It's the time of the year again, when Philadelphia Mayor Kenney shifts from grinchy to joyful, channeling the character Buddy from the film Elf. Chris Brennan spent some time with Buddy to get his take on the holiday season. He started by asking Buddy if the three rules in the Code of Elves are realistic.
Q: Is it really possible to treat every day like Christmas?
A: Yes, by being kind to people and looking for the best in people and not the worst.
Q: Is there really room for everyone on the nice list? Isn't the world more interesting when the naughty list is well-stocked?
A: I guess it has to do with why you are on the naughty list. The mean list is the bad list. You can be slightly naughty and still nice.
Q: Do you really think the best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear?
A: Not always.
Q: Does it depend on your voice?
Q: Who have you encountered this year who is currently on the naughty list but can be rescued with some Christmas spirit?
A: Maria Quiñones-Sánchez.
Q: Who have you met this year who needs more than one year to work their way off the naughty list?
A: Nelson Agholor. He can't catch a ball.
Q: Is it a good idea to chew used gum that you find on the street?
Q: Did you learn that from experience?
A: Yes. Actually, used gum from under the church pew at Our Lady of Mount Carmel.
Q: A fake Santa is said to "sit on the throne of lies." Do you know any non-fake Santas - say, in the world of politics - who are in a similar position?
Q: Do you want comment on the width of the seat for that throne of lies?
A: No, I did that once. I got in trouble.
Q: Are the four elf main food groups really candy, candy canes, candy corns, and syrup?
Q: Did the various groups of elves - shoemakers, cookie bakers, and toy makers - lobby Council members against the sugar-sweetened beverage tax you signed into law this year?
A: Not effectively.
Q: How often have you been told: "If you want to make me happy lose the tights as soon as possible?"
A: More than I can count.
Q: Are there any parts of Philadelphia that remind you of the seven levels of the Candy Cane Forest?
A: The Gayborhood, without a doubt, on Halloween.
Q: Have you ever stood on the beach in North Wildwood and mistaken the Atlantic Ocean for the Sea of Swirly Twirly Gum Drops?
A: No, that's Margate.
Q: Have you ever been referred to as an angry elf?
A: Oh yeah. Hell yeah.
Q: Do you communicate primarily through the Etch-a-Sketch, and is that an effective form of communication?
A: Sometimes it's better than Twitter.
Q: According to Mental Floss magazine, the movie Elf is the most popular holiday movie in northern states like Pennsylvania, while the movie Home Alone is the most popular holiday movie in southern states like Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas. What is wrong with southern states?
A: Where do I start? They lost the war.
Q: Quick hits: Are these people naughty or nice?
A: Donald Trump - Um, I don't know.
Vladimir Putin - Naughty.
Hillary Clinton - Nice.
Bill Clinton - Nicer.
Gov. Wolf - Nice.
State Senator Scott Wagner - Angry.
District Attorney Seth Williams - Nice.
City Controller Alan Butkovitz - Nice.
City Council President Darrell Clarke - Nice.
John Dougherty - Nice.
Q: What's the current reading on your Claus-o-meter of Christmas spirit?
A: Moderately high.