When Santa Claus appeared in TV series, for the most part he was either impersonated by one of the regular characters or he's been one of "Santa's Helpers" who encounter the shows' stars.
I can't say for certain how many series regulars ever met the REAL Santa Claus, (I'd have to study that book by Diane Werts!), but two of them stand out in my mind because it's yet another thing they have in common.
I'm referring to Lucy Ricardo of 'I Love Lucy' and 'The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour', and Samantha Stephens of 'Bewitched'. ('Bewitched' has certainly been mentioned a lot these last few days in connection to Santa Claus. Better not tell the fundamentalists!)
Although Lucy met Santa Claus first from our viewing vantage point, Samantha more than likely knew him from long before that.
Lucy's encounter with St. Nick happened on Christmas morning, 1956, and it demonstrated how the jolly old elf had a mischievous sense of humor. Hoping to bolster Little Ricky's belief in Santa, his parents Lucy and Ricky and his honorary aunt and uncle Fred and Ethel all dressed up as Santa and showed up in the apartment at the same time. But when they took a head count, there were five Santas in the room. Once they figured that out, the real Santa magically vanished.
Apparently, Santa Claus never tired of that trick. About ten years later, when five members of 'The Addams Family' household dressed up in the red suit, he joined them as the sixth. It may have been his way os saying "Thank you" to adults who just wanted to keep the belief in Santa Claus alive for the kids.
And adults sometimes need a boost to their belief as well.
As mentioned previously, Samantha visited with Santa Claus on two occasions (that we know of).
I mentioned that Lucy and Samantha had something else in common: they both lived in Westport, Ct. The Ricardos moved there early in 1957, and Samantha moved to Morning Glory Circle after marrying Darrin Stephens less just over five years later.
I'm not a fanfic writer, only an enabler, so here's the idea I had: What better theme for mixing the characters of 'I Love Lucy' and 'Bewitched' than one about "Christmas In Connecticut"?
Aunt Clara wants to help Darrin close a deal with a client in time to be free for the holidays. But the client is proving to be a tough sell when it comes to hiring Darrin's fellow Westportian (?) Ricky Ricardo as the celebrity spokesman. Even though Ricky would be a natural in connection to the product, whatever it is (Hey! I can't do everything for you!), the client is a rabid anti-Communist and he equates all Cubans with Castro.
So when Aunt Clara casts her spell, she unfortunately (but expectedly) messes things up and turns Lucy into Fidel Castro just before the client is supposed to come over to their house for dinner. The fatigues, the cigar, the beard, the works! Although they don't know how it happened, Lucy and Ethel go to great lengths to disguise the fact that she now has a beard.
Luckily Samantha is able to save the day and find not only a reasonable explanation as to why Lucy looks like Castro, but also how it might be a great presentation for the product.
And everything is brought back to normal just in time for the big Christmas feast. And for good measure, maybe Santa Claus could revisit with both Lucy and Samantha.
That's my Christmas fanfic wish, anyway.