That Time The Santa Clause’s David Krumholtz, AKA Bernard, Was High At Disney World And Got Into Hot Water With Disney (And Hilary Duff)

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Written By Maya Cantina

You might not recognize his name, but there is no way you don’t recognize his face. David Krumholtz has been around Hollywood for some time, playing Bernard in one of the best Christmas movies of all time, The Santa Clause, its first sequel, and more recently, the follow-up series The Santa Clauses. While most of us will undoubtedly have a family-friendly idea of the actor in our heads, considering the holiday flicks are great for the whole family, the Oppenheimer actor recently took to social media to share a hilarious story about being high at Disney World and getting himself into hot water with Disney. Plud one of their biggest stars at the time, Hilary Duff. 

Krumholtz shared his inebriated Disney World odyssey in a thread on X (previously known as Twitter), similar to his worst audition story. The actor shared what he considered a “quarter-life crisis” following the filming of Santa Clause 2, but it was when the movie was released he got himself into trouble. He wrote:

Cut to months later. November, the film is released in theaters. Once again, I’ve hired a publicist, god help me. She calls. ‘You and two guests have been invited to Disneyworld for 3 days. You are appearing in the Disneyworld Christmas Parade’. That’s it. That’s all I was told.

Krumholtz’s adventure veered into the bizarre the evening before the parade. Upon seeing a Bernard mannequin and buying a Disney Christmas Pluto sweater on a whim, he was surprised the next day with his elf costume missing its wig and shoes, meant for a dance performance on a float with Hilary Duff. This led to a panicked call to his publicist and his adamant refusal to wear the costume, resulting in him wearing the Pluto sweater while riding alone in a horse-drawn carriage.

The next morning, I leave my buddies behind and report to the parade set. I’m greeted and told that my makeup artists are inside. Hey. Hold up. Hee Haw. Whoa. Makeup artistS?? PLURAL? Why?… My elf ears are there. They tell me they have my costume, but not the wig or the shoes…I refuse. I pitch myself riding solo on a horse drawn carriage in front of Hilary Duff’s float. As me. Myself. David fucking Krumholtz… I put them in a bind. I know it. They make it crystal clear. I feel bad, I do, but I feel justified. They agree to my pitch. Phew. It’s ALL good! I take my seat in the horse drawn carriage. Behind me, Hilary Duff stands alone on the Santa Clause 2 float.

The ensuing parade, sans Bernard, led to a confused crowd and a visibly irked Hilary Duff. The situation peaked during a collective singing of “We Wish You A Merry Christmas,” where the actor, placed next to Bear from Bear in the Big Blue House, faced a terse exchange with the parade’s director over his costume refusal. The story continues: 

… The man introduces himself. He’s the director. We had yet to meet. ‘So, I heard you didn’t want to put on the costume?’…. ‘Yeah, man, no one told me about it beforehand’… ‘Well, you really put us in a bind’… with that, the director turns and walks away… Eek!… Big Blue witnessed the whole thing. He leans over to me and whispers, ‘That’s fucked up,’ in my ear. AND ACTION!! We start singing, a strained smile on my face. ‘We Wish You A Merry Christmas, We wish you a…’ didn’t work for Disney again for 20 years. Looking back, I should have done it. I would totally do it today. I’ve yet to reunite with Hilary Duff, I owe her an amends.

Ouch. How surreal would it be to see Bear whisper that to a dejected Bernard? Krumholtz candidly recounts the unpredictable nature of celebrity and reminds us how Hollywood can sometimes be stranger than fiction. One can only hope Duff will see his thread and allow him to make that “amends.” 

If you’re a fan of David Krumholtz, you can catch him in his recent work in Oppenheimer, which will be available for streaming later this month. You can also look forward to him reprising his role as Kareem Abdul Lavash in the TV series Sausage Party: Foodtopia, which will be exclusively streamed to Amazon Prime Video subscribers. Alternatively, if you want to relive his performance as the sarcastic elf Bernard, you can stream the entire Santa Clause franchise with a Disney+ subscription.


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