In his Grand Forks Herald (newspaper) column yesterday Ryan Bakken says he has turned down an opportunity to play an elf this holiday season.  He claims he’s not tall enough, or too tall or something.  (I just skimmed it.)

I, too, was asked to play an elf at Santa’s Village in Grand Forks this year.   I’m letting someone else have the opportunity though.  Not because of the Bakken reasoning, but because I played an elf last Christmas.  I’ve included photographic proof below.

Here’s what happened.  I get a phone call from my buddy, comedian Bob Zany.  It was sometime in October as I recall.  He says “I’ve got an idea.”  This usually means trouble of some sort for me.  This time the idea was for Bob to dress up like Santa and for me to dress in elf drag, complete with tights.  It seemed like a better idea in October. (I have got to learn how to say no.)  People arriving for the first of Bob’s Grand Forks comedy shows that year would pay to have their picture taken with us by photographer extraordinaire Rock Tweten.

It turns out not that many people wanted to have their picture taken with Bob as Santa and me as one of Santa’s elves.  We did raise a few bucks for the Altru Cancer Center in Grand Forks.  Mainly I was wildly entertained, sitting next to Bob as he told me semi-dirty jokes all night.

Now cut to about the following July.  I get another call from Bob asking if I would mind if he uses one of the Santa/Elf pictures for a billboard to promote his upcoming holiday shows somewhere that year? (St. Louis, I think I was.)  Yeah, what the hell!  How many people in St. Louis know me anyway?   I never did hear how that one turned out. The billboard was to read something like this. “The Bob Zany Christmas Show… Elf Not Included.”