See the Cast of ‘Jingle All the Way’ Then and Now
In 1996, action star Arnold Schwarzenegger teamed up with comedian Sinbad for the holiday comedy ‘Jingle All the Way,’ in which two rival fathers scramble to desperately procure a Turbo Man action figure for their sons on Christmas Eve — the only problem is that it just so happens to be the hottest toy on the market. Inspired by the real-life horrors of holiday toy sell-outs and the parents who go to great (and traumatic) lengths to get their kids what their little hearts desire, this fun holiday film wasn’t looked upon very fondly by audiences at the time, but has become something of a scrappy holiday classic in the years since. 17 years later and just in time for Christmas, we look back at the cast and see what they’re up to these days.
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Howard Langston
Then: Back then, action icon Arnold Schwarzenegger was attached to star in Fox’s ‘Planet of the Apes’ reboot, and while he waited for that film to get going, he agreed to star in the studio’s new holiday comedy, ‘Jingle All the Way.’ In the film, Schwarzenegger plays workaholic family man Howard Langston, who desperately tries to win his son’s approval by doing the impossible: purchasing the most popular toy on the market at the last minute on Christmas Eve.
Of course, Schwarzenegger never did star in that ‘Planet of the Apes’ reboot, and we all saw how that turned out.
Now: After taking time off from acting to serve as Governor of California for several years, Schwarzenegger is finally back to acting, and 2013 has been a big year: first he starred in ‘The Last Stand,’ the English-language directorial debut from Jee-woon Kim, and then in ‘Escape Plan’ with Sylvester Stallone. Next he’ll appear in ‘Sabotage,’ from the director of ‘End of Watch.’
Sinbad, Myron Larabee
Then: The role of postal worker and antagonist Myron Larabee was initially supposed to go to Joe Pesci, but the studio thought the actor was too short to go up against Schwarzenegger, so they cast comedian Sinbad, who was similar in stature and had previously appeared with ‘Jingle All the Way’ co-star Phil Hartman in the film ‘Houseguest.’
Now: In 2008, Sinbad appeared as himself on an episode of ‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,’ and competed on the 2010 season of ‘The Apprentice.’ He had a short-lived reality show on WE tv in 2011, and this year he played an animated version of himself on the series ‘American Dad.’
Rita Wilson, Liz Langston
Then: Rita Wilson played Liz Langston, Howard’s wife who is always struggling to get her husband to find time for her and their son. Wilson is the wife of Tom Hanks and had also appeared that year in his directorial debut, ‘That Thing You Do.’
Now: Wilson has also appeared in the films ‘Old Dogs’ and ‘It’s Complicated,’ and alongside husband Hanks in 2011’s ‘Larry Crowne.’ She’s close friends with actress and filmmaker Nia Vardalos, and has produced her films ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding,’ ‘Connie and Carla,’ and ‘My Life in Ruins,’ in which she also starred.
Jake Lloyd, Jamie Langston
Then: 1996 was the year Jake Lloyd made his debut as a child actor, appearing in ‘Jingle All the Way’ as Jamie, Howard’s son who wants nothing more than a Turbo Man toy for Christmas — and to spend time with his dad. Just a few years later, Lloyd played young Anakin Skywalker in ‘Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace.’
Now: Lloyd also voiced Anakin in several ‘Star Wars’ video games and appeared in episodes of ‘The Pretender’ throughout the late ’90s, but then he retired from acting, citing the exhaustion from interviews (up to 60 a day sometimes, he said) and bullying from his classmates. Lloyd went to Chicago, where he studied film and editing, and although he resents ‘Star Wars’ and doesn’t watch the films or own any memorabilia, he still often makes appearances at conventions for fans.
Phil Hartman, Ted Maltin
Then: Legendary ‘SNL’ star Phil Hartman played Howard’s slimy neighbor Ted Maltin, who is always making Howard look bad to his wife, Liz, and clearly trying to hit on her. At the time, Hartman was also starring on the hit sitcom ‘NewsRadio,’ and had appeared in two other films with Sinbad: ‘Coneheads’ and ‘Houseguest.’
Now: Hartman tragically died at the age of 48 in 1998. He appeared in ‘Small Soldiers,’ which was released after his death, and lent his voice to the English release of ‘Kiki’s Delivery Service,’ also released posthumously. Among his many credits, Hartman left us with classic performances in ‘Three Amigos,’ ‘Saturday Night Live,’ ‘NewsRadio,’ and as Captain Carl on ‘Pee-wee’s Playhouse.’
Jim Belushi, Mall Santa
Then: Jim Belushi played a belligerent mall Santa. Like his brother John Belushi (who died in 1982), Jim had also starred on ‘SNL’ (where he was known for doing an Arnold Schwarzenegger impression). Prior to appearing in ‘Jingle All the Way,’ audiences knew him best for his work in films like ‘K-9’ and ‘Red Heat.’
Now: From 2001 to 2009, Belushi starred on the sitcom ‘According to Jim,’ and since then has appeared in the films ‘Underdog,’ ‘The Ghost Writer,’ and ‘New Year’s Eve.’ He’s also a talented voice actor whose work has appeared in ‘Hoodwinked,’ ‘Casper’s Scare School,’ and the upcoming ‘Dorothy of Oz,’ in which he’ll be playing the Cowardly Lion.
Danny Woodburn, Tony the Elf
Then: Danny Woodburn played Tony the Elf, the mall Santa’s little helper who helps Howard by tipping him off to where there might be a Turbo Man action figure he can get at the last minute. Woodburn also played the recurring roles of Mickey Abbott on ‘Seinfeld’ and Otli on the ‘Conan’ TV series.
Now: Woodburn is one of the most successful actors with dwarfism working today, appearing in the films ‘Death to Smoochy,’ Watchmen,’ and ‘Mirror Mirror,’ and currently starring on the show ‘Crash and Bernstein.’ He was recently cast in the role of Splinter in the new Michael Bay-produced ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.’
Chris Parnell, Toy Store Sales Clerk
Then: Back before he starred on ‘SNL,’ Chris Parnell made his film debut as an obnoxious toy store sales clerk in ‘Jingle All the Way.’ It would still be two years before this member of notable improv group The Groundlings would be cast on ‘SNL’ and become a household name.
Now: From 1998 to 2009, Parnell starred on ‘SNL,’ where along with Andy Samberg, he introduced the world to Digital Shorts with “Lazy Sunday.” He has appeared in the films ‘Anchorman,’ ‘Hot Rod,’ and ‘Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story.’ Parnell had a recurring role on ’30 Rock’ as Dr. Leo Spaceman, and recently lent his voice to ‘Escape from Planet Earth’ and ‘Hotel Transylvania.’ Currently he stars on the series ‘Suburgatory’ and just reprised his role as Garth Holliday in ‘Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues.’
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