Sunday, December 2, 2007


In 1999, the year in which the TV Crossover Hall of Fame was established, Santa Claus was inducted as December's member.

Back then, "The Tubeworld Dynamic" considered Toobworld to be just the one dimension, and that all TV shows belonged in it - even the cartoons and the remakes. Since then, because of
shows like 'The West Wing' and 'Lois And Clark', and thanks to the concept behind 'Sliders', the wealth of TV shows have been distributed to alternate dimensions.

And the same holds true for Old Saint Nick.

There have been many portrayals of the "real" Santa Claus on TV over the years and the fact that there is more than one TV dimension helps splain away why most of them look so different from each other.

This is how we figure it:

If the real Santa Claus appears in a stand-alone production, that version can be considered the official Santa in some alternate dimension. Santa Claus as seen in comedy sketches are all lumped together in Skitlandia, where everybody's physiognomy can be radically altered from sketch to sketch. And all cartoon portrayals of Santa would be the same Jolly Old Elf living in the Tooniverse. (As for the puppetish Santa from the Rankin-Bass productions, he'd live in that stop-motion dimension that's needed for claymation characters and those action figures of 'Robot Chicken'.)

As for Santa's appearance in established TV shows, like 'Bewitched' and 'I Love Lucy', for the most part they are all the same Kris Kringle. Because he is a magical spirit being, he can appear as whomever the person looking at him imagines him to be. And that's why even within one show like 'Bewitched', Santa Claus can look like two different men.

But it's the general concept of Santa Claus that was inducted back in 1999. And in 2003 it was determined that the Santa Claus played by Charles Durning in five different TV productions would be the official portrait of Santa Claus in the TV Crossover Hall of Fame.

Still, there is one Santa Claus in an alternate TV dimension who has fulfilled the Hall's requirements of appearing in three different TV productions. He also has the distinction of being different from the other Santas in that originally he was a human known by another name. And besides using that gimmick from "The Santa Claus", he had the movie "Fred Claus" beat by decades by having a brother as well.

And that's the Santa Claus who will be inducted into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame this month!

Toby OB

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