Friday, December 22, 2006


Now, my friends, I will show you
the way the real Santa Claus should look.
Please! As if there was such a person as Santa Claus,
which is of course absolutely ridiculous in a people's democracy
Chairman Georgi Koz
'The Man From U.N.C.L.E.'

As mentioned earlier, there have been many incarnations of the "Real" Santa Claus on Television. Many of those to be found in TV series, ('Bewitched', 'Batman', 'Las Vegas', and 'The Love Boat', for example) are all the same St. Nick, but with a different appearance for each occasion.

But there are Santas out there who must find their home at the North Pole of alternate TV dimensions. In this, they are no different from the many portrayals of other historical characters, like John F. Kennedy, Abraham Lincoln, and Frankenstein's Monster.

In my second posting for the season, I used Art Carney's interpretation in three different productions as the reason to make his residence in the evil mirror universe. As to where these other Kris Kringles should be located, I'll leave that as a Christmas mystery. The remake dimension? The Jed Bartlet dimension? The dimension where women are the dominant gender? (Well, I have an idea for that one....)

In some of these dimensions, it is the same jolly old elf as has been known since the legend began. Others are recruited, as was Henry Corwin (Carney) in that episode of 'The Twilight Zone'. For still others, it's a family business that eventually is also handed down to the heir apparent, whether that's a Nick or a Nikki.

Here are just some of the alternate versions of Santa Claus.

Santas in need of replacements:
Lloyd Bridges (Santa Claus)
. . . In the Nick of Time (1991) (TV)
Nigel Hawthorne (Nick)
. . . Call Me Claus (2001) (TV)

Santas with offspring:
Matthew Walker (I) (Santa Claus)
. . . Twice Upon a Christmas (2001) (TV)
George Wendt (I) (Santa Claus)
. . . Santa Baby (2006) (TV)
John Wheeler (XI) (Santa Claus)
. . . Meet the Santas (2005) (TV)
. . . Single Santa Seeks Mrs. Claus (2004) (TV)

Santas with problems:
James Coco (Santa Claus)
. . . Curious Case of Santa Claus, The (1982) (TV)
Harry Frazier (Santa Claus)
. . . Elf Who Saved Christmas, The (1992) (TV)
. . . Elf and the Magic Key, The (1993) (TV)
George Hamilton (I) (Santa Claus)
. . . Too Cool for Christmas (2004) (TV)
John B. Lowe (I) (Santa Claus)
. . . Ultimate Christmas Present, The (2000) (TV)
Leslie Nielsen (Santa Claus)
. . . Santa Who? (2000) (TV)
Dick Van Patten (Santa Claus)
. . . Santa Trap, The (2002) (TV)

This is not a complete list, not by a long shot. I never fully investigated TV characters by the names of "Kris Kringle", "St. Nick", "St. Nicholas", or "Father Christmas". And there are a few Santas who show up in blipverts (the Toobworld word for commercials) who couldn't possibly be THE Santa Claus of Earth Prime-Time.

But more on those guys tomorrow.....

There is another alt. dimension Santa for Toobworld who has not yet had the chance to come into being. In "Checking It Twice", Santa would become separated from his elf with the list and until they are reunited, he can't deliver the toys properly. Writer/Producer Bryce Zabel co-wrote the script and he and his partner have been trying to get this project off the ground for years.

Unfortunately, it looks as though they may have finally faced reality (Ugh!) and accepted that it will never be made for TV. But because of that, they are offering those who may be interested a chance to read the script in PDF format at Bryce's site, "For What It's Worth". (Look for Bryce's name in the links to the left and click that to find the script.)

I harbor no illusions about the power of "Inner Toob", but who knows? Maybe somebody will learn about "Checking It Twice" from reading about it here, and finally make this particular dream come true.

Isn't that what Christmas miracles are all about?


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