasant when you’re gassed up on whiskey and MDMA, huh fellas?


A performance so ugly, even Bill Clinton wouldn’t try to grope it.


Happy holidays, ya’ll. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to watch the Daft Punk set from 2006 Coachella as a palate cleanser.