Imagine The Breakfast Club goes to Willy Wonka's factory at Christmas.

Doug Kaye as Santa

TBS Veteran Santa Plays, Well, Santa


ATLANTA, Ga. — Playing the role of Santa Claus in Ken Feinberg’s Santa’s Boot Camp is Shakespeare Tavern virtuoso Doug Kaye.

“I’ve known Ken for a little bit,” Kaye said when asked how he got involved in the movie. “He told me, ‘I found the perfect scrip to use for my kids’ and teens’ acting classes.”

The script had few adult roles, but one of them was Santa Claus. After working an out an arrangement with his union SAG-AFTRA, Kaye participated in a ten-minute short version of the story. A few months ago, Feinberg told him he had a distributor and Santa’s Boot Camp would become a full-length movie.

“I love playing Santa,” Kaye said. “I’ve played Santa on quite a few occasions. This is an opportunity to showcase a few facets of Santa that aren’t usually seen.”

This includes Santa being harried and upset when the elves go on strike, as well as Santa in his work or sleeping clothes. He isn’t seen in his full regalia until the end of the film.

Kaye’s previous performances as Santa were in 1987-1990 when, between Thanksgiving and Christmas, he introduced the Tom and Jerry cartoons in the morning and afternoon on TBS. Kaye’s approach to this Santa is that he’s a right jolly old elf. This quality shines through even when he’s upset.  Santa thinks he’s treating the elves fairly, but Diva Elf, played by Ansley Williams, has convinced them he hasn’t. Santa thinks a group of poorly-behaved teenagers are to blame — their antics were the straw that broke the camel’s back — and decides to hold them accountable.

 “Even though he puts them to the task, it’s still with a twinkle in his eye,” he said.

Kaye enjoyed playing Santa in the short film and leaped at the chance to play him in a full-length movie. He liked working with the kids, both the young children and the teens. Although he was concerned there’d be “theatrical types” who are full of themselves, there was very little of that.

“I’m a sharing kind of actor and the script does allow me a lot of that,” he said. The script allowed him to form a rapport with his fellow actors.

He’s anxious to see the complete film. Although he had a lot of fun in the scenes he was in, there were many scenes he was not in and he is eager to see all of them.