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Bernard the Hot Elf officially joins the new Santa Clause series

We did it, Bernard fans!

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bernard in the santa clause Image: Buena Vista Pictures
Petrana Radulovic is an entertainment reporter specializing in animation, fandom culture, theme parks, Disney, and young adult fantasy franchises.

Update: Deadline reports that David Krumholtz will indeed join the upcoming Santa Clause television show for Disney Plus, returning to his role as Bernard. Huzzah! There are no details on how Bernard fits into the plot, or how big of a role he has. That being said, Bernard fans are still celebrating, since he was missing from earlier promotion materials.

ICYMI, Disney is making a TV show based on the Christmas-movie classic The Santa Clause and its two sequels. The Disney Plus show, The Santa Clauses, will revisit Scott Calvin (Tim Allen) on his 65th birthday. He realizes he can’t keep up this Santa Clause schtick forever, so he sets out to find a replacement. Disney unveiled the first look at the new series on Twitter.

There’s a lot going on here: Santa in a button-up, Kal Penn, Station Eleven’s Matilda Lawler. But what caught our eye was the missing element: a distinct lack of Bernard the Hot Elf.

For those not familiar, Bernard the Hot Elf is actually Bernard the Head Elf, as played by David Krumholtz in 1994’s The Santa Clause and the 2002 sequel. He’s the elf who shows Tim Allen’s Scott Calvin around — and, more importantly for the purposes of this article, who inspired young childhood crushes everywhere. Was it the dreamy brown eyes? The gorgeous curly hair? The inexplicable New York accent?

“Perhaps I had a swagger when I was 16 years old,” Krumholtz said to Vulture in an interview.

Now, by the logic of the Santa Clause movies, it probably doesn’t make sense for Krumholtz, who is now 44, to reprise the role. The Christmas elves in the Santa Clause trilogy appear as children, even though they’re hundreds of years old. The showrunners will have to explain away why Bernard now looks like a 44-year-old man.

In addition to Allen, Elizabeth Mitchell returns to the cast as Carol, aka Mrs. Claus. Kal Penn, of Harold and Kumar fame, joins as Simon Choksi, a game inventor who aspires to become the next Jeff Bezos — but may become the next Santa instead. The show will premiere later this year.

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