Knife Hero: Yukon Cornelius, Tool-Using Problem Solver


By David Whitsell

It’s that time of the year, and among many of the good things that come with the Christmas season is that gem of the small screen: Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer. Inside that glistening gem shines a bright light in our dark and ignorant world: Yukon Cornelius.

Yukon is a prospector who meets Rudolpg and his elf friend Hermey about midway through the story. What makes him pertinent to our conversation is his ownership of tools–even (or especially) weapons. Yukon has a revolver on his waist in every scene he’s in. He is also seen with a hammer, a knife, and a pickaxe. The pickaxe he uses on multiple occasions; once he even uses it to help himself and his comrades escape from The Abominable Snowman Of The North.

This might not seem like a lot, but in today’s politically correct world kids often do not see programming where good (and at least somewhat realistic) men rightly keep and use weapons. Yukon can do this because he is not a product of our times, but of a more enlightened era in America–1964. That is the year Rudolph made his debut on American TV screens. It was a different country and a different world then; a time when a prospector could be depicted using weapons and tools and no one would bat an eyelash.

Not only does Yukon bear a sidearm, but guns are found elsewhere in the story. The cowboy who rides an ostrich has a revolver. The toy soldiers have rifles complete with bayonets. There is even a character/toy who is a weapon. A water pistol that shoots jelly may be a misfit, but he is a gun. In fact, the Island Of Misfit Toys appears to be bristling with weapons…and for good reason. Little kids (at least boys) actually played with toy blades and toy guns back in the 1960s.

Yukon is an old-school, take-charge kind of a guy. The first scene he’s in shows him whipping his sled dogs. In order to top that feat of political incorrectness, he’d have to smoke. (And it would have to be tobacco; smoking hippie lettuce wouldn’t offend anybody these days.) Yukon uses his wits, brawn, and bravery to save Rudolph and his family. He uses focused violence to a good end, by pushing Abominable off a cliff.  He befriends the “Bumble” and even helps him get a job at the North Pole. I would say “Get this guy a CCW permit!” but he is more of an open-carry kind of guy.

The stories we tell ourselves, especially our children, are both indicators and indoctrinators. As cheesy as some of these stories are, they do shape hearts and minds. Rudolph saved Christmas, but only after the tool-using man of action Yukon Cornelius saved the day.


  1. Salvatore says:

    Great post. This cartoon does reflect a different era. It is odd, though, that so many things have changed for the worse, but some for the better. While the main stream media was more weapon friendly back then, there is no denying that the gun community today is far larger and stronger. We have won many polical rights we did not have years ago. What there appears to be is a complete speration between liberal political correctness and those that still beleive in individual freedom and reliance. Apparently there was not such a seperation among society in the 60s.

  2. 2hotel9 says:

    Hey, Chris. Totally off topic, I think TTAG is suffering today from the dreaded Limbaugh Effect. Have not been able to open TTAG for a couple hours now, and just saw FoxNews is crediting them with breaking the NYC weapons letter story, Though I believe Mr Limbow mentioned them by name yesterday, too. Perhaps you could hip Rob and the gang to the deal! All publicity is good, till you drown in it.

  3. 2hotel9 says:

    Oh, and yea, I liked RtRNRD. As a kid I made puppets like that and we did our own shows. Needless to say they were more like Futurama Christmas.

  4. Roy says:

    Eh. It was also a time when a black man in the south was in danger of losing his life if he whistled at a white woman or tried to register to vote, or any number of other reasons.
    Point taken though, I guess.

  5. Jim says:

    Yep…it was also a time when a black man fathered a child he’d stick around to raise and support that child. I dont see how this post has anything to do with race. If anything I think it was meant to demonstrate that common sense was much more common back then. And common decency. And a lot of other things that we are sorely lacking in todays society. Things werent perfect back then, nor were they perfect for the preceding few thousand years. But it was a better era for TV entertainment for kids thats for sure. One of the reasons it was better was the fact there was far less time spent in front of a TV! And there certainly was not the low level filth available that we now have. I quit watching the idiot box a long time ago. Maybe 8-9 years ago. I certainly dont miss it. Mindless crap designed to get someone to sit there long enough to show them another commercial. Why bother?

Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Knife Hero: Yukon Cornelius, Tool-Using Problem Solver

button to share on facebook
button to tweet
button to share via email