Though he’s playing Santa in HBO Max’s upcoming stop-motion animated series Santa, Inc., Seth Rogen revealed just how little familiarity he has with the holiday during a Vulture Festival conversation. Growing up in a Jewish household and attending a Jewish elementary school, a young Rogen only had films as his point of reference; Home Alone in particular taught him everything he knows about Christmas. Despite this lack of personal connection with the holiday, he still finds it fascinating as an outsider looking in.
“People love Christmas and I’m amazed by it,” Rogen told the crowd. “The first time I saw a Christmas tree, I was like, ‘Oh, they really do this shit.’”
His Christmas cheer only extends to decked halls, however. The actor explained that, due to his Jewish upbringing, the implausibility of the Santa myth was always apparent, and he and his school chums regarded the kids who believed in the figure as “dumb fucks.” As such, he’s always taken a perverse pleasure in informing children that Santa’s not real, and especially enjoyed bursting this bubble of childhood innocence for one of his Freaks and Geeks co-stars.
Rogen recalled a time when St. Nick came up during a convo with the “far too old to still be believing” John Frances Daley. Rogen stated something about Father Christmas’s nonexistence and took pleasure in the crestfallen look on Daley’s face that followed.
The comedian admitted to having no qualms about the killjoy streak — even telling the audience “if you bring your young kid near me, I will tell them there’s no Santa Claus” — but this Grinch’s heart must’ve grown a few sizes during the interview. He later turned his threat into an offer of public service, suggesting parents bring him their kids only “once they’re old enough and ready” for the truth.