Santa Claus’s Candid Thoughts on Popular Xmas Songs

Last week I was lucky enough to have an opportunity to sit down with Santa Claus and shoot the shit about some popular Christmas songs. He’s a super guy, and I’m still kinda in disbelief that I got to meet him. Here’s what he had to say:


“Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”

Undeniably cute, but so much of this one has been manufactured out of lies, which is just upsetting. One of my reindeer is named Rudolph, and yes, his nose does shine because of a skin condition. Other than that, though, this business about the other reindeer laughing and calling him names, about Rudolph guiding my sleigh, is pure bullshit. All the reindeer guide my sleigh. I don’t have favorites.

Jingle Bells”

There’s two kinds of songs I hate: songs about instruments and songs about weather. This one is both. ‘Nuff said.  

“I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus”

Look, I’m not a perfect person, but if I were going to mess around while traveling for business, it definitely wouldn’t be with a woman who has kids. Not that I’m saying I would mess around with anyone–I love Deirdre, I love my children–but this song gets me a bit hot under the collar because these are such harmful, accusatory words. The idea of me–while on the clock—taking time to make out with a mom, in a spot where her kids could just walk downstairs and see us? Disgusting. I’ve talked with my lawyer at length about a libel lawsuit, but she says doing that would actually make me seem more guilty. Fuck it, you know? Sometimes you just can’t win.

Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer”

Easily one of my favorites. Hilarious concept, beautiful execution. (Oh, wow, no pun intended.) I happen to like dark humor, though, which I know isn’t for everyone. This is an example where the fact that it’s based on an incident that didn’t actually happen is what allows me to truly enjoy the song. If this had happened… Good God. I can’t even imagine. Might have had to find a new line of work.

“Santa Claus is Coming to Town (Bruce Springsteen version)”

I really want to like this version of the song, I do, but I can’t get past the feeling that Springsteen is mocking me and my whole thing. Give it another listen, you’ll hear it. There’s this smile in his voice. To which I say: Fuck You, Bruce. You’re a joke, and all your songs sound the same! [Santa takes a deep breath.] Sorry. Got a lot of demons as far as the Boss is concerned. High school girlfriend loved him, got me into his music, blah blah blah. Not worth going into here, but suffice it to say, very little of it is actually Springsteen’s fault. I don’t like his take on that song, though. And I never will.

“Jingle Bell Rock”

Someone needs to ask the people who wrote this song if they understand what rock music is. ‘Cause this ain’t it, kid.

“Santa is the Man”

I know you’re supposed to feed me song titles and I tell you what I think, but this is one I gotta bring up. Because it’s the tits, man. You want rock? This song is it. Seriously, get on Google, it’s a fucking great tune. It’s like, “Santa is the man, and he’s got a plan, and he’s super-strong, and he can get some serious shit done.” Something like that. I keep waiting for this one to really catch on. This could be the year.

“12 Days of Christmas”

Sweet song and all, but I find it exhausting. By the time we get to Seven Swans-A-Swimming, I’m like: This thing’s not done yet? Honestly, though, even just the title makes me feel tired, so maybe I’m a bad judge of this one.

“Frosty the Snowman”

Aw man, I was hoping you wouldn’t go there. [Santa takes a moment to collect himself.] This one, unfortunately, is an example of a song that is based on something all too true. Frosty was a close friend, and not a day goes by I don’t think about him. Time has helped. Those first years after his melting, I couldn’t hear this song without needing to take at least an hour to decompress in my man-cave. I think I’ve turned a corner, though. Hearing the song during last year’s holiday season, it actually made me smile. I can finally hear it for what it is: a very nice tribute to a very great man.

Huge thanks to Santa for taking the time to sit down with me. Happiest holidays, everyone!

Exclusive Never-Before-Revealed Secrets from the BACK TO THE FUTURE trilogy!

In celebration of October 21st, 2015—the future date to which Marty McFly traveled—here are some previously unshared secrets from the Back to the Future trilogy! 


