Wanted: Dead or Alive (1958–1961)
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On Christmas Eve Randall receives his most daunting assignment yet from a young boy who has eight cents to pay: bring in Santa Claus. Tricked into the job, Randall tries to make the best of a bad situation for the boy's family.



(story), (teleplay)

On Disc

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Episode complete credited cast:
... Josh Randall
... Harmon Stone
... Hilda Stone
... Ben Hatch
... Laddie Stone
... Sheriff Howard Klate
Sam Buffington ... Hap Haefer
Richard Reeves ... Vale
... Harkrader
... Boniface Terry


As Josh prepares to leave on Christmas Eve for Butte, young Laddie Stone and his dog enter the saloon with a job offer for Josh. He has eight cents to hire Josh to find Santa Claus. Before Josh can say much two locals, Harkrader and Vale, turn the offer into a joke on the boy saying Josh can have Santa Claus there by dinner time causing the boy to run out yelling for joy. The sheriff and the bartender as well as Josh are not amused letting the two know what they did. The sheriff says the Stone family had a successful sheep ranch but wolves have taken half of his flock. Josh rides to their house finding Laddie out doing chores but two upset parents. He explains what happened and learns Laddie won't tell them what he wants for Christmas but they have disappointed him the last two years and his dad wants to tell him the truth. Josh decides to find Santa by using the town drunk but things go awry - or do they. Written by Anonymous

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Release Date:

20 December 1958 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


First credited role of Jay North, who soon became a successful child star playing Dennis Mitchell in TV's Dennis the Menace (1959) (1959-63).. See more »


Harmon Stone: This isn't a world of make-believe.
Hilda Stone: I never said make-believe. I never said that.
Harmon Stone: Alright, then - hope. Isn't that the word you like to use - hope? Well, it isn't a world of that either. Now, don't tell me now different because I know. It's a world of scramblin' aganst things you can't win. Wolves. Cold. Not enough food. I'll tell you for fair there's times I'm not far from givin' in to all three.
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User Reviews

Here Comes Santa Claus
30 August 2006 | by See all my reviews

There was no hiding the fact it was Christmas season because this story is a real departure from the normal fare. I am not a "grinch." Christmas is very important but this episode was kind of sappy and predictable, not up to standards, although it did has neat ending.

A little boy "Laddie" (Jay North, from "Lassies") gives Josh eight cents to see if he can find Santa Clause. Josh isn't interested but two guys in the bar make it seem like he is to the kid, so the young guy goes home happy thinking Josh will do the job. Randall reluctantly (because he is a soft-hearted guy underneath) goes to the kid's house to explain to him but finds that's too tough an assignment.

He winds up hiring the town drunk to come out and play Santa Claus, so at least he and the parents will find out what special the kid keeps wanting but won't tell anyone but Santa. Of course, the drunk - despite promises he'll stay sober - gets tanked and.....well, I won't spoil the rest.

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