The Twilight Zone (1959–1964)
20 user 3 critic

The Night of the Meek 

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.



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Episode complete credited cast:
Robert P. Lieb ...
The Bartender
Sister Florence
Kay Cousins Johnson ...
Irate Mother (as Kay Cousins)


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 garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis





Release Date:

23 December 1960 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


This episode takes place on December 24, 1960. 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 »


[working as the department store Santa]
Henry Corwin: What's your name, little boy?
Kid with Santa: Percival Smithers.
Henry Corwin: What do you want for Christmas, Percival?
Kid with Santa: A new first name.
See more »


Joy To The World
Lyrics by Isaac Watts
Music by Lowell Mason
Performed by Meg Wyllie
See more »

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User Reviews

A bag that keeps on giving
2 October 2013 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

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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