‘Tis the year for ultra-raunchy takes on Santa’s Workshop, apparently. I’m not sure what 2021 did to deserve TWO of these, but the show we’re about to discuss (Santa Inc) is not the first time within twelve months that someone has tried to execute this idea.
It was beat to the punch by SyFy’s The Pole, which aired at midnight last spring for a subatomic length of time — enough to air the handful of episodes precisely once before it was shuffled off to the channel’s on-demand library. The cartoon starred Bobby Moynihan as a coke-snorting, sex-joke-cracking, degenerate Santa Claus. Get it? It’s this beloved childhood figure, and he’s on drugs! HAR HAR HAR! The show was cancelled when its creator was caught by his teacher and sent to middle school detention for a week.
If The Pole could have served as a warning, it didn’t stop HBO Max, who’s going through with their own “dirty Christmas” take in Santa Inc. Sarah Silverman plays the lead character, an ambitious cutthroat business elf named Candy who is gunning for Santa’s job.
Candy is flanked by a fratboy assistant elf named Devin (Nicholas Braun, Succession), a sassy sexpot reindeer named Goldie (Gabourey Sidibe), a neurotic gingerbread woman named Cookie (Leslie Grossman, American Horror Story), and Joel Kim Booster as Santa’s chief of staff. Maria Bamford (Lady Dynamite) plays dual roles as Mrs. Claus and Candy’s mother.
Where’s Seth Rogen, you ask? He’s Santa.
As the trailer explains, there have been many Santas over the centuries, and this one is a crass, chauvinist piece of work that Candy is seething to topple. The only real difference between Rogen’s Santa from this series and Moynihan’s Santa from the other one is that the Rogen version doesn’t do drugs, at least quite as often. He does, however, publicly urinate a LOT more.
So that’s Santa Inc, like it or not. All eight episodes will appear on HBO Max December 2. And hopefully 2022 won’t gift us with two more “Santa swears and pees” cartoons. Or will there be THREE?