MOVIE URBAN LEGEND: The Santa Clause accidentally aired a real life sex line number in the film.
In 1994, Tim Allen was one of the most popular celebrities in the world. His television show, Home Improvement, was the number one show in America. He released a book that was number one on the New York Times bestsellers list. He added to this the Christmas film, The Santa Clause, which became the number one film in America (amusingly, Allen’s Home Improvement co-star, Jonathan Taylor Thomas, had a rival Christmas film, I’ll Be Home For Christmas, in theaters at the same time).
The Santa Clause was about Scott, a divorced father who accidentally kills Santa Claus on Christmas Eve. His son convinces him to fill in for Santa Claus and finish Santa’s deliveries. He agrees and fills in for Santa. When he finishes, though, he learns that by filling in for Santa, he has agreed to the “Santa Clause,” which says that anyone who fills in for Santa agrees to do so full-time.
He learns that he has 11 months to put his affairs in order before moving to the North Pole. He thinks it is nonsense, but he soon exhibits strange behavior. For instance, he gains a lot of weight and his hair turns white. He also adds a thick, white beard.
He tries to fight it but ultimately embraces his new role and becomes the new Santa Claus (just in time for two more sequels).
There is no real “villain” in the movie, but the closest thing would be Scott’s ex-wife and her new husband. They think that Scott’s new behavior (the beard, the extreme weight gain, the “acting like Santa Claus” stuff) is disturbing. His ex-wife tries to take away his visitation rights. Even before that point, though, he has a combative relationship with his ex-wife. This is shown early in the film when she hands Scott the phone number of her new husband’s mother, since that’s where she will be on Christmas Eve. Scott reads the number and says, “1-800-SPANK-ME? I know that number!”
Here is the scene….
Well, as you might imagine, 1-800-Spank-Me was an actual, working sex line number.
When the film came out, nothing happened, as kids were at the movie theater and likely forgot the number by the time the film ended. However, when the film came out on home video in 1996, kids could pause the scene and, naturally, call the number in question. We saw the exact same thing happen in the film, Bruce Almighty, in a past Movie Legends Revealed, when God pages Bruce’s number and the number was shown.
There were stories in the paper (true or not) of kids racking up $400 bills calling the number.
Disney removed the scene from all future home video releases of the film (like DVD or BluRay).
The legend is…
Feel free (heck, I implore you!) to write in with your suggestions for future installments! My e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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