It has been 35 years since A Christmas Story premiered in theaters and 15 since Elf premiered, yet many people only just noticed something. The main character from A Christmas Story made a cameo in Elf, yet it went completely unnoticed by many.
A popular trend online right now among Twitter users is the “today years old” joke, which references someone only just finding out something out. One Twitter user just realized that Ralphie from A Christmas Story has a small cameo in Elf. But this Twitter user wasn’t alone! Many people did not realize that Ralphie made this cameo.
The Online Discovery
The Twitter user wrote, “Today, at approximately 11:19 AM, my life changed forever when I found out this dude from Elf was also Ralphie from A Christmas Story.”
People online have been talking about this “discovery” – arguing whether it was well-known, or an under-the-radar cameo that no one noticed.
Remembering A Christmas Story
You may remember Ralphie, a stubborn 9-year-old who only wanted a Red Ryder Carbine-Action 200-shot Range Model air rifle for Christmas. Anyone who’s seen the movie knows Ralphie’s mother, teacher, and even the mall Santa Claus, all told him no because “You’ll shoot your eye out.” Ralphie does wind up getting his air rifle and manages to shoot himself in the glasses and thinks he actually shot his own eye out.
A Christmas Story is a classic holiday film, based on the 1966 book In God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash, it was released in 1983. It is played all-day-long every Christmas and is still adored by many. However, despite the film’s success, the actor who played Ralphie, Peter Billingsley, pretty much retired from acting in the ‘90s. He did a few TV movies in the ‘80s and ‘90s, as well as guest spots on several TV shows, like Sherman Oaks and Little House on the Prairie.
Ralphie’s Cameo in Elf
Nowadays, Peter works more behind-the-scenes in Hollywood, as a producer, writer, and director. Despite his limited acting roles since the ‘90s, one truly stands out. He played Ming Ming the elf in Will Ferrell’s 2003 movie, Elf. Megafans of Elf might have noticed this cameo, but not everyone caught it.
Peter worked with Elf‘s director, Jon Favreau, from 2001 to 2004 on the TV series Dinner for Five. Peter was one of the producers, while Jon worked as the show’s host and executive producer. Because of their work relationship on Dinner for Five, Jon was able to ask Peter if he wanted to have an (uncredited) cameo in Elf.
Ming Ming is one of the elves in Santa’s Workshop and he happens to be in charge of keeping track of toy-making production. During the movie, he confronts Buddy (Will Ferrell) to ask how many Etch A Sketches he’s made and Ming Ming finds out that Buddy is very far off the pace. This scene is pivotal in Elf, as it leads to Buddy finding out that he isn’t actually an elf, but is a human that was raised in the North Pole by elves.
Were you one of the few people who caught this camera when Elf was released 15 years ago? Do you prefer Elf or A Christmas Story, or do you think both movies are now equally Christmas classics?
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You can watch one of Peter Billingsley’s scenes in Elf in the video below: