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
A stage musical based on this episode was written by lyricist/librettist Patrick Cook and composer Frederick Freyer; it has not been produced because of rights issues. 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 »
This is Mr. Henry Corwin, normally unemployed, who once a year takes the lead role in the uniquely popular American institution, that of a department store Santa Claus in a road company version of 'The Night Before Christmas.' But in just a moment, Mr. Henry Corwin, ersatz Santa Claus, will enter a strange kind of North Pole, which is one part the wondrous spirit of Christmas and one part the magic that can only be found in - The Twilight Zone.
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I count Art Carney among America's great comedic actors. There is a beauty and kindness in this script, but also a very hard edge. Carney plays a sad, alcoholic department store Santa Claus who sees his job as a hopeless one. He drinks too much and tires of the grasping children who sit on his lap with their over-indulgent parents. The kids he loves are the ones on the street who have the real problems, whose parents are out of work, who have nothing at Christmas time. HIs boss fires him after he expresses his feelings, and as he makes his way home, he spots a bag of garbage and tin cans. Suddenly, the bag is transformed into a sack full of presents, presents that are perfect for anyone that comes along. The police call the store manager who accuses him of stealing the gifts. But love wins out and the spirit of Christmas.
One of the characters is played by Bert Mustin, who played many old men, including Gus, the fireman, on Leave It to Beaver. He had a real kindness. Carney is awesome in this very touching role. See this if you can.
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