Filed under: Rankin/Bass Christmas Characters | Tags: Abominable Snow Monster, Bumble, Chupacabra, Dalai Lama, Loch Ness Monster, Moth Man, Rankin/Bass, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Sasquatch, the Beatles, Yukon Cornelius
Also known as: Abominable Snow Monster
Hobbies: Reading Deepak Chopra; Tai Chi; aromatology; fasting; and placing stars on the top of Christmas trees (yes, he still has a soft spot in his heart for Christians). Of late he has also become an avid listener of 2008 American Idol runner-up David Archuleta, whose sound is so transportive it allows him to achieve a higher plane of consciousness. Bumble has written of the teen singer that “his corporeal body may be 18, but his voice echoes across the millennia.”
Home: His home is the earth in its great and full expanse. Given our transience, what one of us is egotistical enough to think that we can own a place? Can our souls have mortgages?
Marital status: Bumble has taken vows of celibacy and dedicated himself to a life of the spirit. He walks alone. (Also, mythical creatures do not have marital rights under United States law.)
Secret crush: Bumble no longer has cravings of the flesh. He loves all creatures, everywhere.
Car: He has disavowed all earthly belongings.
Favorite film: Star Wars. It was the only film in which a great, hairy creature achieved something like equal rights, and was perceived as an intelligent being with great technical capability and common sense. He was very hopeful for a time that things might be changing for he and his kind; but then he saw Harry and the Hendersons a decade later and fell into a deep depression. The world was not yet ready.
Little known fact: While Bumble has disavowed all earthly belongings, he did bring a major lawsuit against the Rankin/Bass Corporation for injuries incurred during the filming of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer in 1964. (All of his teeth were actually removed by the amateur and unlicensed “dentist” elf Hermey. Bumble has subsequently suffered from debilitating bouts of TMJ for decades.) As a mythical creature, he wasn’t covered in the “mistreatment of animals” statute that governs film production in the U.S. and Canada. However, despite the great evidence stacked against them, the court found in Rankin/Bass’s favor—in their estimation, Bumble did not have defined legal rights under human law. Therefore his case was moot.
Last public appearance: In 2008, a team of Japanese adventurers discovered his footprints on Dhaulagiri IV, one of the peaks in the Himalayan Mountain Range. Bumble had been on a pilgrimage to visit the Dalai Lama at the time.
Where he is now: Following his well-publicized capture by Yukon Cornelius in the North Pole in 1964, he and Cornelius spent several years exploring the counterculture of 1960s America, with its emphasis on free love and drug use. Bumble remembers those years as a time when his spirituality crystallized and his purpose in life became clear. He became a devotee of guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and began to practice transcendental meditation, even traveling to India to study with the guru during 1968. (Cornelius has no recollection of the year 1968, hence the discrepancy in their accounts.)
While under the guru’s tutelage in Rishikesh, Bumble met the Beatles and formed a firm friendship with John Lennon. His bond with the group actually inspired the cover of their “White” album—largely because of his albino coat and inability to speak. Like John, Paul, George and Ringo, he left India abruptly after learning of a rumor that the Maharishi had made advances on Mia Farrow during a meditation session. He was crushed.
But despite his disillusionment with his guru, his mind was resolved. He returned to the U.S. with a vision of what was meant to be, and soon met up with his former captor, who had never realized he was gone in the first place. While they were attending the Woodstock festival in 1969, Bumble declared his solemn intentions about following a meditative and purposeful life to Yukon Cornelius, who kept spinning in circles, pointing up at the sky, and singing songs about peanut butter.
Throughout the 1970s and 1980s Bumble traveled the world, consulting with mystics and spiritual leaders. He then carried the knowledge he had gathered back to his people, forming his own spiritual haven in the wild peaks of Denali National Park, and training them to be missionaries of his word and practice. They all readily espoused his teachings, which explains their solitary nature and dislike of being seen and caught on camera.
In the late 1990s, and inspired by his poor treatment at Rankin/Bass, Bumble began a quiet campaign to gain civil rights for the mystical creatures of the world. He met with Chupacabra, Moth Man, Nessie (Loch Ness monster), his cousin Sasquatch, and the Giant Squid (who has since been outed.) Together they began to put together a strategic plan to improve their public image and, subsequently, to introduce themselves formally to the world.
After September 11, however, the creatures’ plans were in disarray after the World Trade Center attacks and the subsequent climate of fear, distrust, and recrimination that swept the world. They have put their ideas on hold indefinitely, although they do take great hope in the current trend of vampire popularity, especially among teenage girls. Chupacabra has been especially excited, and is just waiting for the time when goat-sucking is made sexy and acceptable.
Bumble counts among his human friends (who have all been sworn to secrecy) Eckhart Tolle, Wayne Dyer, Gary Weil, Madonna, and New York Yankees Third Baseman A-Rod (Alex Rodriguez.)
His great dream is that someday he will become a spiritual advisor to Oprah.
Filed under: Rankin/Bass Christmas Characters | Tags: Bumble, Christmas, Rankin/Bass, Theater, Yukon Cornelius
Name: Yukon Cornelius
Often mistaken for: Kevin Youkilis, First Baseman for the Boston Red Sox
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!