Harry Connick Jr.’s got what it takes to be a Christmas sweater designer: “I have some pretty bad taste”


Harry Connick Jr. dons a Christmas sweater Friday for his appearance on the Live with Kelly & Ryan annual “Sweater Party” episode. Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest will be wearing some crazy sweaters, but Harry says he thinks he’s got what it takes to make a great ugly Christmas sweater designer some day.

“It seems like the uglier they are, the more fun they are. And nowadays they’re getting really out of control,” he tells ABC Audio. “So I think it’s a fun thing and I might start getting into it. So maybe, as the years go by, y’know, not only will I start to don some of these ugly sweaters, but maybe I’ll even try my hand at designing them!”

“Because I have some pretty bad taste in art,” he deadpans. “And I don’t have any talent designing clothes. So maybe that’ll work.”

Harry is definitely not wearing ugly Christmas sweaters onstage on his current Christmas tour, which wraps up December 24 in San Francisco. It comes in support of Harry’s new holiday album Make It Merry — his fourth Christmas album overall. Was the holiday a huge deal for him as a kid?

“My mom was a Jewish woman from New York. My dad is an Irish Catholic from Alabama, and we were born and raised in New Orleans. So my mother always kind of defaulted to my dad around Christmas,” he recalls. “It was very simple. We didn’t have snow down there, but we got excited about Christmas.”

“The only thing that could be slightly New Orleanian during our Christmas was maybe my dad would make gumbo, but it wasn’t like an every year thing,” he adds.  And while Harry’s mom was Jewish, they didn’t celebrate Hanukkah at all.

“But whenever I have anything Jewish tradition-related, I always think of my mom,” he says.

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