Jingle All the Way, Then and Now
It’s a classic plot: Parent forgets to buy a super-popular toy for their kid and must scramble on Christmas Eve to find said toy and prove that his child is, in fact, still loved. From feuding dads to slimy neighbors and shady mall Santas, Jingle All the Way was notoriously panned when it first came out in 1996 but has become something of a cherished holiday classic over twenty years later. Click through the gallery to see what the cast has been up to since saving Christmas.
Arnold Schwarzenegger (Howard Langston)
As one of the world’s foremost action stars with a penchant for comedy, Schwarzenegger’s post-Jingle career included films like Batman and Robin (1997), Around the World in 80 Days (2004), and the Expendables franchise. Up next for the actor: Triplets, the sequel to 1988’s Twins, due in 2018. Of course, his performing career took second position when Schwarzenegger, a moderate Republican, entered the political fray with a long stint as governor of California from 2003-2011. More recently, Schwarzenegger replaced Donald Trump as host of NBC’s The Celebrity Apprentice in 2017, but left after one poorly-rated season.
Sinbad (Myron Larabee)
After walking away with a Turbo-Man in Jingle, the comedian and A Different World star had his hand in a few ’90s TV gigs and feature comedies like Good Burger (1997) and First Kid (1996). Ultimately, Sinbad stuck to the continuation of his comedy and pop-culture-personality career; you can catch one of his many HBO standup specials or his current tour across the United States.
Rita Wilson (Liz Langston)
Already an established presence in the industry pre-Jingle All the Way, Wilson went on to star in films like The Story of Us, Runaway Bride, Raise Your Voice, and Larry Crowne, alongside husband Tom Hanks. Behind the camera, Wilson is both a key officer at Hanks’ Playtone production company and a producer on hits such as My Big Fat Greek Wedding and Mamma Mia!. On TV, she enjoyed a recurring stint as Marnie’s mom on HBO’s Girls and Viola Walsh on The Good Wife; on Broadway, she starred as Roxie Hart in Chicago before returning in 2015 opposite Larry David in Fish in the Dark. Wilson is also a recording artist, having released her second, self-titled EP in 2016.
Jake Lloyd (Jamie Langston)
After proving to everyone that the meaning of Christmas is more than a toy craze, Jake Lloyd would go on to appear in episodes of E/R and The Pretender before landing the role of his career: Playing Anakin Skywalker, the boy who would be Darth Vader, during his pod-racing days in 1999’s Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. In 2001, Lloyd retired from acting, saying that playing the role of young Anakin led to intense bullying from his classmates. The now 28-year-old was in the news back in 2015 after being arrested for reckless driving, driving without a license, and resisting arrest, which landed him in jail for almost a year; he was soon after reportedly diagnosed with schizophrenia. Lloyd last appeared on screen in the 2005 racing film Madison.
Phil Hartman (Ted Maltin)
The legendary SNL comic hilariously played the Langstons’ slimy neighbor, but is well-known for numerous other projects throughout the ’80s and ’90s. He starred on the eccentri sitcom NewsRadio and was a constant figure over in Springfield, providing the voices for tons of characters on The Simpsons (like fan-favorite Lionel Hutz). Unfortunately, the comedian’s career was tragically cut short two years after Jingle All the Way in 1998, when he was shot to death by his wife in a grisly murder-suicide. After his death, EW’s Dan Snierson wrote, “The affable Hartman, in other words, was the last person you’d expect to read about in lurid headlines in your morning paper.”
Robert Conrad (Officer Hummell)
After a robust acting and music career in which he thrived especially in the ’60s and ’60s, Conrad was inducted into the Stuntman’s Hall of Fame for work he did while starring on The Wild Wild West (1965-1969). The 82-year-old has hosted a weekly radio show, The PM Show with Robert Conrad, since 2008.
Jim Belushi (Mall of America Santa)
All Santas are shady, but apparently the Mall of America Santa is the shadiest. Following his small but memorable role in Jingle All the Way, Belushi has added dozens of other notable appearances to his resume, but it was his eight seasons as the lead of ABC’s According to Jim — to say nothing of his two seasons of Saturday Night Live in the mid-’80s — that solidified him to most of America as a household comedy name.