Six Characters in Search of a Blogger


4.4 Where are they now: Yukon Cornelius
December 4, 2008, 3:00 am
Filed under: Rankin/Bass Christmas Characters | Tags: , , , ,

Name:  Yukon Cornelius

Often mistaken for:  Kevin Youkilis, First Baseman for the Boston Red Sox  

Yukon Cornelius, Thespian

Yukon Cornelius, Thespian

Hobbies:   prospecting for gold and silver; Pilates; big game hunting; raising prize orchids; fantasy football; pedicures; Guitar Hero; eating peanut butter.

Home:   Has no known address, but does have a P.O. Box in the Cayman Islands.

Marital status:  Has had a very secret, long-term relationship with Florida Governor Charlie Crist.  They have no immediate plans for a commitment ceremony.

Secret crush:  Todd Palin.  Isn’t it obvious?

Car:    Classic ’74 Chevy Camaro.  He does not have a driver’s license, so the car is pulled by sled dogs. 

Favorite film:  Red Dawn.  Because it reminds us that Cuba could invade the Midwest at any time.  And Patrick Swayze’s performance is superlative.

Little known fact:  He has been to Ireland over 100 times in the past 7 years.  He first went looking for gold (read: looking for leprechauns—yes, leprechauns) back in 2001.  He figured, he’d found one mythical creature (Bumble the abominable snow monster), why not another?  After a few unsuccessful attempts, he gave up and went to a pub.  Now he goes to Ireland for the Guinness.  Guinness, fresh from the tap, only days from when it was kegged.  And when you pair it with a bowl of fish chowder from Monk’s Pub in Ballyvaughan…it’s the shizzle.  Plus it almost tastes like gold when licked off the end of a pick axe.

Last public appearance:  In October, 2007, he played Jason in the musical version of the Greek classic, Medea (by Euripedes) in Worthing, South Dakota’s Olde Town Dinner Theatre.  It earned rave reviews, as did the Surf ’n Turf on the menu that month.

Where he is now:  Following his well-publicized capture of the abominable snow monster in the North Pole in 1964, he and Bumble spent several years exploring the counterculture of 1960s America, with its emphasis on free love and drug use.  Cornelius remembers those years as a floating, hazy, happy time.  While attending the Woodstock festival in 1969, Cornelius lost his yeti-like companion somewhere in the crowds when he had a bad acid trip, and started seeing giant white furry creatures around him everywhere.

Lost and adrift, Cornelius found himself in post-Stonewall San Francisco in the early 70s, where he discovered the marvels of disco, community theatre, and the ability to wear a hat and earmuffs at any time of the year without being stared at or mocked.  But it was the stage that really captured his fancy; and he was soon studying under legendary acting coach Jean Shelton, and appearing in the vibrant Bay Area theater scene with such talents as Sam Shepard, Whoopi Goldberg, and Kathy Baker.  During these important formative years as an actor, he is most proud of his performances in such iconic roles as Othello, Tiny Tim, and lead chorus in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

After being beaten for the role of Grizzly Adams in the NBC hit show of the same name (Dan Haggerty was ultimately chosen), Cornelius, his heart broken, turned his back on film and television and returned to theater work.  He has since crisscrossed the country in the past several decades expanding and perfecting his acting skills, alternating between dramatic, comedic, and musical roles.  Some of his favorites include starring in Bertold Brecht’s The Mother in Miami Beach, Florida in 1987 (where he met Charlie Crist); reprising his role as Lady Bracknell in Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest in Juneau, Alaska’s Perseverence Theatre in 1990; and his funky fresh stylings in Bring in Da Noise, Bring in Da Funk in the Wichita Community Theater in 2000.  In 2003, he also garnered strong reviews for his demanding dance solos in “Creekdance,” an American revisionist version of “Riverdance” featuring cloggers and banjo players, at Tennessee’s Cumberland County Playhouse.

He is next slated to appear in Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot: The Musical! in Akron, Ohio’s famous Carousel Dinner Theater in March of 2009.  He reminds you that chicken pot pie night sells out early, so be sure to get your tickets soon!    

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2 Comments so far
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I meant to ask before, is he any relation to “Soul Train” creator/host Don Cornelius?

As an aside, I was proud of myself watching Jeopardy the other day when I knew Samuel Beckett did “Waiting” and I got the $2k answer in a category about plays and none of the contestants knew it :>

Comment by Derek

Excellent read to start off my morning! Thanks Kath!

Comment by Rachel Connell




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