The Hilarious Way A Christmas Story Filmed Its Famous Flagpole Scene

Now that it's December, it is only a matter of time before TV stations across the nation begin special holiday airings of A Christmas Story. Thanks to these annual screenings, fans are overly familiar with the most iconic parts of the movie - from the leg lamp, to the constant repetitions of "You'll shoot your eye out, kid" - but have any of you ever stopped to ask how the production actually did the famous Tongue On The Flagpole scene? Well, actor Scott Schwartz recently revealed the secret behind the movie magic:

They made a piece of plastic that they slid over [the flagpole]. It had a little hole in it with a suction tube that went into the snow --- you couldn't see it, it was a little motor, like a small vacuum cleaner, [and] the hole-opening [in the plastic] was about the size of your pinky nail. So when you put your tongue there or finger or whatever, it just stuck. I can make the sound effect, but you can't write that.

Thanks to A Christmas Story, kids everywhere know that it is a really horrible idea to stick your tongue against anything metal when it's really cold outside - but it's obviously not surprising that Scott Schwartz wasn't in any kind of real pain during the making of the film. The actor, who played Flick in the 1983 holiday classic, recently spoke with Yahoo! about his memories from the production, and recounted how it was that the scene came together. It doesn't sound super comfortable, but it definitely is a smart alternative to doing it for real.

For those of you who don't remember the Christmas Story sequence, or simply want the chance to watch it again, you can hit play on the video below:

There are many reasons why this is such a great scene, but the reality and timelessness of it certainly stand out. Most of us can not only recount similar conversations and showdowns from our own childhoods, but also fully expect future generations to have them as well. Furthermore, if you grew up in a place with cold winters, there's a good chance you were tempted to try the actual trick yourself (I can honestly say that I was). It's part of the reason why we don't expect the annual tradition of A Christmas Story airings to ever stop.

In the spirit of celebrating the holiday feature, what's your favorite scene from A Christmas Story? Hit the comments below with your thoughts.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

NJ native who calls LA home and lives in a Dreamatorium. A decade-plus CinemaBlend veteran who is endlessly enthusiastic about the career he’s dreamt of since seventh grade.