Apr 08, 2020
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Headline, Industry News

Goodman plays retiring Santa

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Tired of the commercialization of Christmas? So is Santa in NBC’s "The Year Without a Santa Claus." The usually jolly fat guy has had enough of all the holiday hype and just wants to retire to Florida.

"He’s at a time of life when you are used to doing things in a certain way and you feel like the world is passing you by," says John Goodman, who plays Santa Claus.

"But Santa finds he still has something to fight for, so he makes it through one more Christmas."

The live-action musical comedy, airing 9 p.m. Dec. 11, is based on the book by Phyllis McGinley, which was previously made as a TV musical employing stop-motion animation with Mickey Rooney as the voice of Santa Claus.

Executive producer Mark Wolper says he was prompted to remake "The Year Without a Santa Claus" because his wife and their three children are big fans of the original.

"Of course any movie my kids like, they say, ‘Daddy, how come you didn’t make that?’ " says Wolper, whose credits include such nonfamily fare as "Salem’s Lot" and "Helter Skelter."

"So I said, ‘OK, this time Daddy is going to make that!’ " Wolper explains. "The original theme and the theme of our movie I think are the same. It’s about how Santa and a young boy, who both have lost their faith in Christmas, regain it because of each other . . . and the fun, quirky, crazy journey along the way to that discovery."

The elaborate production _ which contains 350 digitally created effects including, of course, flying sleigh and reindeer _ was filmed in the middle of summer in Louisiana, on soundstages in Shreveport and in Natchitoches. Casting was probably the easiest element, says Wolper. Actors who loved the original book and movie jumped at the chance to be in the remake.

"We really wanted funny people and so we put a list together and a lot of funny, improvisational people are ex-‘Saturday Night Live’ people," says Wolper.

"SNL" alumnus Chris Kattan plays Sparky, the materialistic head elf. Another alum, Michael McKean, is the weather villain Snowmiser.

Then there’s Harvey Fierstein as Heatmiser. Ethan Suplee is paired with Eddie Griffin as Jingle and Jangle, two of Santa’s helpers who, in hopes of getting their boss to stay on the job, venture out to try to find at least one kid who still believes in the true spirit of Christmas. Dylan Minnette plays that kid, Iggy Thistlewhite. Delta Burke fills the role of an optimistic and glamorous Mrs. Claus.

"Needless to say, if I asked you to make a list of who would be the best actor to play Santa Claus, I suspect that John Goodman would be in the top three, and he was first on our list," says Wolper. "Our Santa is supposed to be curmudgeonly and John is very good at being a likable curmudgeon. It’s a warm grumpiness, that’s a good way to put it."

Sounding warmly grumpy over the phone from his New Orleans home, Goodman said we shouldn’t pay any attention to stories about his efforts to lose weight.

"I’ve gone up and down too many times. I’m tired of it," says the actor, best known for playing the good dad on "Roseanne." So his Falstaffian figure was a natural fit.

"I looked rather like a tomato with a beard," he jokes.

Wolper’s delighted about having created a new version of an old classic, but wistful that the networks seem to be turning away from making original movies.

"Regretfully, because long-form television is my business, this may be one of the last sort of original movies for network TV," says Wolper. "That’s a sad commentary. It’s sort of an art form in the television business that is dying. So I’m praying it will do well, to breath continued life into our business."

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Headline, Industry News

Goodman plays retiring Santa

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Tired of the commercialization of Christmas? So is Santa in NBC’s "The Year Without a Santa Claus." The usually jolly fat guy has had enough of all the holiday hype and just wants to retire to Florida.

"He’s at a time of life when you are used to doing things in a certain way and you feel like the world is passing you by," says John Goodman, who plays Santa Claus.

"But Santa finds he still has something to fight for, so he makes it through one more Christmas."

The live-action musical comedy, airing 9 p.m. Dec. 11, is based on the book by Phyllis McGinley, which was previously made as a TV musical employing stop-motion animation with Mickey Rooney as the voice of Santa Claus.

Executive producer Mark Wolper says he was prompted to remake "The Year Without a Santa Claus" because his wife and their three children are big fans of the original.

"Of course any movie my kids like, they say, ‘Daddy, how come you didn’t make that?’ " says Wolper, whose credits include such nonfamily fare as "Salem’s Lot" and "Helter Skelter."

"So I said, ‘OK, this time Daddy is going to make that!’ " Wolper explains. "The original theme and the theme of our movie I think are the same. It’s about how Santa and a young boy, who both have lost their faith in Christmas, regain it because of each other . . . and the fun, quirky, crazy journey along the way to that discovery."

The elaborate production _ which contains 350 digitally created effects including, of course, flying sleigh and reindeer _ was filmed in the middle of summer in Louisiana, on soundstages in Shreveport and in Natchitoches. Casting was probably the easiest element, says Wolper. Actors who loved the original book and movie jumped at the chance to be in the remake.

