The reason Portlandia exists is because Portland practically invites it. While the show doesn’t necessarily limit itself to Oregon’s big city—instead skewering more of a specific kind of western culture, really—Portland’s notable stereotype embodies that. So of course Portland has a hipster mall Santa.
Instead of the famed red suit, he rocks a retro cardigan, flannel shirt, and skinny jeans. He even ditched the white-ball cap so he could show off his man bun.
THERE IS A HIPSTER SANTA IN PORTLAND pic.twitter.com/JuzawmJsgz— Spencer Allan Brooks (@SpencerSays) December 4, 2015
…AND OMG HE HAS A MANBUN pic.twitter.com/CQ1EzdzvIo— Spencer Allan Brooks (@SpencerSays) December 4, 2015
The obvious joke here is that he prefers soy milk and vegan cookies, but given that this Santa rides his bike to work, he might be into a diet you’ve never heard of (though assumedly only liking the author’s first cookbook and none of the later stuff).
This was not the kind of mall Santa any of us grew up with. Mine wasn’t the heavy hitter that some recall with a sneaky cologne of bourbon, but mine certainly wasn’t in good shape either. He was a joyous rotund man dressed to the Christmas nines and his “ho ho ho” was as genuine as everyone’s favorite stop-motion Santa Claus, though even as a kid, I was pretty sure he worked at the nearby hardware store.
This Northwestern holiday gent, on the other hand, is on a level I don’t even understand. I imagine when kids ask if they’re on the naughty or nice list, he quotes Malcolm Gladwell and explains that human behavior hasn’t been properly evaluated in this country since Truman was in office.
If he were the real Santa Claus, he’d likely keep the reindeers as pets on his ice farm, ultimately riding a steampunk helicopter through the long winter’s night while, to the furious dismay of many, cheering, “Happy Holidays!” Honestly, I bet nobody would get what they asked for and all his gifts would come with a note that reads, “This is what you really wanted.”