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Not-so-Jolly Old Elves

The Santa Clause

Tim Allen puts on a few pounds for his new job in The Santa Clause.

The anti-Santa—depressed and grouchy—is another way Hollywood has skewered the big guy for the sardonic pleasure of adult audiences. Monty Woolley in 1942's Life Begins at 8:30, Alberto Rabagliatti in 1966's The Christmas That Almost Wasn't, Dan Aykroyd in 1983's Trading Places, and Christopher Plummer in 1986's The Silent Partner aren't exactly the milk-and-cookies types.

However, it was the horror genre that officially axed the sanctity of Santa. The inaugural installment of Silent Night, Deadly Night in 1984—there'd be four increasingly horrible sequels—unleashes a murdering psycho dressed in a Santa suit. Along the same, er, hook, 1996's Santa Claws features a similarly attired deviant-next-door, but this one, yes, bags his victims with the title weapon.

Recent years have seen a sleighful of onscreen Santas, the majority appearing in the cinematic equivalent of coal in your stocking: Jeff Gillen in 1983's A Christmas Story, Jan Rubes in 1985's One Magic Christmas, Jim Varney in 1988's Ernest Saves Christmas, David Huddleston in 1985's Santa Claus: The Movie, Richard Attenborough in 1994's remake of Miracle on 34th Street, and Tim Allen in 1994's The Santa Clause.

Information Please® Database, © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.

Did you know?
The longest inaugural speech was William Henry Harrison’s. At 8,445 words, it is nearly twice the length of any other president's.

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