On November 30, 1977, shortly after Bing Crosby died, his Bing Crosby's 42nd Annual Christmas Special aired. In one segment, Crosby and David Bowie sing a medley of "Little Drummer Boy" and "Peace on Earth." Before the song they discuss music and musicians:
David Bowie: Do you eh... do you like modern music?
Bing Crosby: Oh, I think it's marvelous! Some of it's really fine. But tell me, have you ever listened to any of the older fellows?
DB: Oh yeah, sure. I like ah... John Lennon and the other one with ... eh... Harry Nilsson.
BC: Mmm... you go back that far, uh?
DB: Yeah, I'm not as young as I look.
The segment was filmed September 11, 1977. Bing Crosby was in London on a concert tour and filming segments for his Christmas special. Crosby suggested that he perform a duet with a young guest star and Bowie jumped at the chance to sing with Crosby. Bowie felt that "Little Drummer Boy" did not showcase his voice very well, so "Peace On Earth" was added to create a medley.
After a short rehearsal, the duet was completed in three takes. A few days later, Crosby told an interviewer that Bowie is "a clean cut kid and a real fine asset to the show. He sings well, has a great voice, and reads lines well. He could be a good actor if he wanted."
In its June 5, 1999, issue, TV Guide listed Bing and Bowie's duet as one of the 25 best musical television moments of the century.
And, in 2010, Funny or Die released a video of Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly recreating the famous scene complete with the awkward banter.