Top Five… Santas
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.
WHO IS YOUR FAVOURITE BIG SCREEN SANTA CLAUS?