Ok, so just where is Michael from Elf now and what’s he up to these days?

He has a degree in Economics!


Can you believe it’s been nearly two entire decades since iconic Christmas film Elf was released? Yep, this year will be the movie’s 19th anniversary, and every year I watch the film and wonder what little Michael Hobbs, the brother of Buddy the Elf, is up to now.

19 years on and Daniel Tay, who played Michael in Elf, has a very different life now. For a start he’s 31, and he’s ditched fame and is living a wholesome life as a teacher and hospital volunteer. Here’s everything we know about what he’s up to these days.

Where Daniel Tay who plays Michael Hobbs in Christmas movie Elf is now

Daniel Tay appeared as Michael in the Christmas movie Elf when he was 11

Michael Hobbs is played by Daniel Tay, and he was just 11 when the film came out in 2003. He was born in New York, where most of the film (minus the North Pole bits) is set, in December 1991. Elf was his debut role, and Daniel had a handful of further roles in the following years. He then appeared in Doogal, Beer League and Brooklyn Rules.

Now, he’s ditched fame and works as a teacher

Since Elf, Daniel Tay has dropped off the public radar. The actor who played Michael Hobbs is now 31 and has traded in fame for a much more regular life. He quit acting in 2009, but very briefly returned to the industry in 2017, heading back to his role as the voice of Doogal during an episode of AniMat’s Classic Reviews.

Between 2010 and 2014 Daniel Tay attended Yale University and graduated with a degree in Economics. On the side of his studies, Daniel was part of a stand-up comedy group.

After then, he became a teacher, and worked for a company which helps students who are preparing for their SAT exams. He also became a bilingual editor and has been working as a research associate for Columbia University Irving Medical Center since December 2020, according to his LinkedIn profile.

His LinkedIn states that right now, Daniel is still working as a teacher and SAT tutor, a research associate for Columbia University and he also volunteers at a hospital in Lower Manhattan, New York. His volunteering includes patient services administration, doing comfort rounds and surveying patients about their hospital experience. He is said to speak English, Spanish and Mandarin, which aids him in speaking to lots of different patients. During his time there he has won the Volunteer of the Year award.

Daniel is also still listed as being part of an acting agency, where it states he has “appeared in films combining to gross over $250 million worldwide.” Whilst that doesn’t explicitly say Elf, the film had a worldwide gross total of $222 million – so we all know that’s what he means.

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