How do you like your Santa? Naughty or nice?
For nearly 200 years, our popular impression of Santa Claus has been shaped by the beloved holiday poem “Twas the Night Before Christmas,” in which chubby and plump St. Nick’s twinkling eyes, merry dimples, rosy cheeks, and cherry nose set the mold for the iconic elf. (See: Miracle on 34th Street and The Polar Express.) But it only takes a few seconds of this semi-NSFW clip to be reminded that there is such a thing as too much jolly.
This poor saint reminded me of Louis Winthorpe III (Dan Aykroyd) from Trading Places; I half expected him to pull some purloined london broil out of his suit. But this incident also reminded me that some of my favorite movie Santas haven’t been the most traditional. There’s Billy Bob Thornton’s Bad Santa, of course. There’s the stooge who left bootmarks on Ralphie’s face in A Christmas Story. There’s even the polar fascist who basically told Rudolph to piss off — until he needed some help guiding his sleigh — in the 1964 animated classic. Nowadays, Santa can be an ass-kicking he-man or some surly hobgoblin, and I have to admit, when it comes to Santa, I prefer naughty over nice.
How do you like your Santa? And what have been some of your favorite less-iconic Hollywood Santas?