Wednesday, December 13, 2006


It's taking longer than I thought to wrestle the Toobworld novel into shape with a new ending, so I figured I'd better put it to the side for a bit just so I can begin my 12 days of Christmas... in Toobworld.

First up - Santa Claus!

For the purpose of the TV Crossover Hall of Fame, the official portrait of Santa Claus would have to be that of Charles Durning, who has played the jolly old elf in four different productions on TV:

Charles Durning (Santa Claus)
. . . Boyfriend for Christmas, A (2004) (TV)
Charles Durning (Santa Claus)
. . . Elmo Saves Christmas (1996) (V)
Charles Durning (King Nicholas XX (Santa Claus))
. . . Mr. St. Nick (2002) (TV)
Charles Durning (Santa Claus)
. . . Mrs. Santa Claus (1996) (TV)
[thanks to the]

Two of those productions deal directly with the legend and one incorporates the fact that in Toobworld, puppets are alive. And as a block they make a powerful argument for Charles Durning to be the official look for Santa.

With the many TV movies that portray Santa Claus - and I think we've gained three new ones this year alone! - it's easy to say that they should all be assigned to alternate dimensions of the TV Universe. With the countless cartoon versions, we can assume that they are all one and the same since the differences in artistic style do not separate one cartoon from another. The inhabitants of the Tooniverse can't tell the difference.

(I can't remember if 'Jimmy Neutron' and 'The Fairly Oddparents' made any reference to the fact that both shows had different artistic designs when they did their crossover, but that would only prove that those characters are tele-cognizant.)

Still, Santa Claus has appeared in many different TV shows that exist in the main Toobworld, and yet they all look different (which of course is due to casting here in the Real World). So how do we splain that away and yet keep them all in Earth Prime Time.

Santa Claus is a mythic figure of a power level equal to, if not greater than, the legen - wait for it! - dary "gods" of Greek mythology. And as we saw with Zeus in just one series ('Hercules: The Legendary Journeys'), he was able to change his appearance several times over.

So it is with Santa Claus. He appeared at least twice on 'Bewitched' and yet both times he looked different. (Once he was played by Cecil Kellaway; the other time by Ronald Long.) And yet Samantha Stevens recognized him as THE Santa Claus both times.

It just shows to go ya that Santa's powers to mask his own looks are more powerful than Sam's ability. (She masked the looks of her husband so that he looked like an actor named Dick York one spring, only to have him look like an actor named Dick Sargent the following fall.... and yet nobody in Toobworld ever noticed!)

Santa probably employs this technique to keep the spirit of faith in his existence alive. If he was to be proven as a reality, then all the magic of the Christmas spirit would be gone. And where's the sport in that?

By the way, regarding the Santa Claus that looked like Cecil Kellaway - there is no truth to the rumor that he was actually an android named Wickwire helping out the real Santa Claus. That android, seen in an episode of 'The Twilight Zone', just happens to bear an uncanny resemblance to Santa and it exists in the future anyway.


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