Bob Rivers was a disc jockey at the rock station WAAF in Worcester, Massachusetts when he came up with the song for his morning show, the Bob & Zip Show with co-host Zip Zipfel. Many morning shows have done song parodies using radio production studios to phase out vocals on popular songs and sing new lyrics over them, but Rivers built a recording studio in his home and produced his parodies from scratch, giving him far better quality. They were very popular with listeners, and sometimes got the attention of record labels: "Breaking Up Is Hard On You" (about the breakup of AT&T, sung to "Breaking Up Is Hard To Do
" by Neil Sedaka) was released as a single on the Critique label in 1983 and made the Hot 100 at #70; "Just A Big Ego," a parody of David Lee Roth's cover of "Just A Gigolo," was picked up by Rhino Records.
"The Twelve Pains Of Christmas" went on the air at WAAF in 1986 and got a great reaction. It was so popular, Critique, which was distributed by Atlantic Records, commissioned an entire album of Christmas parodies that Rivers and his team started working on right after Christmas. They came up with songs like "Wreck The Malls" (to "Deck The Halls") and "The Chimney Song," an original that tells the morbid tale of Santa getting stuck in the chimney - and not getting out. The album was delivered in the summer of 1987 and released for the holidays as Twisted Christmas
. It went Gold, selling over 500,000 copies, and launched Rivers' "Twisted Tunes" franchise. When the Critique label folded, Atlantic kept rivers, who ended up doing seven albums of twisted Christmas songs for the label. Some of his more popular twisted Christmas tunes include "I Am Santa Claus" (to "Iron Man
") and "Walkin 'Round In Women's Underwear" (to "Winter Wonderland