31 Days of Happiness Countdown: Patti LaBelle’s disastrous holiday performance. (Day 25)

Thanks for stopping by Day 25 of Upworthy’s 31 Days of Happiness Countdown! If this is your first visit, here’s the gist: Each day between Dec. 1 and Dec. 31, we’re sharing stories specifically designed to bring joy, smiles, and laughter into our lives and yours. It’s been a challenging year, so why not end it on a high note with a bit of laughter? Check back tomorrow (or click the links at the bottom) for another installment!

Every so often, a vintage video resurfaces from a corner of the internet and reminds you why this life is worth living. For me, that video is Patti LaBelle performing “This Christmas” at the 1996 National Tree Lighting.

BUCKLE UP.

The video captures what a live performance looks like when almost everything — from an endless cue card mishap to the bizarre and complete absence of background singers — goes completely off the rails. And it’s perfect.

The video has reared its head every now and then online since the ’90s, but recently went viral on Twitter after user @itsKARY_ published a clip on Nov. 30. Activist DeRay McKesson shared the video a week later to his 1 million followers, and it took off into viral oblivion. “I haven’t laughed this hard in a while,” McKesson wrote. “I needed this.” (SAME, DeRay.)

The clip, seen below, gets good at about the 25-second mark, when LaBelle realizes she’s all alone on stage.  “Where my background singers?!” she yells, equal parts amused and confused, as the music carries on. “And it’s the wrong words on the cue cards!” she motions to someone in front of the stage, who I assume is in a full-blown panic by that point. “I don’t know the song — THIS CHRISTMAS!” she belts.

That’s just the beginning of the hilarity. Trust me. It’s worth the watch.

Thank you, Ms. LaBelle, for reminding us that, while the holidays don’t always turn out like you’d hope, they’re always special … in their own, unique way.

Watch LaBelle’s disastrously perfect 1996 performance of “This Christmas”:


More days of happiness here: DAY 1 / DAY 2 / DAY 3 / DAY 4 / DAY 5/ DAY 6 / DAY 7 / DAY 8 / DAY 9 / DAY 10 / DAY 11 / DAY 12 / DAY 13 / DAY 14 / DAY 15 / DAY 16 / DAY 17/ DAY 18 / DAY 19 / DAY 20 / DAY 21 / DAY 22 / DAY 23 / DAY 24 / [DAY 25] / DAY 26 / DAY 27 / DAY 28 / DAY 29 / DAY 30 / DAY 31

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