Santa with Muscles (1996) (part 6 of 11)

We fade to dinner as Lenny describes how Hulk kicked the asses of those crooks at the mall. I’m not sure why, but this prompts hearty gales of laughter all around instead of suspicions that a violent psychopath could be in their midst. Garrett asks if Santa has a place to stay tonight [?]. Um, okay. I don’t know why they’d assume he’s homeless, but if he is, would you really want him staying around little kids?

Garrett explains they have more than enough room at the orphanage, because they “found homes for all the kids that we could!” In the movie’s most idiotic moment yet, this prompts Taylor to yell, “We’re the leftovers!” [!!] as he storms out. Gee, I can’t imagine why they couldn’t find a home for this little bundle of joy.

After a brief moment of awkward silence where nobody tries to go after Taylor or talk to him, Garrett again offers Hulk and Lenny any of the empty rooms.

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Anyway, dinner ends and the kids head for bed. Elizabeth gives Hulk a kiss on the cheek, which causes his eyes to spring open wide and harps to play on the soundtrack. Gawsh, ain’t she cute? For some reason, Hulk is totally enraptured by this, and only snaps out of it when Lenny yells at him to come along.

When Hulk gets up, we see that he suddenly has a tear in one sleeve of his Santa suit. We never saw how that happened, but we’ll soon enough see the reason it’s there.

Cut to a bathroom as Hulk washes his face. He’s now dressed as Joseph in the manger [!], and Lenny enters, dressed as a lamb [!!]. Lenny has a good hard laugh at Hulk’s Joseph outfit, despite wearing a costume that’s at least ten billion times goofier. Garrett Morris stops by long enough to let Hulk know that his Santa suit will be patched up and ready for him in the morning. So there’s the reason for the tear. Check.

Lenny laughs some more and says Hulk looks like “a leftover from last year’s Christmas play!” Now, in all likelihood, the two of them really are wearing costumes left over from a nativity play. But of course, no one actually says that in so many words. So, frankly, I could just as easily conclude that Hulk is dressed like a kung-fu monk and Lenny is dressed like a rabbit. And boy, wouldn’t that be a much better movie.

Santa with Muscles (1996) (part 6 of 11)

Hopefully, three wise men will come along and shut down production.

Hulk yells, “At least mine doesn’t have a tail!” We cut to Lenny’s backside, revealing what looks like a fuzzy white dildo hanging down from his ass. It actually squeaks [?] when he squeezes it, and the less I know about this tail the better.

Lenny grumbles and climbs into bed, but sees Hulk still looking in the mirror, concerned because he has no beard. Lenny reassures him that he really is Santa. Hulk gets in bed (thankfully, there are separate beds in here) and switches off the light. He sees a Santa Claus nightlight, which causes him to hear Elizabeth’s cloying voice in his head and relive the syrupy moment of just a few minutes ago all over again.

The next morning, everyone’s gathered around the breakfast table. Hulk shows up and Elizabeth freaks out, either because he’s dressed like a kung-fu monk or because he has no beard. She gives him the open-mouthed gape, which prompts Hulk to claim he shaved the beard off because “Mrs. Claus says it tickles!” Eww, okay, that was way too much information. Thanks for sharing that with us, Santa. It’s good to know you like to lay some of that sweet hetero-lingus on Mrs. Claus.

Jackie hands Hulk a newspaper, and the headline at the top of the front page is “SANTA WITH MUSCLES”. I’d make a joke here that it must be a slow news day, but I think this is more like the typical news day during a glacial age.

Saavik tells Hulk he seems familiar for some reason, and at that exact moment, Lenny notices the cereal they’re eating just happens to be a box of Blake’s Way Power Crisp, complete with a really bad, scary caricature of Hulk Hogan on the box. If I didn’t know any better, I’d swear it was a buff Jay Leno with a bad dye job.

Santa with Muscles (1996) (part 6 of 11)

A tasty way to scare the crap out of your kids every morning!

Lenny empties the box of cereal onto his eggs and tucks the box under his arm, pretending like cereal and eggs is a delicious combination. In response, Mila Kunis just rolls her eyes at him. Ooh, Jackie thinks you’re weird, dude.

Lenny crumples up the box, pretending he’s going to recycle it. “Recycling, kids,” he says. “It’s just the right thing to do!” Hence, the existence of this screenplay.

Suddenly, Lenny notices the thumbprints on Hulk’s glass of milk. We hear Strauss’ Also Sprach Zarathustra [??] play as Lenny hears the Futuristic ATM Voice in his head. The ATM offers him “a hundred gazillion dollars” for placing his “stolen thumbprint” on the scanner. The music swells to a crescendo as Hulk… drinks his milk in slow-motion. Wow!

Still in slow-mo, Lenny grins widely as he hears the ATM in his head telling him to enjoy his new life in South America. Because, you know, if you’ve got a ton of cash, the place you immediately want to head for is South America. Lenny lunges at the glass of milk, but then snaps back to reality to find everyone staring at him. He quickly recovers by pretending he really, really wants to help clean up.

Santa with Muscles (1996) (part 6 of 11)

“And you better take your vitamins too, brother!”

