Elfin Goodness

Will Ferrell, Ed Asner

Rays, Etch-A-SketchWill Ferrell makes me cry. I just saw Elf last night, and the guy's antics had me laughing to the point of tears.

Ferrell plays Buddy, a human raised by elves. When Buddy is confronted with his true identity, he's off to New York City, where his father lives. Before leaving the North Pole, he asks Santa (Ed Asner), "What's New York like?"

Santa replies, "There are a few things you should know. If you see gum on the sidewalk, leave it. It's not free candy. There are thirty-five Ray's Pizza. They all claim to be the original, but they aren't. The one on 11th is."

I turned to Citysearch to find the Ray's in question. Typing "Ray's Pizza" into the search field yielded forty-nine Ray's, more than thirty-five cited in the movie, but that's because the search returns results like "Ray Bari Pizza." Only one fits the description. But this establishment, located at 465 East 11th, forsakes originality, dubbing itself Famous Ray's. Let's hope the name discrepancy doesn't confound Buddy.

Even without a NYC pizza reference, this movie would have been endearing. Rated PG and with a storyline that doesn't deny the existence of Santa, Elf is destined to become a classic Christmas movie; we'll be seeing it yearly on TV alongside "It's a Wonderful Life" and "A Christmas Story."

The Rough Guide's take on Famous Ray's.

To play with your own electronic Etch-A-Sketch, visit the Elf website and find the Games section.