After a derelict Santa Claus is fired on Christmas Eve, he finds a mysterious bag that gives out presents. With this bag he sets out to fulfill his one wish - to see the less fortunate inherit the bounties of Christmas.
Henry Corwin is a down and outer who is normally unemployed and who definitely drinks too much. Every year however, he works as a department store Santa Claus. This year however, he's spent just a little too much time in the bar and is quite drunk by the time he shows up for work. He's fired of course and deeply regrets what he's done. In fact, Henry has a big heart and worries not only about the children he's disappointed at the store but about all of those children who will not get what they've asked for Christmas. When he comes across a large bag of gifts, everything changes for the kids and for himself as well. Written by
Because of cost overruns, there were six consecutive episodes, including this one, that were videotaped and then transferred to 16mm film for TV broadcast and future syndicated rebroadcasts. It saved only about $30,000 for all six not enough to justify the loss of depth of visual perspective, which gave those shows an appearance like a live broadcast or like soap operas in that day. This was an experiment for a normally filmed TV show and was basically called a failure. They never did that kind of recording again of any more The Twilight Zone (1959) episodes. See more »
Corwin and the man in the street sit on "snow" on one of the steps as though it were a prop and not actually there, though a moment later a child does dust it off the sleigh. See more »
A word to the wise to all the children of the twentieth century, whether their concern be pediatrics or geriatrics, whether they crawl on hands and knees and wear diapers or walk with a cane and comb their beards. There's a wondrous magic to Christmas, and there's a special power reserved for little people. In short, there's nothing mightier than the meek, and a merry Christmas to each and all.
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It's possible that the Santa Clause movies with Tim Allen might have originated with this Twilight Zone episode that starred Art Carney. Not as funny in terms of belly laughs as the Santa Clause movies, but it does have a lot of whimsy and pathos involved. The kind of story that someone like Charlie Chaplin might have done for a silent screen short subject.
Art Carney is an alcoholic man who works hard at not working most of the year, but at Christmas time is a department store Santa Claus for John Fiedler. But when he arrives with a snootful, Carney gets canned.
At his lowest moment Carney stumbles over a burlap bag that is filled with wrapped presents that doesn't seem to run out. He sobers up instantly and gets high on giving. At the end you have to remember the Santa Clause films to know Carney has truly entered The Twilight Zone.
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