Gold mining is a lot about luck, and viewers will have to judge for themselves if they've struck paydirt with "Santa Todd," the Friday, Dec. 13, episode of "The Dirt," the pre-show to Discovery's hit "Gold Rush."
As always, trying to ride herd on unruly miners and camera guys in "The Dirt" is executive producer-turned-talk-show host
Christo Doyle, who got a call one day from the group president of Discovery and TLC Networks.
Says Doyle, "It just came from
Eileen O'Neill asking me -- and I wasn't sure if she was serious or not -- for 'A Very Christo Christmas.' So we threw together what ended up being one of the more fun shows we've ever done. There's no question. There's lots of ridiculousness that goes on. Obviously we dig into 'Gold Rush' in the body of the show, but there's a lot of fun stuff that we did.
"There are bad Christmas sweaters; we exchange gifts with all the miners; there's the miners singing 'The 12 Days of Christmas,' which is quite ridiculous. Then we did some fun things with the guys bringing in a couple of kids that are superfans to give them their ultimate Christmas gift, which is meeting Todd and the guys. I dressed as an elf in this ridiculous show, and we have Todd as Santa."
Todd Hoffman has a beard, it's his father
Jack Hoffman who has the snowy-white chin whiskers one usually associates with Kriss Kringle.
"Well," says Doyle, "Jack is the perfect Santa, but Todd's personality is over the top. So, Jack would have been a very sweet and a very nice Santa, but Todd is more of a bad Santa."
By the way, "Christo" is actually short for Christopher.
Before I could even speak," says Doyle, "my parents just dubbed me Christo. I was told I'm not a Chris, and I'm not a Christoper, so they just truncated it and gave me Christo."
One hopes that Santa always knew where to send the gifts, but the name has caused some headaches for other people.
"I get Chris O'Doyle," says Doyle. "I get Crisco Oil. It just gets massacred a million ways. But O'Doyle is one of the top one or two massacres."
As for his own Santa beard, Doyle says, "I've got one now, just for laziness."
Here's a sneak preview of some of the Yuletide silliness you're going to see on "The Dirt":