As Papa Elf (Bob Newhart) notes in Elf, there are only three jobs available to an elf: the coveted toy-making posts at Santa’s workshop, the less-coveted positions making shoes while the old cobbler sleeps, and the most thankless opportunities: baking cookies inside a tree. Which seems fairly dangerous, in fire hazard terms. So give props, please, to Ernie and his fellow bakers, who’ve been cranking out the cookies since 1968, as well as serving as the Keebler company’s commercial spokespeople on TV.
White-haired Ernie, who succeeded the more blustery J.J. Keebler in 1970, seems wizened but cheerful; then again, as the only elf in elfdom who wears a necktie, Ernie seems to be in management, letting the other elves do the dirty work of dough-wrangling, fudge-dipping, and oven-tending. (At one time, Ernie even had his mother on the payroll.) At least Ernie and the whole gang have gotten their due by having their likenesses immortalized in the form of E.L. Fudge cookies. (Note the initials.)