Wicked Holiday Guide

Wicked Holiday Guide

Who’s your Buddy?

It’s hard to believe that Elf is turning 20 this year. I recall seeing it with my wife and young daughters when it came out in 2003. It felt like an instant classic on the first viewing. There was really nothing like it before or since.

Sure there were popular Christmas movies that had come out in the previous years such as; Christmas Vacation, The Home Alone movies, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Jingle All The Way and the Tim Allen Santa Clause franchise.

They were all good, but none had the old school charm and humor of Elf. It felt like an old Rankin and Bass movie but instead of Claymation characters it was real life actors and action.

Will The Thrill!

The casting of Will Ferrell hot off his tenure on Saturday Night Live as an all time great. It is hard to imagine anyone else in the role. As you will read later, the role at first was meant to be for the great Jim Carrey  who went on to star as the Grinch in 2000 instead.

The Grinch made a lot of green but was more of a fantasy movie in the land of the Who’s.  It was a stunning movie to look at and Jim Carrey was a marvel in the starring role and just as you can’t picture anyone else playing Buddy the Elf, you can’t imagine anyone other than Jim Carrey as the Grinch.

A Christmas Classic

It’s not the holidays until you watch Elf. True there are other classics that we all watch, but after 20 years most would say it’s their favorite holiday movie.

Let’s celebrate Elf” turning 20 years old this year, and you KNOW you’re gonna watch it, because it’s that much of a holiday classic. Here are some fun facts about the movie to help you celebrate the anniversary:

  • 1. Will Ferrell wasn't the first choice to play Buddy the Elf. The script was written all the way back in 1993 with Jim Carrey in mind. But he dropped out sometime during the decade it took to get it made.

    We can’t imagine anyone other than Will Ferrell as Buddy The Elf, but you can see why Jim Carrey was the original actor designated to play the role. Things worked out for both as Jim went on to play The Grinch in spectacular fashion.

  • 2. Buddy was originally written as a "darker" character. Director Jon Favreau wasn't really interested until it was rewritten to be more family-friendly.

    We can’t imagine Buddy being anything other than sappy sweet. That’s the charm of the movie. Will Farrell played him with a sincere sweetness and naïveté that made him so lovable and endearing.

  • 3. Buddy's costume was based on the outfits the elves wore in "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer".

    The movie was meant to feel like a Rankin and Bass claymation come to life. The familiar feeling you get from the start at Santa’s Workshop sets the tone for the entire movie.

  • 4. Buddy's 12-second burp was actually performed by Maurice LaMarche, who did the voice of The Brain on "Pinky and the Brain".

    It’s one of the beloved scenes in the movie but it wasn’t Will Ferrell’s burp. To this day kids all over the country joyfully recite the line “did you hear that?” after letting out a burp of their own.

  • 5. The cotton balls Buddy eats in the doctor's office are actually un-dyed cotton candy.

    The doctor’s office scene is another endearing one especially with Buddy’s child like wonder of all the various curiosities like the cotton balls he finds too irresistible to not pop a few in his mouth.

  • 6. Will Ferrell really ate all that sugar, including the maple syrup-coated spaghetti and candy.

    If you suspect that Will Ferrell was actually eating that heaping pile of sugary goo, then you’re correct. You have to respect his commitment to his craft!

  • 7. Buddy's fight with the fake Santa played by Artie Lange was done in ONE TAKE, because it took the art department WEEKS to decorate the department store. Favreau told them to just go nuts and wreck it.

    After telling the department store Santa that he was not the real Santa and smelled like beef and cheese and the tugging off his fake beard it was on..Artie Lang who was a member of the Howard Stern show played the role of a grumpy Santa perfectly.

  • 8. Will turned down a reported $29 million to make a sequel . . . because he was worried it would suck and people would accuse him of doing it for the money. FYI: James Caan claims the REAL reason was because Will and Favreau didn't get along.

    How many actors would turn down that amount of money out of respect for the movie? Of course the rumors were Will Ferrell didn’t get along with Jon Favreau might have had something to do with his decision, but still saying no to 29 million can’t be easy.

Sign me up for the 98.5 The Sports Hub email newsletter!

Get the latest Boston sports news and analysis, plus exclusive on-demand content and special giveaways from Boston's Home for Sports, 98.5 The Sports Hub.

*
*
By clicking "Subscribe" I agree to the website's terms of Service and Privacy Policy. I understand I can unsubscribe at any time.