Tommy Avallone’s Labor of Love

This is Tommy Avallone…

Tommy Avallone

Tommy is the man behind the film I Am Santa Claus, a film that highlights what Santas do with the only 11 months of their year. This compelling documentary drew me to reach out to Tommy for the podcast. The audio from the podcast has been lost, but many of Tommy’s words have stuck with me.

We discussed wrestling, film, music, and faith. The faith discussion was particularly fun and interesting, in which Tommy astutely compared being a Christian to being a Linkin Park fan. We cruised through tons of territory, but it was truly evident how close to his heart the I Am Santa project was for Tommy. He spoke of it like it was his child. And this pride and love shines through in the film.


I Am Santa Claus follows five “real bearded” Santas, four of them a long time Santas and one is a new Santa. The new Santa is Mick Foley, hardcore wrestling legend. His journey is one where he is learning about the Santa culture and preparing for his first Christmas as a Santa. This is a narrative that is interwoven through the other four Santa stories. And it’s extremely real and extremely compelling.

What’s more is that Mick’s story isn’t even the most compelling or interesting. The other Santas unpack what their lives outside of the Christmas season are like. One is a gay man that is a part of the “bear” culture, even modeling naked for men interested in a hairy, burly Santa Claus. Another has legally changed his named to Santa Claus. Each one has family, friends, hobbies, interests… their stories pull you in and make this one of the most enjoyable documentaries I’ve ever seen.

So, while my podcast it lost, you have something better to do with your next 90 minutes… head to Netflix Instant Watch and enjoy Tommy’s labor of love.

And, check out Tommy’s comedy rap group The Nitty Gritty

Justin has been running websites since his first Geocities site in 1994, but only did he ever start covering anything of substance years later. After he stopped regularly running local concerts in Northern NJ and the greater Philly area, he knew he needed to step up his writing game if he expected to continue to get free music to listen to. He writes regularly here, at Cinapse, and at Rock on Philly... as well as on occasion at Cinepunx. He previously wrote for several other sites, but he forgets some of them and others no longer exist. He likes music, film, the Philadelphia Eagles, talking about Criminal Justice, reading Intelligence Report, and his family... not in that order. His beautiful wife is far more talented than he is and his kids far more adorable... and crazy.
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