Hollywood and Ivy
Tis the season to be jolly, in case you havent noticed over the last two months. This, though, is all the excuse we need to get festive. Of course, the night before Christmas and especially its MVP, one Saint Nicholas, he of the big red suit, ample jelly belly and beard as white as snow has provided us with a sleighs worth of presents, whether on the big or small screen. So here we spill our special sack of delights to give you our very favourite Father Christmases the good, the bad, the fake, the occasionally very homicidally inclined
Scott Calvin (Tim Allen) in The Santa Clause (1994) It turns out that getting the job of Father Christmas is literally a case of dead mans shoes. Cynical ad exec Scott Calvin finds himself installed as St Nick after he dons the discarded garments of the previous incumbent, the wearing of which proves to be an instantly binding job contract for life, which has non-negotiable working hours and strict XXXL dress-code. Its worthwhile pointing out that the reason the previous Santas contract expired is because Scott knocked him off the roof in the first place. But its a kids film so lets brush over that bit. Would you want him coming down your chimney? Not really no. Id love a confirmed murderer to wander around downstairs while Im asleep. #Thingsnoonehaseversaidever
Billy Chapman (Robert Brian Wilson) in Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984) Christmas can be a difficult time of year for many, but spare a thought for young Billy, traumatised after witnessing his parents brutal murder at the hands of a Santa-suited criminal. This combined with a classic convent education is what triggers Billys subsequent axe-tastic slay-ride through the naughty in Silent Night, Deadly Night. Its scandalous depiction of Santa managed to kick off a minor controversy, the resulting publicity inevitably helping this cheap, schlocky video nasty yo-ho-ho all the way to the bank. Would you want him coming down your chimney? No. Especially not if youre having pre-marital sex.
Jimmy Popeye Doyle (Gene Hackman) in The French Connection (1971) This Santa is not powered by mince pies or brandy, although alcohol certainly plays its part. No, this hard-bitten Santa is driven by a sheer brute will, the determination to collar his suspect no matter what: our first introduction to Jimmy Popeye Doyle sees the NYPD detective undercover as a Brooklyn street Santa, ringing his bell to alert his partner that their man has made an appearance. But despite not exactly being match-fit, Doyle doggedly pursues the fleeing felon and delivers him the gift of a good shoeing. Peace and goodwill remain in short supply. Would you want him coming down your chimney? Youd better hope not or otherwise you could be explaining why you were picking your feet in Poughkeepsie.
Santa (Peeter Jakobi) in Rare Exports: A Christmas Story (2010) The next time some cotton-headed ninny muggins waffles on about the true meaning of Christmas, point them here: the festive emphasis was never on rewarding the nice kids, but punishing the naughty ones. Taking its lead from the deliciously demonic Krampus folklore of Central Europe, the Finnish black comedy Rare Exports finds some spectacularly dumb archaeologists digging up bits of Northern Finland for the source of the Saint Nick myth a supernatural entity with a serious penchant for kidnapping kiddies, imprisoned deep in a mountain. Or at least thats what they think theyve found Would you want him coming down your chimney? Absolutely not. Hide the kids, honey.
Father Christmas (Voiced by Mel Smith) in Father Christmas (1991) We all know about his Christmas Eve heroics, but what does Santa do for the other 364 days a year? Well, Raymond Briggs not entirely jolly St Nick harrumphs a lot, tends to his veg patch and feeds his reindeer. But this year the grumpy old codger decides to leave the burbs and head off on hols, converting the sledge into a flying campervan, and take in France, Scotland and Las Vegas. The follow-up to the classic animated Snowman is another bloomin marvel of bittersweet charm and genial fireplace warmth, even if Santas gut-reaction to French food suggests theyre about to make the naughty list. Would you want him coming down your chimney? Yes. Although knocking back drams with him would be even better.
Louis Winthorpe III (Dan Aykroyd) in Trading Places (1983) What does Santa keep in his pockets? A ton of pills, a handgun and a massive bit of fish, apparently. The disgraced, desperate and drunk ex-stockbroker disguises himself as Santa in order to set up the guy he thinks framed him by breaking into his office at the Chrimbo party and plant all the bad drugs in his desk. But when Louiss primitive frame-up fails, the salmon-smuggling Santa truly bottoms out, finding himself rained on, used as a portable doggie toilet and even unable to kill himself properly. In a scene of beautifully timed comedy crescendos, Dan Aykroyd usually a midfield general gets to stick it in the back of the net himself. Would you want him coming down your chimney? Yes, and give him a bit of a cuddle. Feeling good, Louis?
Evil Robot Santa
Evil Robot Santa Claus (voiced by John Goodman/John DiMaggio) in Futurama (1999) Hes making a list, and mega-checking it 50 times per second, though he doesnt really need to: thanks to his standards being set way too high at the Friendly Robot factory, this Robot Santa Claus inevitably judges everyone very naughty apart from Zoidberg, obviously. This is why each Xmas Eve, Santas robot-reindeer-powered sleigh takes him on a homicidal holiday rampage, armed to the hat with festive-flavoured heavy ordnance, such as his TOW-missile. You better not breathe/ you better not move/ youre better off dead Im telling you dude/ Santa Claus is gunning you down Would you want him coming down your chimney? No. Wed strongly advise on some military grade security around any potential house breach spot.
Kris Kringle (Edmund Gwenn. Sir Richard Attenborough) in Miracle On 34th Street (1947/1994) We believe. Common sense suggests that if ol Kris Kringle really claimed to be the real Santa, he or more likely Macys as the deeper pocket would probably be sued into oblivion by a multi-billion dollar class-action claim for Partial disappointment and slightly bruised feelings. Instead Miracles Kris Kringle the twinkly embodiment of Christmas cheer makes you want to roast cynicism over an open fire. Either the classic Edmund Gwenn brand or the 1994 remake with the late Sir Dickie will do: both remain as evergreen as a pine. Would you want him coming down your chimney? Yes. Wed leave extra mince pies out too.
Jack Skellington (Voiced by Chris Sarandon/Danny Elfman) in Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) Jacks heart in the right place, but probably only metaphorically. Jaded with his lynchpin role in the ooky spooky Halloween Town annual festivities, the Pumpkin King accidentally stumbles upon Christmas Town and, irresistibly smitten with its festive cheer and joy, conspires to kidnap and usurp the big guy. But instead of discovering the latest Transformers under the tree on Christmas morning, the kids wake up to find a fabulously terrifying selection of shrunken heads, vampire teddies and snakes. Well, you can take the boy out of Halloween Town Would you want him coming down your chimney? Hell no. (Actually, yes.)
Willie T Stokes (Billy Bob Thornton) in Bad Santa (2004) I'm an eating, drinking, s*****g, f*****g Santy Claus While Willie enthusiastically indulges in most of these, hes conveniently left a few things of his CV: kid punching, self-soiling and his particular favourite robbing. In fact Willies magnificently grubby career as the least-appropriate Mall Santa in history is motivated purely by his plan to crack the buildings safe on Christmas Eve, filling his time in between his annual Mall haul with a steady devotion to the Three Bs. And not one of them is baubles. Would you want him coming down your chimney? Well, Santa has come down many, many chimneys in his life... [Let's leave it there Ed]. Find more Christmas articles on XmasRadar. Supported by LG.