Top Five… Santas

badsantaSanta Claus is comin’ to town! But which Santa is it? Neurotic Santa, happy Santa, drunk Santa, even drunker Santa or machine-gun toting Santa? Well, since it’s Christmas, here’s all five…

5. Nick Claus (Paul Giamatti) – Fred Claus


Okay, bear with me. While Fred Claus is a big, steaming pile of leftover turkey (thank you once again for your sterling efforts, Vincent Vaughn), it does contain a very good Santa performance from Paul Giamatti. He plays jolly old St Nick as probably how he really is: not very jolly at all, as he’s quite rightly stressed about delivering millions of presents in a single night. As if that wasn’t bad enough, he’s also related to Vince Vaughn.

4. Santa Claus (Al ‘Red Dog’ Weber) – Scrooged


Nope, I didn’t know his name til I IMDb’d him either. But I have never forgotten his Santa. Although only on screen for a few minutes, and only in a commercial for a lame-but-brilliant looking Lee Majors vehicle about terrorists taking over Santa’s workshop, Weber is great. This is one Santa who’s going out the front door…

To watch an armed and dangerous Santa and the Six Million Dollar Man in action, click HERE.

3. Santa Claus (David Huddleston) – Santa Claus: The Movie


Huddleston is famous for playing the most recognised character of all time. Oh, and yes, 13 years before he portrayed The Big Lebowski he was Santa Claus. This is Santa as pure fantasy: the nicest man on the planet. Crucially though, he has a realistic and gritty grey beard. None of this bright white facial hair (I’m looking at you, Richard Attenborough) for him. The bums may have lost, but this Santa Claus is a winner.

2. Willie Stokes (Billy Bob Thornton) – Bad Santa


From the nicest Santa to ever whip a reindeer to Santa as a piece of crap. To call this Santa ‘bad’ is a bit like saying Transformers 2 was ‘bad’ – it just doesn’t cut it. Billy Bob’s Santa is a drunk, a thief and a pervert, and yet is no less loveable for all his sins. He’s a survivor, the only Santa on this list to take eight bullets and still come back for more. There’s also no way he can put you on his ‘naughty’ list, no matter how bad you’ve been.

1. Louis Winthorpe III (Dan Ackroyd) – Trading Places 


Bad Santa may have been bad, but I don’t remember him sticking a salmon in his beard. When broker Winthorpe goes broke, things get messy. Getting drunk, dressing up as Santa and hiding a fish in your false facial hair, messy. Would you want this Santa sliding down your chimney and delivering you presents? No. Would you want to watch him again and again in one of the funniest movies of all time? Yes.




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9 Responses to “Top Five… Santas”

  1. mcarteratthemovies Says:

    If it’s a choice between “It’s a Wonderful Life” or Billy Bob Thornton diddling a woman in the plus-size dressing room so hard she can’t !@$&@! right for a week, well, the answer is clear. “Bad Santa” is the best Christmas movie ever made. Period.

  2. I was going for Dan Aykroyd in Trading Places then got further down the page and saw you beat me to it. Well, I suppose great minds think alike! Thornton’s great in Bad Santa – one of the funniest movies I’ve ever seen (not a single ‘clean’ quote you can tell your granny – great stuff!).

    I quite enjoyed Tim Allen in The Santa Claus and doesn’t Chevy Chase dress up as the fat-man-in-the-red-suit in Christmas Vacation.

  3. Hey! What’s wrong with Richard Attenborough? He was a great Santa in Miracle on 34th Street. And his gleaming white beard is real.

  4. I think every man appreciated seeing Gilmore Girl Snr gettin her skank on in the car park while Bad Santa emptied his sack. That’s about as crude as I can be in a single sentence.


  5. McD – you’re so right! How do you go about having your say on this goddam website anyway, if you’re not one of those two Rosses?

    Hey…wait a minute……

  6. Kelso Horror Says:

    What about The Depatment Store Santa in “A Christmas Story”?
    His reply to Ralphie is a classic.
    “You’ll shoot your eye out, kid.”
    “Merry Christmas!”
    “Ho Ho Ho!”
    Shoves his boot into Ralphie’s face, sending him down the slide.

  7. Bad Santa all the way dudes, any Santa that can make a woman scream the line “Nuh-huh, last time I didn’t s**t right for a week” is a legendary fictional character.

  8. Great list, with totally different Santa’s. My favorite ever has to be Richard Attenborough in Miracle on 34th Street.

  9. Coffeecrimson Says:

    Never got to see the whole movie but Bad Santa Billy Bob Thorton was the best.

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