DJ Khaled plays Santa in a new clip from YouTube Red’s holiday special The Keys of Christmas. The DJ/producer, clad in his festive red suit, encourages comedian Rudy Mancuso to give a holiday donation in hopes Mancuso doesn’t act more like the Grinch.
“The key is to give back, uplift people,” Khaled tells Mancuso in the clip. “The more you give, the more blessings you gonna get back.” After Mancuso gives Khaled a few bills, the Snapchat king employs his signature catchphrase to ask for “another one.”
“[DJ Khaled] inspired the title. I think the real story went the other way around: When DJ Khaled confirmed participation, we steered the story towards his brand as a life-affirming spirit who helps our troubled grinch through his millennial life problems,” The Keys of Christmas director Dave Meyers explains to Billboard over e-mail. “It’s who he is in real life and, suitably, who he could and should be in our special. It then became only natural to title it as such, right? What else could we call it?!”
Mancuso, the viral YouTube sensation, also made Meyers’ job easier in helming the comedic Christmas musical with his array of talents. “Rudy became the irreplaceable glue that made it play like a film as we dip in and out of musical numbers and kept us all laughing in the comedy bits,” Meyers continues. “He’s a savant that not only has great comic timing, but has built a brand of multiple characters and additional collaborators that elevated the film. And to top it off, he’s a hugely talented musician.”
Meyers also notes that Diego the puppet, Ciara‘s opening dance number and Mariah Carey‘s dreamy finale are scenes he’s most excited for the world to see.
Adds Santa Khaled in the video, “What you just witnessed was Rudy being a Grinch, Rudy’s not a bad guy. He just don’t see the big picture. He doesn’t hear the beat. He doesn’t have the keys of holiday spirit so we’re going to give the keys to Rudy.”
The Keys of Christmas from Endemol Shine Beyond USA premieres on YouTube Red in full on Monday, Dec. 19. Watch the sneak peek below.