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
This episode takes place on December 24, 1960. See more »
Bruce the bartender misspells Merry as 'Mery' on the mirror behind his bar. See more »
Thank you very much, Mr. Dundee. As to my drinking, this is indefensible and you have my abject apologies. I find of late that I have very little choice in the matter of expressing emotions. I can either drink or I can weep and drinking is so much more subtle... but as for my insubordination, I was not rude to that woman. Someone should remind her that Christmas is more than barging up and down department store aisles and pushing people out of the way... Someone has to tell her that Christmas ...
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Night of the Meek is certainly a unique twilight zone episode, coming off more like a family Christmas classic than the typical stuff we have come to expect from Rod Serling, things about other worlds and aliens and mysterious happenings. There is, of course, a lot of that in this episode, but it's couched in a story that resembles A Christmas Carol than anything else.
A drunk stumbles late back to his seasonal job as Santa Claus at a local mall, and on the way a cat screeches and knocks over a bag of garbage, which suddenly turns into a bag overflowing with toys and gifts. The drunken Santa suddenly becomes a real Santa, eagerly snatching up the bag and distributing to anyone he can find their heart's desire.
This is a great way to show what people's true heart's desire may be, and I love the way it makes us think about our own heart's desire. It seems to me that the purpose here is to call attention to how trivial a lot of our desires may be. When offered the opportunity to have anything they want, the people in the show ask for meaningless things like sweaters and pipes.
There is a moving scene in the episode where Henry, the drunk Santa, says that if he could have anything he wanted, he would want to do this same thing every year. It's a wonderful illustration of what I think is our inherent desire to do good things for other people. Alcoholism is a terrible affliction, but it is immediately forgotten about when Henry suddenly finds himself in the position to bring so much happiness to so many people.
It gets a little cheesy at the end, like so many of them, but is still a great example of the twilight zone presenting a story that captures the spirit of the season.
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