The three-minute promo premiered during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

By Benjamin VanHoose
November 26, 2020 12:21 PM

Steve Carell is a modern-day St. Nicholas!

During the 94th annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade broadcast on NBC Thursday, Xfinity and Comcast debuted a new ad titled "The Greatest Gift" starring the Emmy-winning star of The Office as Santa Claus. In the three-and-a-half-minute promo, Carell, 58, assumes the white beard and red outfit while tasking his dutiful elves with coming up with a Christmas worthy of capping off a rotten 2020.

"Ho-ho-ho-ho-ho! Good morning, every— you know what, I can't even fake it," he says to the elves on a video call, shedding his jolly demeanor. "Look, after the year we just had, the usual gifts just are not gonna cut it. We have to find something else and fast. That's all, figure it out. Good luck."

Steve Carell
| Credit: Xfinity

The North Pole characters come together to deliver a spectacular holiday, much to Santa's delight.

"This year has been harder than ever," says Carell's Santa at the end of the ad, "and yet somehow you all found a way to pull it off. You reminded us it's not all about the toys, the ornaments — it's about the little things."

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“The holidays are really about moments of togetherness with the people you love, and serve as a reminder for what’s most important, especially given the hardships of this past year. I hope that this sweet little story will bring a bit of cheer,” Carell said in a statement to Variety about the ad.

Last year, Xfinity released another special holiday ad involving E.T. returning to Earth to reunite with his friend Elliot 37 years after the Steven Spielberg-directed film, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, was released in 1982. Actor Henry Thomas reprised his role as Elliot alongside the alien character for the four-minute ad titled “A Holiday Reunion.”