Yukon Cornelius is the tetragonist from the 1964 Rankin/Bass television special Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. He is an arctic prospector who meets Rudolph and Hermey while they are trying to avoid the Abominable Snowmonster. Seemingly searching for valuable minerals at the North Pole, his greedy behavior inspires the song "Silver and Gold", sung by Sam the Snowman. (Originally, Yukon was going to sing it himself before it was decided that the special should have a narrator.) He accompanies the pair in their travels to the Island of Misfit Toys and back on a piece of floating ice.
After Rudolph runs away, he and Hermey spend months looking for him. Upon arriving in Christmastown, Sam the Snowman informs them about Rudolph's plight against the Snowmonster, and they rush to the cave to go save him and his family.
Yukon is a blustery but benign character and ends up helping not only Rudolph and Hermey, but later the Abominable Snowmonster, or "Bumble" as he refers to him, as well, though only after he tried fighting the now toothless Bumble and caused the Bumble, along with himself and his sled dogs, to tumble over a cliff, but survive thanks to the Bumble being able to bounce, which Yukon knew about.
Throughout the special, Yukon is shown tossing his pick axe into the air, sniffing, and then licking the end that contacts the snow or ice, most of the time saying afterwards in disappointment, "Nothing." This leads the audience to believe that he is searching for either silver or gold, though it turns out that he is actually seeking peppermint, as revealed at the end of the original version of the special, in which he discovers a "peppermint mine" near Santa Claus' workshop through that method. The removal of that scene in subsequent telecasts left audiences assuming that he was attempting to find either silver or gold by taste alone. The scene was reinstated in the special in 1998 and has appeared in most of its video releases since then, as well as in Freeform's broadcasts of the special, but remains cut from CBS' annual broadcasts.
Yukon oddly didn't reappear in Rudolph's Shiny New Year or Rudolph and Frosty's Christmas in July, but he did return for Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and the Island of Misfit Toys. This direct-to-video special finds Yukon, having dug out all the peppermint in the aforementioned peppermint mine, joining Rudolph and his friends to stop the Toy Taker.