The Boys songwriter behind Vought on Ice did the excruciating homework

The Boys songwriter behind Vought on Ice did the excruciating homework

There is no amount of sonic pain composer Christopher Lennertz won’t endure for his bud of 30 years Eric Kripke, the current showrunner of The Boys. Lennertz previously listened to endless amounts of boy band slop to pen the Super-Sweet single “Rock My Kiss” for season 3 and pushed himself to write the gooiest sentimental track imaginable for Starlight’s pop-star moment, “Never Truly Vanish,” and now he’s back with season 4’s “Let’s Put the Christ Back in Christmas.”

“If there’s anything I can say about The Boys, it’s that we do our research,” Lennertz tells Polygon, with minimal eye twitch.

Former fraternity brothers who embarked together into Hollywood with no money and a high tolerance for Taco Bell, Lennertz and Kripke have formed a mind-meld rapport thanks to years on Supernatural and Revolution. So the writer knew he could deliver minimal instruction for what he wanted for the proposed Vought on Ice sequence in season 4 episode 3, “We’ll Keep the Red Flag Flying Here,” Lennertz says.

“I get literally one short paragraph that says, ‘Homeland and Maeve as ice skaters come out, sing a Vaught-produced song about war on Christmas, there’s a nativity scene and Jesus, and then everybody gets killed.’ And then it says something about ‘putting Christ back in Christmas.’ That’s the whole assignment.”

The dynamic between showrunner and composer is more about vibes. As Lennertz began work on “Let’s Put the Christ Back in Christmas,” he began watching video after video of Ice Capades, Disney on Ice, Frozen on Ice, and any other bit of source material that could inform the finished dance. “I knew I needed sleigh bells and I knew it needed to be fast,” he says. Then the Vought of it all pours in, which Kripke is good for. Around the time Lennertz was matching high notes to laser sounds, his old friend was sending him articles about the latest anti-Christmas fearmongering. Lennertz recalls the news of Candace Cameron Bure’s deal with the Great American Family network, and her stance against Hallmark Channel’s LGBTQ+ representation in Christmas movies, as an exasperated-sigh-worthy beacon for the satire.

“[Eric] has very little patience for that kind of silliness, as do I,” Lennertz says. “We’re pretty open people. So that was sort of our job from the very beginning.”

Ice skater versions of Maeve, Jesus Christ, and Homelander in the “Let’s Put the Christ Back in Christmas” parody from The Boys Photo: Jasper Savage/Prime Video

Lennertz’s big dream for the sequence was to go bigger than anything The Boys had done before. This was not his first big showstopper number — Lennertz previously worked with musical legends Alan Menken and Marc Shaiman to expand Hawkeye’s fake Avengers show Rogers: The Musical into an actual stage event for Disney California Adventure — and his mind immediately went to Broadway to fill the vocal roster for the song. While the actors on screen are all ice-skating professionals, the song touts Andrew Rannells (The Book of Mormon) as Homelander, Shoshana Bean (Hairspray, Hell’s Kitchen) as Maeve, and James Monroe Iglehart (Aladdin, Hamilton) as Jesus.

“I texted Eric, and I was like, ‘Can we shoot for big Broadway stars and make this a big cameo thing?’” he recalls. “And as soon as I got the permission for that, I’m like, Well, that’s gotta be Andrew. And then we got a Black Jesus in James Monroe Iglehart, who then of course Vought makes into a white Jesus later, which is so Vought. […] Thankfully, they all said yes. And they were all my first choice, every single one of them. I got real lucky.”

The finished version of “Let’s Put the Christ Back in Christmas” is painfully real, as far as schmaltzy ice-skating dance numbers go. Then it just becomes simply… painful. You can watch the unstained version above, but for the whole bloody affair, head to Prime Video, where the first three episodes of The Boys season 4 are currently streaming.