‘The Santa Clause’ Star Explains Why Bernard Didn’t Appear in Third Movie

by Maria Hartfield

Holiday classic The Santa Clause stars many well-known actors including David Krumholtz who played head elf, Bernard. Fans of The Santa Clause franchise couldn’t help but notice Krumholtz was missing from the third film.

Krumholtz appeared in both the 1994 original as well as the 2002 sequel The Santa Clause 2, but not in The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause. In a recent interview with Vulture, David Krumholtz admits it wasn’t just scheduling conflicts that called him away from acting in the motion picture starring Tim Allen.

“The story about my scheduling is true, but somehow also untrue,” said Krumholtz talking about his absence in the 2006 film.

At the time, David Krumholtz was simultaneously acting in the CBS’ crime drama Numbers. The talented actor reveals he was more than willing to make room in his busy schedule to film both the movie and the show. However, he felt his character had been “devalued” in the script.

“Bernard was in the third movie. They sent me the script, I had a pretty significant role. We did work out the schedule, which was going to be hellish on me, but I was going to make it work. And it was all set to go,” he said. “But I would say that the character got devalued a little bit and I couldn’t in good conscience do it.”

The Santa Clause Spirit Lives On

Krumholtz still holds fond feelings for The Santa Clause empire. Of course, he refers to the first two as being “really special” with the first Santa Clause being a “classic” whereas the third movie is simply “not the same.”

“It’s wild to be part of something that’s lasted this long, that plays every single year and has become a tradition in people’s homes,” he said. “I could never have imagined that I’d be having this conversation years later.”

It’s shocking to think David Krumholtz was just 16-years-old in the first Santa Clause. The story centers around Scott Calvin played by Tim Allen as he navigates being a father after his recent divorce. Calvin is unexpectedly recruited to replace St. Nick after he accidentally falls off Scott’s roof. The holiday favorite hit theaters in November 1994.

It’s a little confusing when Santa falls from the building as to what actually happens to him since his body seemingly disappears. While some argue he died from the fall, Krumholtz has another theory.

“I never saw him as dying,” says Krumholtz. “He falls off the roof, hurts himself badly, and disappears magically. I don’t know, you call that dying?”

Regardless, the actor had a blast filming the Christmas classics. Especially due to the story’s narrative centered around family and divorce.

“I love that it’s about divorce,” Krumholtz says. “It’s really about divorce at its core. I thought that really grounds the film. So no matter what you see in it after that point, once the film earns its foundation as a divorce comedy, then it becomes okay to have animatronic reindeer and little Jewish elves running around.”