Mike White Chronicling The Real-Bearded Santa War

By Katey Rich 2009-11-20 08:46:44discussion comments
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The radio show This American Life has a well-earned reputation for catering to urban hipster crowds who like to feel like they're learning about the "real" America, but there's a dark secret there: the stories they tell are usually really, really good. The only major feature so far based on a This American Life segment has been the disappointing kids movie Unaccompanied Minors, but the show's producers have been cannier about striking Hollywood deals lately, and now they seem to have come upon a real winner.

Mike White, the School of Rock writer and Amazing Race contestant and unfortunate Gentlemen Broncos participant, has been hired to write Santa Wars, based on a This American Life segment about two rival organizations for professional Santa Clauses. You can listen to the full episode online to learn about the drama within the Amalgamated Order of Real Bearded Santas. It's just as fascinating as it sounds.

White has done some of the best writing in the last decade on either film or television (he was also a big part of Freaks & Geeks back in the day), so a new screenplay from this guy is always cause for celebration. Especially if it keeps him away from cameo roles in awful comedies from now on.
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