Blog # 10 – Be Yukon Cornelius: A Christmas Wish from Sam Tweedle

Hello friends,

Last night I watched the classic Rankin/Bass Christmas holiday special Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, I realized something for the first time, but perhaps its by having an adult perspective it came clear to me.

I want to talk about Yukon Cornelius.

Traditionally, Yukon Cornelius didn’t interest me much.  I always felt that Yukon Cornelius was an uninteresting throw away character, but last night it occurred to me he’s pretty much the best character in the Christmas cartoon. Here is why.

In a special filled with toxic masculinity and a culture of shame and bullying, Yukon Cornelius  the only “adult” character who accepts Rudolph and Hermie the elf  for who they are and doesn’t judge them for their eccentricities. Within moments of meeting them he’s all “Hey – you guys are my friends. Let’s have adventures together.” I mean within minutes. No “Why is your nose red” or “Isn’t a dentist an odd job for an elf.” He’s just all, “Oh – okay. You guys are great.” He’s the only adult who isn’t a total emotionally abusive asshole.

Then, st the end, Yukon he fights the Bumble with his bare hands, and is willing to sacrifice his own life to save his friends he only just met. And when he doesn’t die he TAMES THE FREAKIN’ BUMBLE and makes him everybody’s friend. God knows how he manages to do that, but he does it but with his good natured bravado and bravery he tames the scariest beast in the Rankin/Bass universe.

So Yukon Cornelius is not only a decent human being but a total bad ass making him the best cartoon hero of the holiday season.  Perhaps we should all be Yukon Cornelius.  We should be brave, adventurous, kind, accepting of others and willing to stand up and defend the ones we love.  A little bit of Yukon Cornelius in us all will make the world a much nicer place.

Happy holidays my friends, and peace and love to all of you and the people you spend your Holiday with.  Thank you for reading.

Sam Tweedle

About the author

Since 2013, Sam Tweedle has been writing as an arts and culture journalist for kawarthaNOW, with special attention to Peterborough's theatrical community. However, his career as an arts writer goes back further via his website Confessions of a Pop Culture Addict where Sam has interviewed some of the entertainment world's most notable and beloved entertainers. Sam's pop culture writing has been featured in The New York Times, Newsweek, The National Post,, Filmfax Magazine and The New Yorker. You can follow Sam on Instagram at sam_tweedle_z where he posts about his four greatest loves: cats, comic books, movies, and records. Sam no longer uses Twitter because, as far as he's concerned, it's no longer a thing.