Ten Favorite Sitcom Characters Playing Santa

In my article the other day I had wanted to include a sitcom Santa. But there were two problems. One, I couldn’t think of one I hated. Even when the character is grumpy about playing Santa it still kind works. The other problem? There are to many to pick from! Have you ever noticed how many sitcom characters play Santa? It’s almost a cliche! From Norm on Cheers to Carl on Family Matters to Ray on ELR to Frasier on Frasier to Michael Scott on The Office, lots of people have donned the red flannel and white beard.







Here today are my ten favorites, when the character actually went above just wearing a red suit and managed to actually capture some of the magic that makes Santa, well, Santa! I wanted to only include regular cast members who get to play Santa for an episode, if I include guest stars this list will never end! This is in no particular order.




Punky Brewster

Wow, talk about blowing it out of the water! I guess since he did this and Police Academy we forget George Gaynes could act. Forced to play Santa to make a skeptical Punky believe again, he knocks it out of the park. The performance is so good for once I can believe that the other characters can’t see through the beard. This episode is wonderful!




Home Improvement

In the first season we see Wilson come in as Samnta in the end to save the day. It’s obvious is Wilson, so obvious that they need to do the fake out where as soon as he leaves we see Wilson standing in his backyard. It’s corny, but still sweet.







Of course since Holiday Armadillo isn’t enough. why not have Chandler walk in as Santa? He does in a cool costume. The best part is when he helps to get Ben interested in the Hanukkah lesson his father had been trying to teach.






You would think a woman playing Santa would never work. Roseanne playing Santa would be even worst, right? Well no actually. I love her Santa as she is sweet and nice but also clearly cares about the kids. It may be an act, but it’s a good one.





Family Ties

I’ve talked about this episode a few times since it is my favorite Christmas episode. And while the guest actor does a bang up job as the “real” Santa, it’s not far to leave off Alex. At first Alex is, well, Alex in the suit giving stock tips to the kids. But the red suit warms his heart, and he finds he really cares.





Wonder Years

Ok this is a cheat but no way I could leave Coach Cutlip off. The episode is a great on as we see Coach Cutlip has a side job he obviously doesn’t want his kids to know about. I like how why is never spelled out for his, we have to get it and we do. The best scene is when the other student find out and go to confront him, but all ythey see is that red siot and white beard. Great moment.




Perfect Strangers

Ok Balki may need to work on the look a bit, I guess he doesn’t like the white beard, but you can’t deny the heart is there. First he helops a down in the dumps Larry and then his very special gift shines a light in Mr.Gorpley’s heart.






Oh ok this Santa isn’t really sweet or caring, heck he peddles propaganda, but come on. Kramer as Santa?? I just wish most of his scenes hadn’t been deleted.





Full House

As annoying as Joey his doing idiotic alternate Santa laughs (Daffy Duck?) I can’t deny he played a good Santa. His heart was in the right place at least. In one episode not only do we get him but we also see Steve and Vicki dress up as Santa.




Sabrina, The Teenage Witch

Sabrina is a small exception, but not only did she play Santa twice but she also did the job in one episode. After Santa hurts his ankle., she steps in and takes charge. And learns Christmas is about more than wanting gifts.





Did I miss one? Are you kidding??? There so tons more, and if I forgot your favorite comment and let me know. My rule forced me to exclude the best Santa ever, from an episode of The Brady Bunch.







So how far back does character playing Santa go on TV? I think the pic below says it all!

6 replies
  1. jim-bevan
    jim-bevan says:

    I admit I have forgotten about pretty much all of these. Though I can imagine the late Earl Hindman did a great job as Santa.

    Personally, the sitcom stars I’ve most associated with the role over my life have been Ed Asner and John Goodman. Can’t remember if they ever played Santa in the series they were in, though.

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