How Chrissy Teigen and John Legend's 'A Legendary Christmas' Reinvented the Holiday Special

John Legend and Chrissy Teigen's NBC holiday special, 'A Legendary Christmas,' was the perfect way to revive an old TV format. A hybrid of a '90s sitcom Christmas episode and an old-school variety show, 24 celebrity guests showed up to celebrate.

We knew John Legend and Chrissy Teigen were cool and hilarious, but their NBC holiday special, A Legendary Christmas, turned out to be the perfect way to revive an old TV format. Last night's program was basically a hybrid of a sitcom "very special Christmas episode" and an old-school variety show, complete with cheesy opening credits and a laugh track. A whopping 24 celebrity guests showed up, including Kris Kardashian and Kim Kardashian West, the judges from the Voice, and Stevie Wonder to cook, sing, and watch Chrissy and John banter and play-fight in their TV living room.

In an interview with E! News, Chrissy and John said they were deliberately channeling classic '90s TV shows like Family Matters and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. But their special still made it fresh with cool references. Chrissy came on the Voice in her pjs and heckled the judges, John sang from his Christmas album, Derek Hough danced.

But there was so much more. Zach Galafinakis as Santa! Face-timing with Kenan Thompson from Saturday Night Live! Caroling with Jane Lynch, Darren Criss, Raphael Saadiq and Meghan Trainor! John and Chrissy did a mac and cheese cook-off! (Which, according to Chrissy's live-tweet, she totally sabotaged...)

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And throughout, John and Chrissy anchored the show with their humor and sweet-as-pie chemistry. We already knew John could act because of his performance as Jesus in Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert earlier this year, but who knew that Chrissy's humor on social media would translate so well to corny mom jokes about pie? 

Cake decorating, Cake, Food, Torte, Dessert, Sugar paste, Gingerbread, Toy, Baking,

(Image credit: NBC)

Chrissy's been making the rounds promoting the show, which gave us hilarious moments where she grilled Michael B. Jordan about dating on Instagram and told us about how much she hated her feet. She also got really real over her cooking, sharing the burnt aftermath of her attempt at pie on her Instagram.

So now that we know the couple is so talented and refreshing, can we please find ways to bring them back to TV? Give Chrissy her own talk show and make John be the house band? Sounds like a great idea to me!

Go here to see more clips of their special.

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Katherine J. Igoe

Katherine’s a Boston-based contributor at Marie Claire who covers fashion, culture, and lifestyle—from “Clueless” to Everlane to news about Lizzo. She’s been a freelancer for 11 years and has had roles with Cosmopolitan and Bustle, with bylines in Parents, Seventeen, and elsewhere. It’s “I go to dinner,” not “Her huge ego,” but she responds to both.