Arts & Culture
8:18 am
Mon December 23, 2013

The President, The Comic, and The Man in the Santa Claus Hat

In the early 1960s, comedian Vaughn Meader recorded a satirical album in which he poked some gentle fun at President John F. Kennedy. He wasn't the first person to imitate a sitting president, but Meader was the first to add such a satirical bent to his work. It was ground-breaking at the time, and his first JFK recording, The First Family, became the fastest-selling album in U.S. history up to that point.

Comedian Vaughn Meader, in a publicity photo for his Kennedy-themed album, "The First Family."
Credit Wikimedia Commons

The First Family and its sequel are both now widely available. But Meader also recorded a holiday single that was almost lost to history, largely like Meader himself.

Now, we have the fascinating tale of the intertwining lives of a comedian, a president, and a man on a quest to preserve a little bit of our recorded history.

Listen to Sean Bueter's story on Rob Martinez's quest to find one of the rarest Christmas records in the world, Vaughn Meader's "St. Nick Visits the White House."

Special thanks to Rob Martinez, Kelly Walker, Sarah Delia, and Katy Anderson for their assistance with this story.