5 classic television actors that dressed up as Santa Claus

Many classic actors wore Santa's famous suit, from Art Carney to Don Knotts.

Santa Claus is the leader of the North Pole. It's common for actors to dress up as him, especially during Christmas-themed episodes. No one does the holiday season better than classic television. Some of our favorite actors wore the famous red and white suit, and they couldn't forget the beard and hat to match.

Here are five classic television actors that dressed up as Santa in some pretty popular episodes. Three of the five stars shared one main thing in common: their characters worked at department stores. 

1. Art Carney


The Twilight Zone: "The Night of the Meek"

In season two, episode 11 of The Twilight Zone, actor and comedian Art Carney played Santa Claus for the very first time. This Santa, however, wasn't the normal jolly guy. Henry Corwin was a man who got drunk before his department store shift and let the children down. He finds a huge bag filled with gifts and decides to fix his mistakes. Things start to change for the children and Corwin.

Fun fact: Carney played Santa Claus two more times, which portrayed a happier version of the character, after this role. He played the North Pole leader in a Muppets holiday special and a forgotten 1984 TV film.

2. Hal Smith


The Brady Bunch: "The Voice of Christmas"

There are many things children ask for when Christmas comes around, from toys to animals. Yet, Cindy decided she would ask Santa for something more important. She wants her mom, Mrs. Brady, voice to come back in time for her to sing on Christmas day at church. Hal Smith, the department store Santa, tells her that Mrs. Brady will get her voice back, which she does.

Fun fact: Smith played Santa several times in live-action and animated productions, including the voice of Santa in a few Flinstone productions.

3. Dan Blocker


Bonanza: "A Christmas Story"

In this holiday-themed episode, Hoss, played by Dan Blocker, is in charge of raising funds for the orphanage, but he's met with many hardships. Although it's the jolly season, many people aren't in the giving spirit, and a singer, Andy Walker, wants to help. Walker's con artist uncle wants to charge people to hear his nephew sing, and he wants a ten percent commission. Blocker is dressed only as Santa for a few minutes in the episode, but it makes the children happy.

Fun fact: Blocker loved playing Hoss, even while dressed as Santa for a brief moment, but hated rehearsals.

4. Don Knotts


The Andy Griffith Show: "Christmas Story"

Barney looked forward to playing Santa Claus at Andy and the crew's Christmas party. Although he doesn't look the part, he is ready to be the best Santa Mayberry has ever seen. However, before the party starts, Ben Weaver wants Sam Muggins arrested. To ensure their party is still on, Andy thinks of bringing everyone to jail. When Weaver sees how much fun everyone is having, instead of asking to be a part of the party, he tries to get arrested.

Fun fact: Don Knotts chatted with a department store Santa when he was younger, giving him the motivation to follow his dreams.

5. Alan Alda


The Carol Burnett Show: "Nobody Does It Like Me"

M*A*S*H star Alan Alda sang a beautiful duet with Carol Burnett called "Nobody Does It Like Me." Alda played Eunice's brother, who is visiting the family for Christmas. The two sang about how no one in the world can mess things up like they can while in a shopping mall during a rush. Alda is dressed up as Santa, and the classic stars even share an on-screen kiss at the end.

Fun fact: Alda dressed up as Santa on an episode of M*A*S*H called "Dear Dad," as well. You can watch his and Burnett's duet on MeTV.com.

SEE MORE: 7 very '80s things from A Very Brady Christmas


Big shoulder pads, bigger hair, and one sweet mustache.


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Lillyrose 7 months ago
The entire cast of "I Love Lucy" also wore Santa suits on an episode.
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Tampammm 18 months ago
The Art Carney forgotten 1984 film was awesome! One of the best Christmas movies I've ever seen! "The Night They Saved Christmas", also starring Paul LeMat, Jaclyn Smith, and Paul Williams. If you get a chance definitely check this one out!
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scoobydoofan 18 months ago
scoobydoofan scoobydoofan 18 months ago
David Seville &Alvin &The Chipmunks with their Christmas song.
scoobydoofan 18 months ago
scoobydoofan scoobydoofan 18 months ago
The Song called JINGLE BONES.
KevinButler 18 months ago
Art Carney played two roles on"The Great Santa Claus Switch",,he played Santa and "Cosmo"the evil wizard..who was going to kidnap Santa and impersonate him..so that he could take away all of the toys from the kids of the world.
KevinButler 18 months ago
The title of The Ed Sullivan "Muppet"/puppet musical Yultide tv special is"The Great Santa Claus Switch".
scoobydoofan 18 months ago
The 3 Stooges PIE FIGHTS with Moe
Howard Larry FINE Curly Howard
Shemp Howard and Joe Besser.
scoobydoofan 18 months ago
Sebastian Cabot of the TV show
Family Affair where he played
Mr.French played Santa Claus in the
1973 TV movie Miracle ON 34th Street.
Barry Greenberg who played Moose on Hzppy Days on season one played
Alfred the janitor in this movie which also had Tom Bosley Jim Backus and David Hartman in the movie cast.
This was a REMAKE of Miracle ON
34th Street from 1947 starring Edmund
Gwynn and Natalie Wood as the little girl
Also Family Affair ran from 1966-1971
On CBS with Brian Keith as Bill Davis with Buffy Jodie Cissy and Mr French.
Tampammm scoobydoofan 18 months ago
The 1973 remake was actually really good! A rarity for remakes.
Tampammm 18 months ago
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LoveMETV22 18 months ago
Here's a few more recognizable Santa's.
Ed Asner (MTM, LouGrant)
Beau Bridges (son of Lloyd)
John Goodman (Roseanne)
Tim Allen ( Home Improvement)
Chris Farley (SNL)
Matthew Perry (Friends)
Richard Attenborough (Jurassic Park)
George Wendt (Cheers)
Kelsey Grammer (Cheers)
Pacificsun LoveMETV22 18 months ago
I would've loved to see Chris Farley (down by the river) being Santa!!
LoveMETV22 Pacificsun 18 months ago
LOL....He did do Motivational Santa almost 10 yrs ago....Hillarious
Pacificsun LoveMETV22 18 months ago
I knew he did, that's why I mentioned it. For the Readers here. 😉 People have no idea how funny SNL used to be. It wasn't just the script, which on paper was nothing. it's was how manic they were about it. Thank you!
scoobydoofan 18 months ago
scoobydoofan scoobydoofan 18 months ago
The Diner episode of I Love Lucy
Where everyone has a big pie fight
In the tradition of The 3 Stooges.
WordsmithWorks 18 months ago
That was an excellent Twilight Zone.
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