"We really wanted funny people and so we put a list together and a lot of funny, improvisational people are ex-‘Saturday Night Live’ people," says Wolper.

"SNL" alumnus Chris Kattan plays Sparky, the materialistic head elf. Another alum, Michael McKean, is the weather villain Snowmiser.

Then there’s Harvey Fierstein as Heatmiser. Ethan Suplee is paired with Eddie Griffin as Jingle and Jangle, two of Santa’s helpers who, in hopes of getting their boss to stay on the job, venture out to try to find at least one kid who still believes in the true spirit of Christmas. Dylan Minnette plays that kid, Iggy Thistlewhite. Delta Burke fills the role of an optimistic and glamorous Mrs. Claus.

"Needless to say, if I asked you to make a list of who would be the best actor to play Santa Claus, I suspect that John Goodman would be in the top three, and he was first on our list," says Wolper. "Our Santa is supposed to be curmudgeonly and John is very good at being a likable curmudgeon. It’s a warm grumpiness, that’s a good way to put it."

Sounding warmly grumpy over the phone from his New Orleans home, Goodman said we shouldn’t pay any attention to stories about his efforts to lose weight.

"I’ve gone up and down too many times. I’m tired of it," says the actor, best known for playing the good dad on "Roseanne." So his Falstaffian figure was a natural fit.

"I looked rather like a tomato with a beard," he jokes.

Wolper’s delighted about having created a new version of an old classic, but wistful that the networks seem to be turning away from making original movies.

"Regretfully, because long-form television is my business, this may be one of the last sort of original movies for network TV," says Wolper. "That’s a sad commentary. It’s sort of an art form in the television business that is dying. So I’m praying it will do well, to breath continued life into our business."

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Headline, Industry News

Goodman plays retiring Santa

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Tired of the commercialization of Christmas? So is Santa in NBC’s "The Year Without a Santa Claus." The usually jolly fat guy has had enough of all the holiday hype and just wants to retire to Florida.

"He’s at a time of life when you are used to doing things in a certain way and you feel like the world is passing you by," says John Goodman, who plays Santa Claus.

"But Santa finds he still has something to fight for, so he makes it through one more Christmas."

The live-action musical comedy, airing 9 p.m. Dec. 11, is based on the book by Phyllis McGinley, which was previously made as a TV musical employing stop-motion animation with Mickey Rooney as the voice of Santa Claus.

Executive producer Mark Wolper says he was prompted to remake "The Year Without a Santa Claus" because his wife and their three children are big fans of the original.

"Of course any movie my kids like, they say, ‘Daddy, how come you didn’t make that?’ " says Wolper, whose credits include such nonfamily fare as "Salem’s Lot" and "Helter Skelter."

"So I said, ‘OK, this time Daddy is going to make that!’ " Wolper explains. "The original theme and the theme of our movie I think are the same. It’s about how Santa and a young boy, who both have lost their faith in Christmas, regain it because of each other . . . and the fun, quirky, crazy journey along the way to that discovery."

The elaborate production _ which contains 350 digitally created effects including, of course, flying sleigh and reindeer _ was filmed in the middle of summer in Louisiana, on soundstages in Shreveport and in Natchitoches. Casting was probably the easiest element, says Wolper. Actors who loved the original book and movie jumped at the chance to be in the remake.

"We really wanted funny people and so we put a list together and a lot of funny, improvisational people are ex-‘Saturday Night Live’ people," says Wolper.

"SNL" alumnus Chris Kattan plays Sparky, the materialistic head elf. Another alum, Michael McKean, is the weather villain Snowmiser.

Then there’s Harvey Fierstein as Heatmiser. Ethan Suplee is paired with Eddie Griffin as Jingle and Jangle, two of Santa’s helpers who, in hopes of getting their boss to stay on the job, venture out to try to find at least one kid who still believes in the true spirit of Christmas. Dylan Minnette plays that kid, Iggy Thistlewhite. Delta Burke fills the role of an optimistic and glamorous Mrs. Claus.

"Needless to say, if I asked you to make a list of who would be the best actor to play Santa Claus, I suspect that John Goodman would be in the top three, and he was first on our list," says Wolper. "Our Santa is supposed to be curmudgeonly and John is very good at being a likable curmudgeon. It’s a warm grumpiness, that’s a good way to put it."

Sounding warmly grumpy over the phone from his New Orleans home, Goodman said we shouldn’t pay any attention to stories about his efforts to lose weight.

"I’ve gone up and down too many times. I’m tired of it," says the actor, best known for playing the good dad on "Roseanne." So his Falstaffian figure was a natural fit.

"I looked rather like a tomato with a beard," he jokes.

Wolper’s delighted about having created a new version of an old classic, but wistful that the networks seem to be turning away from making original movies.

"Regretfully, because long-form television is my business, this may be one of the last sort of original movies for network TV," says Wolper. "That’s a sad commentary. It’s sort of an art form in the television business that is dying. So I’m praying it will do well, to breath continued life into our business."

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

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