* It’s become common knowledge that Marty McFly was originally played by Eric Stoltz before the creative team realized he wasn’t the right fit. But not many people know that before that the role had been cast with none other than Andre the Giant. Director/co-screenwriter Robert Zemeckis had been impressed when he saw Andre hit Hulk Hogan with a ring-bell in a 1982 wrestling match. “He had the perfect charisma for Marty,” Zemeckis says. “But after shooting a couple days of footage, we realized it just didn’t work. It’s called Back to the Future,” he added, lightly chuckling, “not Back to the TALL.” 


* In early drafts of the screenplay, co-screenwriters Bob Gale and Robert Zemeckis had indicated the DeLorean would travel into time once it reached a speed of 33 mph. “33 was Patrick Ewing’s jersey number,” Gale says, “and it was very important to us to squeeze in that cool reference.” Universal Studios, however, had other ideas. “They told us it had to be faster,” Gale says. “Make it bigger! More explosions! Classic studio stuff.“ Gale and Zemeckis fought tooth and nail but ultimately lost that battle. “And you know what?” Gale says. “They were right. Now I hate the number three. And Patrick Ewing.”


* Elsa Raven—who portrayed the Save the Clocktower Woman who shouts at Marty and Jennifer early in the movie—had a brief but powerful love affair with Christopher Lloyd. “I was only shooting for a day, and none of my scenes were with Chris,” Raven says. “But he happened to be hanging around the crafts services table, and we just clicked.” Within a few days, the relationship burned out, but both still look back on it fondly. “She was a very skilled lover,” Lloyd says. “Certainly don’t need a time machine to remember that.”

* Once, while being driven from the set of Family Ties to the set of BTTF, star Michael J. Fox realized the car was stocked, not with his preferred beverage, Diet Pepsi, but with 7Up. The driver apologized, explaining this was the beginning of his shift and the car had been like that when he picked it up. Fox said he understood but asked why the driver couldn’t have checked the beverages before leaving headquarters. The driver again apologized, saying he’d been running late so there wasn’t time for a beverage check. Fox said it wasn’t that big a deal, but he definitely didn’t drink any of the 7Up, instead staring out the window moodily for the rest of the ride. 


* The shooting script for BTTF Part II featured some future inventions that ultimately didn’t make the cut, including something Zemeckis dreamed up called the DataGrid, which was very similar to what we now know as the internet. Gale had forced them to take it out because it was “too far-fetched.” “Yeah, he won’t let me forget that,” Gale says. “Like, seriously. He’ll just pound me with direct messages on Twitter: ‘Oh, look, Bob, I’m talking to you via the DataGrid. Not so far-fetched now, is it?’ ‘Hey Bob, how could someone ever imagine that information could be exchanged in such a ridiculous way as this?’ That sort of thing.” “I don’t want to be a dick about it,” Zemeckis says, “but it does get my goat. I mean, nobody knows that I thought up the internet, just with a much better name.”

* Though Huey Lewis and the News are now forever associated with BTTF, it didn’t seem like such a sure thing at first. “I’ll admit, when they approached me about writing a song, I was skeptical,” Lewis says. “I’m a music guy, you know? I write songs that play out of music things, like radios and stereos. A song that played out of a movie? At the time that seemed pretty dumb.” Zemeckis and Gale finally convinced Lewis by pointing out the songs he wrote for the movie could also play out of a radio or stereo. Lewis says it’s the best decision he ever made. “Now everybody’s playing music out of movies,” he says, “But we were there first.”


* Right up until shooting, Marty’s last name was not McFly but TimeDude. “There was something so evocative about that,” Zemeckis says. “You have this teenager who ends up being a time traveler, but it’s actually been foreshadowed in his last name the whole time: Time Dude.” Lea Thompson, who portrayed Lorraine McFly, was the one responsible for the switch. “I said it made no sense that I would be called Lorraine TimeDude,” Thompson says. “Because my character didn’t travel through time. Also I’m not a dude.” Zemeckis and Gale realized their error. In a rush to come up with something else before shooting started, Gale looked down at their fast food lunch and said, “Um, I don’t know, how about McFry?” “Perfect!” Zemeckis said, though he had actually misheard it as McFly, which, of course, was what it went on to be. “I still think about that sometimes,” Gale says. “If it had been McFry, the movies might have been even more successful.”