'Elf' Reunion: Will Ferrell, Zooey Deschanel and More Stars Unite for a Virtual Table Read for Charity
By Zach Seemayer
New Line Cinema
In the words of Buddy the Elf, "Treat every day like Christmas." And for fans of the beloved holiday comedy Elf, Christmas came early this year in the form of a fun, festive cast reunion and virtual table read.
Buddy himself, Will Ferrell, was joined by his Elf co-stars -- Zooey Deschanel, Bob Newhart, Ed Asner, Andy Richer, Amy Sedaris, Mary Steenburgen, Matt Walsh and Kyle Glass -- for the fundraiser event, which benefitted the Democratic Party of Georgia.
Ferrell -- who looked a bit more like Santa than an elf, what with his bushy white beard and glasses -- was as enthusiastic and spot-on as ever, bringing the zest and joy for life that his beloved character has represented since Elf first hit theaters in 2003.
Some of the biggest highlights of the night came from recreating the film's multiple musical moments. Deschanel, who reprised her role as Jovie, recreated their fun duet of "Baby, It's Cold Outside," brought a lot of love and laughs -- both from the other actors, and fans on Twitter.
Thank you to everyone who joined the #ElfforGeorgia livestream! So excited we were able to reach our goal of over $400k! Loved reuniting with the cast and all our very special guests 🥰 pic.twitter.com/EDX4gRwW1m
The table read also featured some famous faces sitting in to read for actors who were unable to participate. John Lithgow played Walter, Buddy's father, a role originally played by James Caan. Meanwhile, the podcaster Jon Favreau filled in to play the role of the doctor -- which was originally played by the director of Elf, who is also named Jon Favreau.
Other celebs who turned out to participate included Ken Jeong, Danny Woodburn, Jenna Ushkowitz, Busy Philipps, Ed Helms, Bradley Whitford, Wanda Sykes and Stranger Things' Gaten Matarazzo, among others.
One other notable difference came toward the end of the read. While the film featured the song "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town," it was explained that they were denied the rights to perform that tune -- so they had to substitute "Jingle Bells" instead.
— still_resisting #TeamPelosi HandMarkedPaperBallots (@persistentpengn) December 14, 2020
My 9 yo and I watched Elf last night, one of our absolute favorites. Then even better, today we hopped on #elfforgeorgia and watched the amazing table read reunion. Great job all! Huge fan of @BobNewhart and he was spot on!
The event was held to raise money for Democrats' efforts in the upcoming Georgia Senate run-off elections. The goal was to raise $400,000 for the cause, and donations reached almost $403,000 by the end of the table read.