Next up on the Cavalcade of Stupid Subplots, Hulk shares a really painful scene with Elizabeth where she outlines all the stuff Santa likes to do. According to her, these are the “Santa Rules”. See how these stand in brilliant counterpoint to “Blake’s Rules”? See? See? Looks like somebody took a screenwriting class!

Actually, this scene is mostly annoying for Elizabeth’s high pitched squeak as she blathers on and on about not kicking puppies, or not spitting on homeless people, or some damn thing. Honestly, I’m not really paying much attention. In response, Taylor just rolls his eyes and listens to his headphones. Hey, go be bitter somewhere else, kid, okay? And, um, take me with you?

Next, Jackie enters with Hulk’s Santa suit, to which she’s “made some improvements”, and that’s definitely a statement to be taken subjectively. It turns out that, over the course of one night, she’s turned his jacket into a sleeveless vest that shows off his biceps. Jackie calls this “a more Continental look”, which I really don’t want to know anything more about.

She says she also outfitted the suit with a “utility belt for Super Santa!” Okay, what? Just had one of those lying around, did you, Jackie? Or maybe she just cruised on down to the local SteinMart at three in the morning and picked something out of the utility belt bargain pile.

Hulk asks where she learned how to make a costume like this, so Jackie pulls out an issue of a “Megaman” comic book. You know, I read a lot of comic books when I was young, but I must have missed the sewing patterns in the back.

Santa with Muscles (1996) (part 6 of 11)

On the next Queer Eye for the Straight Santa

Lenny comes along and asks Jackie about his elf outfit. Jackie yells, “Keep your pants on, Q-Tip [?], I’m getting there!” And just do yourself a favor and don’t try to figure out that Q-Tip comment. You’ll be much better off. And if you don’t do it for yourself, do it for the children!

There’s a knock at the door and Lenny answers. It turns out to be a standard Los Angeles Latina-Asian news reporter by the name of Helen Chu who wants to do a story about this “Santa with muscles”. Presumably, she heard about his adventures (better known as “aggravated assault” in this universe) at the mall. But, how did she track him down to the orphanage? That, my friends, is just one of the many mysteries to be found in this great big world of ours. Hey, who knows? Maybe she used some advanced futuristic thumbprint technology to track him down.

Anyway, we’re soon out on the front lawn as the reporter does her story. Hulk has put the full Continental Santa costume on, and it appears Jackie also equipped the outfit with black leather boots and black leather gloves [?], and they’re all trimmed with rhinestones. Okay, I really have to ask, why exactly would an orphanage have black leather boots and gloves lying around?

The reporter begins her report, revealing that they’re on live. Yep, my suspicions are now confirmed. Slow. News. Day. Helen Chu asks Santa how he got here, and Hulk, as he tends to do, just draws a blank. I mean, I suppose the reporter could have like, done a prelim interview or something to actually prepare Hulk for the questions she would be asking him, but cut her some slack, okay? We can’t all be Juju Chang.

A dumbstruck Hulk looks over at Lenny, who makes the universal sign for reindeer. Hulk turns back to the reporter and says, “Rooster!” The reporter just looks at Hulk like he’s nuts. Which, I should add, he is.

Hulk looks back at Lenny and says, “Sleigh!” For some reason, the reporter finds this response equally disturbing [?]. Finally, Hulk yells, “Reindeer!” and all is well and the reporter smiles in relief.

Santa with Muscles (1996) (part 6 of 11)

“I’m so whacked out on coke, it’s not even funny.”

The reporter asks why Santa is looking so fit and trim this year. Because in case you missed it, Santa has muscles. Hulk turns again to Lenny, who does the universal sign for “sleep”, then the “reindeer” sign again. I have no idea what concept he’s trying to get across, but Hulk blurts out, “I love… to eat a lot of reindeer meat!”

Hulk sees the reporter’s shock, so he quickly plays it off as a joke. He says his secret to staying healthy is to “laugh a lot everyday!” So, there you have it: Actual medical proof that people should stay away from comedies like this one.

Hulk then addresses the camera, pointing directly at it like he’s talking trash before a WWE grudge match. He tells the viewers he knows when they’ve been naughty or nice, “So be nice!” For some reason, this causes Lenny to panic and pull Hulk away.

Santa with Muscles (1996) (part 6 of 11)

“Whatcha gonna do? Whatcha gonna do when Santa and his eight tiny reindeer run wild on you??”

Regardless, Helen Chu wraps up her story, and in an imaginative transition, we cut to someone watching her report on a plastic-wrapped TV set. Yes, it’s Ebner Frost in his “mansion”, and he’s disgusted because “Santa” has put “the orphanage on the map!” Uh, it’s just one story, dude. It’s not like he made it a city landmark or something.

Meanwhile, Dr. Blight listens to Frost’s chest with a stethoscope. Ooh, I see wacky hijinks in the near future. Hey, it’s a proven formula: Stethoscope + Ed Begley, Jr. = Laughs. For more foreshadowing, Frost comments that there’s something very familiar about this Santa Claus. Blight jokes that this is because he comes every year.

This stupid joke prompts Frost to yell directly into the stethoscope, sending Dr. Blight into fits of pain. See? Formula proven. Begley promises to figure out exactly how he knows this Santa.

Multi-Part Article: Santa with Muscles (1996)

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