Monday, December 15, 2014

Countdown to Christmas: Joe Santa Claus (1951)

Ever wonder just how a department store Santa is cast in the role? Some stores, especially chain stores, choose an employee already in their employ to be reassigned to the toy department from where he normally works to don the red suit & white whiskers during the Christmas rush.

Such is the case in "Joe Santa Claus", which, as it happens, was the series finale of DuMont's Gruen Guild Theater, which was rebooted as Gruen Playhouse a few weeks later. Hardware salesman Joe Peters is reassigned to the toy department, and.........

Now, you'd think Joe would've jumped at the chance, if it meant a few extra bucks in his pay. He took stock in his slight build and youthful appearance, and reasoned he couldn't play the part. As we see, his outlook, predictably, changes by the end of the show.

Rating: B-.

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