I’ve interviewed a lot of famous people for Las Vegas Weekly: Carrot Top, Martin Short, Wanda Sykes, Mr. Universe, Ice-T and Coco. But unless Jesus’ Second Coming takes the form of a Strip residency—presumably he’d do a magic show (i.e., the water-to-wine trick, the bread from nowhere trick)—I’ll never interview anyone more famous than Santa Claus. I’m honored that Father Christmas took some time out of his busy lap-crushing schedule at Town Square to answer a couple questions.
I know you’re used to living way up North, so how are you coping with the Vegas heat? Don’t get me wrong; I love the North Pole. But after 11 months, Vegas is a welcome change.
Is there anything here in Las Vegas that makes you feel at home? The folks at Town Square have done a great job replicating my North Pole accommodations: my home, the snow. I can’t figure out how it happens, though. Must be some kind of meteorological anomaly.
Do you ever head north of Town Square, to the Strip? I know you’re a … uh … larger gentlemen, so I’m curious if you ever eat at our hotel buffets. Mrs. Claus has me on a strict diet right now, but come December 26, all bets are off.
What do you think of Chumlee’s beard? And have you seen the Freakin’ Frog bartender? As a beard originator, I’m afforded certain rights: I can be a harsh facial-hair critic. A proper, well-groomed beard is a necessity in my line of work … but it’s not for everyone. It’s no light undertaking. But, that said, I have no qualms with Chumlee’s beard or that of the Freakin’ Frog guy.
As the years pass by, do you remember all the things people asked you for? I get a lot of requests, as you can imagine, but some are more memorable than others. There was this one little boy, back in ’83, who insisted on a Red Ryder carbine-action, 200-shot Range Model air rifle. I told him he’d shoot his eye out, but the kid was adamant. I wonder how everything worked out for him …
Do people ever give you Christmas gifts? I believe that it’s better to give than to receive. But between you and me, yes, I appreciate the occasional gift. Back in ’01 I had a mishap over the Himalayas, and Mrs. Claus got me a GPS for the sleigh. Amazing. Don’t know how I ever flew without it.
There’s this guy who looks just like you at the Fashion Show Mall. Who is he? I appreciate you bringing this to my attention. I’ll have my elves look into it.