The Hallmark Channel continues its Christmas coverage on Thursday, December 2, with the HallmarkChannel Original Movie World Premiere of “The Santa Suit,” starring Kevin Sorbo. This heart-warming family film is a retelling of Charles Dickens’ infamous, A Christmas Carol, with a modern twist.
Instead of 19th century wealthy English curmudgeon Ebenezer Scrooge, the script by Kevin Commins offers America’s Hunter Toys’ Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Drake Hunter (Sorbo). Hunter possesses similar views as Scrooge toward humanity in that he places more emphasis on making money than caring for mankind. He devises a plan to increase sales during the Christmas holidays by dispatching shopping mall Santas throughout the city and ordering them to urge boys and girls that, “It isn’t a great toy, unless it’s from Hunter’s!”, thereby, goading their parents into purchasing more of his company’s products.
But, Santa Claus sees and disdains the idea, then dispatches his own brand of Christmas justice.
“My character is an arrogant guy who has inherited his father’s toy company, but, is all about the bottom line, cutting costs, etc,” Sorbo explained. “He is visited by the real Santa Claus and turns into him to find his inner Christmas spirit.”
Santa Claus decides to transform Hunter into his own image: the round-faced, protruding-bellied icon of today’s tradition complete with long, flowing white beard. However, Hunter doesn’t become the hero with a simple overnight change; he is mistaken for a vagabond and forced into a homeless shelter where, with no family or friends to worry about him, he befriends a social worker (Jodie Dowdall). Then in order to keep his place at the shelter he must find employment, which he ironically accepts as a shopping mall Santa.
Via his new job Hunter meets “latchkey kid” Gemma (Briana D’Aguanno), a young girl whose mother struggles to make ends meet by working double shifts at Hunter Toys. Her family’s situation, despite how hard and long her mother toils, leaves them impoverished.
Hunter, like Scrooge, finally realizes how much his life impacts others. He discovers that his toys actually bring joy to children and that his company possesses the potential to help those who work there if he provides them with hope and security for a better world.
Convinced that the stereotypical, cold-hearted Fortune 500 CEO grasps the idea of humanity versus profits, the real Santa returns Hunter to his original, but, improved self. Hunter proceeds to approach his newly found mission with enthusiasm and a joy to fulfill dreams!
“Drake Hunter seemed like a fun role to play,” said Sorbo, “and I was wanting to do a Christmas movie for my kids. It’s a touching, funny, romantic, sad, real Christmas story. You will love it!”
See “The Santa Suit” on the Hallmark Channel (listed times are ET): Thursday, December 2, 8 and 10 p.m.; Wednesday, December 8, 8 p.m.; Sunday, December 12, 2 p.m.; Monday, December 13, 8 a.m.; Sunday, December 19, 12 a.m.; Thursday, December 23, 6 a.m.; and Friday, December 24, 2 a.m.
Visit the Hallmark Channel website for more information:
(Photos courtesy of the Hallmark Channel)
Enjoy this cute video clip. Thanks, Kevin!
Here is your Kevin crossword puzzle for the month: Television Show Titles. While making this for you I noticed how many times he has been cast to steal women from other guys. Sheesh! Too funny, yes? Good luck!
4. He played a Bounty Hunter in this
6. He played himself in this sketch comedy program
8. He was hot in a hot tub
9. This featured him as Dr. Thaddeus Kocinski
12. This infamous series launched his career
13. He stole Maya’s heart for two episodes in this
14. Kelly Ripa thought he was a homeless guy in this
16. Clown porn was found in his possession in this
19. He played opposite Angela Lansbury in this
20. He occasionally appeared in this “Hercules” spinoff
1. He tutored as Charlie for four episodes
2. This show, waiting to air, stars him as Sheriff Rick
3. He played Mark in this 1993 detective show
5. This 1986 soap opera was his television debut
7. He was this eponymous show title and actress’ love interest
10. Jim Belushi punched him in this
11. The program and ship were named this
15. He was this former hero turned bad guy
17. He sat at the bar and was uncredited for his appearance
18. He appeared twice as Father John in this
This fun story comes from Kathrine in Denmark:
How I became a fan of Kevin Sorbo?
Well, the very first time I saw him, he starred in the T.V. series of “Hercules.” I was on a holiday in (the) U.S.A. in California in 1997. I was at a motel and watched “Xena” and “Hercules” for the very first time. I was at that time very fond of another actor, Michael Praed, who played Robin Hood in “Robin of Sherwood” and Prince Michael in “Dynasty.”
Then this Hercules guy appeared on the screen, and I remember thinking, “Wow, a big, blond fellow who actually looks good! And he’s even one of the good guys.” I was a fan.
A few years later, the T.V. series of “Hercules” and “Xena” appeared on the Danish television network and I was hooked again. I’ve been a fan ever since. I looked for information about Kevin Sorbo on the internet and downloaded pictures of him and so on…
I was so thrilled when I found out that he was on Twitter and Facebook, and I’m so proud that he even accepted me as a friend on FB and actually answers my mails that I send him.
He really is a hell of a good guy!!! And still looks soooo good, too!!!!!
