WWE’s in the holiday spirit, and the latest joy they’ve brought into our lives is this amazing video featuring Braun Strowman as Buddy the Elf, Will Ferrell’s role from the movie Elf. There’s one movie scene in particular that gets a full reenactment (and some amazing recasting), plus a bunch more scenes of Braun doing goofy elf stuff.
This, along with “A Christmiz Story,” are the two holiday miracles we never expected, and possibly don’t deserve.
Definitely watch the video before you read on, both because it’s funnier than I could possibly be, and because I don’t want to ruin its surprises.
First of all, my favorite thing going on here is just how game the Monster Among Men is for doing this kind of thing. There’s a real sense of joy as he elfs around on the street. This isn’t a man who takes himself seriously, but is suddenly required to act silly for work; this is a big goofball who’s loving every minute of it. After all, he’s already played Juno, so Buddy is actually less of a stretch.
Secondly (and this is the part I didn’t want to spoil), casting Drew Gulak in the Peter Dinklage role is genius! Gulak’s unique ability to play the straight man while also being hilarious himself his what made him a star in CHIKARA, it’s what’s making him the biggest star of 205 Live, and it’s what makes his future seem bright. On the other hand, Vince McMahon probably thinks its hilarious that he’s playing a role written for a little person, because he’s so tiny, you see. But this is the second WWE holiday video Gulak has starred in this year, so somebody over there clearly sees his greatness.
But as much as I love Gulak, I have to admit Braun is really proving his natural comedic ability as well. It’s one thing to be a huge guy who’s also agile and good in the ring, but being funny when he wants to be might be the thing that really pushes him over the top as a Superstar among Superstars. The moments here where he turns on a dime from happy elf to monster are both funny and surprisingly jarring, because he does the funny part so well that you’re taken aback when you’re reminded of his usual persona.
I’m overanalyzing a bit, I realize (that’s kind of my thing), so feel free to ignore me and just watch “The Elf Among Men” a second (or third) time. In an era when it so often feels like wrestling (and the world) so rarely gives us what we want, there’s nothing more joyful than the arrival of something great that we didn’t even know to ask for. That’s what WWE and Braun Strowman (and Drew Gulak) have given us today.