Fictional Franchise: Christmas Edition
In the latest installment of the Roll Call series that examines fictional characters and who represents them in Congress, we look at our favorite Christmas characters.
The rules for Fictional Franchise go like this: We decide where a fictional character lives and then look up who represents them in the House. (See more here.)
George Bailey (James Stewart)
“It’s a Wonderful Life”
Bedford Falls, N.Y.
Republican Rep. Tom Reed
Seneca Falls makes a pretty good case that the upstate New York town is the “real” Bedford Falls.
And so Seneca Falls is not just the birthplace of the women’s rights movement, it’s where Clarence earned his wings and George Bailey lassoed the moon and his future wife, Mary.
Clark W. Griswold (Chevy Chase)
Democratic Rep. Brad Schneider
“Christmas Vacation” is part of writer/director John Hughes’ 1980s anthology of life in suburban Chicago. He based his movies in a town called “Shermer.” Hughes spent his high-school years in the Chicago suburb Northbrook, which was originally called “Shermerville.”
Geography aside, “Christmas Vacation” also functions as a public service announcement against the dangers of using a storm drain as a depository for recreational vehicle sewage.
Buddy the Elf (Will Ferrell)
Upper West Side, New York City
Democratic Rep. Jerrold Nadler
And Holy Zuul! Does this building have history!
But Buddy has connections to another New York City district. He commutes to work at Gimbell’s and in the mailroom of the Empire State Building in Democratic Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney’s 12th District on the east side of Manhattan.
But for voting purposes, Buddy is a Nadler man. Nadler is a Fictional Franchise favorite, as his 10th District is home to Peggy Olson and Joan Harris of “Mad Men,” Alex Forrest of “Fatal Attraction” and Peter Warren Hatcher of the Judy Blume novels.
Kris Kringle (Edmund Gwenn)
“Miracle on 34th Street” (1947)
Great Neck, N.Y.
Democratic Rep. Steve Israel
Friend of Roll Call/Long Island native/Hotline Editor-in-Chief Steve Shepard weighed in with this analysis.
Per Shepard: “Just a stone’s throw from the Empire State Building is Macy’s Herald Square location, situated on the western edge of Maloney’s district. But in the film, Kris Kringle actually lived at the fictional Brooks Memorial Home for the Aged in Great Neck, N.Y., on Long Island. That makes Rep. Steve Israel, D-N.Y., Santa’s congressman. And presumably Israel would also represent the bucolic suburban home for which Natalie Wood asked Santa.”
Ralphie Parker (Peter Billingsley)
“A Christmas Story”
Democratic Rep. Peter J. Visclosky
Writer Jean Shepherd set “A Christmas Story” in Hohman, which is a stand-in name for his hometown of Hammond, Ind.
Even so, the house used in filming is located in Ohio’s 11th. Democratic Rep. Marcia L. Fudge represents that district that is also home to Rick “Wild Thing” Vaughn, star pitcher for the Cleveland Indians.
Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin)
Democratic Rep. Jan Schakowsky
All sorts of crazy went down over one Christmas break in Illinois’ 9th District. The owners of the “Silver Tuna” McCallister household accidentally left their 8-year-old son at home unsupervised as a crime wave involving a pair of burglars named “The Wet Bandits” hit the neighborhood.
Like other John Hughes films, this one is set in the North Shore suburbs. Schakowsky’s 9th District and Schneider’s 10th District bisect the region. The movie was shot in an actual house in the area that is well-documented on YouTube and various blogs. The McCallister house is an identifiable site in the neighborhood and Kevin, like Regina George of “Mean Girls,” is most definitely a Schakowsky constituent.
We love the Internet:
Rudolph T. Reindeer
“Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”
Republican Rep. Don Young
We interpret “Christmastown” to be North Pole, Alaska.
Christmastown is a deceptively cheerful name for the fictional village. Just about everyone in Christmastown, from Santa down to the reindeer calves, exhibits deplorable behavior and discriminates against Rudolph for what they perceive to be a birth defect.
It’s one thing for children to pick on somebody, but where were the adults in Christmastown? Comet? Rudolph’s own father, Donner? Santa?!?
Oh, they were there, bullying Rudolph right along with the children. Completely inexcusable. The ostracism was so unbearable that Rudolph was forced to flee the town with his band of oddball friends.
Oh, hey Santa! We hope that crow tasted delicious!
Given the fact that Hermey the Elf likely does not walk at a fast pace, we have concluded that the Island of Misfit Toys is a river archipelago in the nearby Tanana River.
As for Yukon Cornelius, we assume that judging by his name, he is likely Canadian, and thereby ineligible to vote in American elections.
Mike and Carol Brady (Robert Reed and Florence Henderson)
“A Very Brady Christmas”
North Hollywood, Los Angeles, Calif.
Democratic Rep. Brad Sherman
In 1988, the Bradys reunited for “A Very Brady Christmas,” and the film took a dangerous turn. Mike, an architect, was called away from Christmas dinner after a building collapsed on two security guards. He, too, became trapped when he entered the building. The entire Brady clan raced to the worksite to keep vigil for him.
Carol single-handedly saved Mike through the power of song. Her rendition of “O, Come, All Ye Faithful” summoned the Brady patriarch’s strength to emerge from the rubble.
The district is just barely in Sherman’s stomping grounds, along with “The Bad News Bears” and “The Sandlot” kids.
But the North Hollywood Brady House is only a stone’s throw away from Democratic Rep. Tony Cárdenas’ 29th District. The 29th is also home to Andrea Zuckerman, star-but-illegal student at West Beverly Hills High of the 90210 ZIP code.