(Artwork by Klippart; photo courtesy of Kevin Sorbo)
Our wonderful pal Rhonda in Georgia purchased and listened to Macabre Mansion’s new audiodrama CD, “The Fall of the House of Usher.” Here is her great review. Thanks, Rhonda!
“The Fall of The House of Usher:” A review!
This audiodrama is based on a short story written by Edgar Allan Poe. The main characters are Roderick Usher, his sister Madeline, her doctor, and the narrator, who is an unnamed childhood friend of Roderick.
Kevin plays the narrator, and through his first person descriptions brings the listener into the strange and Gothic world of Roderick and the eerie mansion known as The House of Usher. Special effects provide a spooky backdrop to the story of a man on the brink of insanity who seeks solace in the only friend he has left in the world, a friend he has known since childhood.
Once the friend arrives at The House of Usher, he realizes all is not as it seems and is slowly drawn into Roderick’s nightmare. Part of the nightmare is Roderick’s obsession with the health of his sister, Madeline. She is dying of a mysterious illness, and Roderick really doesn’t seem to care. Soon, she dies, and Roderick begs his friend to help him bury her in a vault located directly below the friend’s sleeping quarters. The friend agrees (a decision he soon regrets).
Days later, the friend hears noises in the night and is unable to sleep. Roderick checks on him and the two spend the rest of the stormy night awake.
The friend reads a book to Roderick, hoping to keep him somehow occupied, but, the friend hears noises coming from the vault and soon realizes that Madeline is not dead, as she appears in the doorway. The friend then leaves the house and moments later The House of Usher is no more.
I really thought the cast did a marvelous job bringing this horror story to life. I was really surprised by how much Kevin’s narration drew me into the story, but, then again, Poe always wrote his stories in first person narrative.
As I listened to the story unfold, I was reminded of a Gothic soap opera I watched in the 1960s called, “Dark Shadows.” I could just imagine The House of Usher being similar to the Collinwood Estate with all of its eerie sights and sounds. The special effects, such as the sounds of wind, moans, and creaks really brought an extra dimension to the story and kept me on the edge of my seat until the very end.
The cast is as follows: Kevin Sorbo as the Narrator, Jim O’Rear as Roderick Usher, Bonita Friedericy as Madeline Usher, and John Billingsley as The Doctor. Everyone involved is to be commended for a job well done.
I know Kevin is particularly proud of this project since a portion of the proceeds benefit A World Fit for Kids, and I was proud to support the cause by purchasing a copy. I encourage all of Kevin’s fans to do the same!
I read Edgar Allan Poe stories when I was in high school and somehow this story escaped me. But, thanks to a friend, I was able to get a link to the short story and read it.
For anyone who is interested, the link is as follows:
It can be downloaded in a PDF format if you wish. I would recommend reading it while you are listening to the CD. I think it will really bring (the story) to life.
Here is the link to purchase Macabre Mansion’s “The Fall of the House of Usher:”
Check out Macabre Mansion’s latest vid of a few excerpts:
BUY IT TODAY!!!
(Images and video courtesy of Macabre Mansion; collage by Jan)
Hi, friends. Here’s some exciting news about one of Kevin’s projects, Kevin’s OEKSFC birthday book, and a message from the boss himself! Take a look!
Macabre Mansion recorded an audiodrama on CD, The Fall of the House of Usher, based on a short story by Edgar Allan Poe and narrated by Kevin, several months ago. They recently released the final product for sale with a portion of the proceeds to be donated to WFIT. The recording stars Kevin, Jim O’Rear, Bonita Friedericy, and John Billingsley.
Here’s a promotional vid:
The Official European Kevin Sorbo Fan Club (OEKSFC) collected donations for WFIT this year in addition to good will messages for Kevin for his birthday (29th!) in their annual Kevin Birthday Book.
It’s always great fun for fans to unite to wish the Big Guy a happy special day. Here are a few pages from the final product that was sent to Kevin along with his kind “Thank You” to all who contributed to both:
Also, here’s a very sweet letter from WFIT’s Executive Director, Normandie Nigh, thanking those who contributed to WFIT:
Way to go, everyone!!
OK, so we’re all still hoping that Kevin’s movie, What If…, plays in our towns. Until then we have a great tune from the movie written by Dan Haseltine that we can download from itunes for only $.99! Wow! What a bargain!
Here’s a message from Kevin about this very special music:
“Hey guys, that great song from What If…, ‘Can’t Save You’ by Dan Haseltine, which is also in the trailer, is now on itunes, and it’s actually identified as being ‘From the film What If…’
Tons of fans are always asking where the song is from, how they can get it, etc., and I know you guys have mentioned how beautiful the song is, so this is where we can tell them to get it (and you can get it, too).
The original song from What If… & the trailer is now available on itunes! $0.99:
So, let’s support Kevin, WFIT, and all of the great organizations contributing to WFIT! Together we can do this… we can make the world a better place! Click here for more information about Fall of the House of Usher and how to purchase it. Remember: Christmas is coming… what a great gift! HO! HO! HO!