The Santa Clauses: David Krumholtz Teases Bernard's Return, "Multiversal" Santa Origin Story

Warning: this story contains spoilers for The Santa Clauses. In the final moments of The Santa Clauses Episode 4, titled "Chapter 4: The Shoes Off the Bed Clause," a mysterious gloved hand reaches out to touch ex-Santa Scott Calvin (Tim Allen). After nearly 30 years as Father Christmas, Scott decides to retire and relocate his family — son Cal (Austin Kane), daughter Sandra (Elizabeth Allen-Dick), and wife Carol (Elizabeth Mitchell) — from the North Pole to Chicago. Scott relinquishes the mantle to new Santa Simon Choksi (Kal Penn), an inventor and single father whose mishandling of the ho-ho-holiday is endangering the Christmas spirit.

Using the North Pole's delivery system to enhance his own drone delivery company, EverythingNow!, Santa Simon plans to make Christmas Every Day: "Christmas, 365," the wannabe Bezos says, "giving everyone whatever they want, whenever they want it!" Failing to heed the warnings of chief elves Betty (Matilda Lawler) and Noel (Devin Bright), Santa Simon risks ruining the most special day of the year. With Christmas spirit — and Santa's magic — already dwindling, the reckless Simon could destroy Christmas, extinguishing it forever.

So what is an elf to do? Call in "him": former Head Elf Bernard (David Krumholtz), the so-far unseen owner of that gloved hand.

"Anything could go wrong at any moment, but he gets things done with an iron fist," Krumholtz told EW, referencing Ed Asner's Santa in 2003's Elf. "He's like the Ed Asner of the North Pole. He's a tough guy. It's fun to play that kind of stuff. It was a new take on the whole elf thing at the time. Even Will Ferrell's Buddy the Elf is a lot more bright-eyed and bushy-tailed in comparison. Bernard is more of an old soul."

20 years after he last played the character in 2002's The Santa Clause 2, Krumholtz's Bernard returns in crisis management mode. The first four episodes have touched on Santa lore and revealed new small-printed Santa Claus clauses, but Wednesday's Episode 5, "Chapter Five: Across the Yule-Verse," will answer questions fans have been asking since 1994's original The Santa Clause

"In my episode, we learn a lot about who Santa Claus really is, who he has been, who the elves are, and why they exist," Krumholtz teased. "It's all brought into some perspective instead of just accepting the fact that there are pointy-eared elves working somewhere on the top of the Earth for a jolly, bearded, fat man. It's a mix of the actual history of the myth of Santa Claus that has been written about for hundreds of years, and some new stuff thrown in to make sense of it all. It's really, really brilliant."

Krumholtz continued, "When I read it, I was so moved by it. It's this real, genuine attempt to sort create a lineage for Santa Claus and for the elves. So you get an idea of what exactly happened that night in the first movie when the Santa Claus fell off Scott Calvin's roof, why Scott Calvin became Santa Claus, why it was him and not someone else. Did Santa really die when he fell off that roof? What really went on that night? What actually happens to Santas and to elves? Without giving too much away, it's kind of like a multiversal origin story of Christmas."

New episodes of The Santa Clauses are streaming Wednesdays on Disney+. Here's everything else you need to know about the Santa Clause sequel series.