Most people are familiar with the legend of Saint Nicholas or Santa Claus, who rewards good children with presents during the Yuletide season. But in the folklore of some European countries, jolly old St. Nick has a dark counterpart in the figure of Krampus, a beastly creature who does more than just dole out coal to naughty children. According to legend, the demon-like Krampus punishes and frightens bad children, and carries particularly naughty kids away to his lair in a sack.
Krampus seems like an intriguing enough figure to be featured in pop culture, and he has been portrayed in comic books and novels, but not much on television (not even, surprisingly, in a Syfy movie, where he seems like he’d be a natural fit). But for the holiday season 2013, there will be two TV episodes within the span of a week featuring Krampus, for those of you who occasionally like to explore the even darker side of these already dark winter months.
Grimm: “Twelve Days of Krampus” (pictured at top) — Dec. 13 at 10pm ET on NBC. This episode is the second hour of a two-hour season finale for Grimm (the first hour airs at 9pm ET). It makes perfect sense that Krampus would figure in this series about folklore — particularly the scarier side of folklore. In “Twelve Days of Krampus,” after a string of delinquent teens go missing, an old Wesen tale of an evil Santa who brings more than just a lump of coal may be the prime suspect. The investigation intensifies as Nick (David Giuntoli) and Hank (Russell Hornsby) take things a little too far.
American Dad: “Minstrel Krampus” – Dec. 15 at 9:30pm ET on FOX. It’s holiday time in Langley Falls, and Steve starts acting like a spoiled brat, so Stan takes him to see his incarcerated Grandpa Jack, who tells the story of how, as a boy, he captured the legendary Minstrel Krampus (guest voice Danny Glover), a Christmas demon who used to punish naughty children on Christmas.
Grimm Twelve Days of Krampus — Scott Green/NBC
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