Night of the Meek
|"Night of the Meek"|
|The Twilight Zone (1985 series) episode|
Scene from Night of the Meek
|Episode no.||Season 1
|Directed by||Martha Coolidge|
|Written by||Rockne S. O'Bannon, original story by Rod Serling|
|Original air date||December 20, 1985|
Richard Mulligan : Henry Corwin
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (May 2013)|
Henry Corwin, a department store Santa Claus, is fired from his job after coming to work while drunk, by the store owner, Mr. Dundee. Dundee, already angry that the custom-made coat for his wife was inadvertently sold to a customer, claims Corwin ruined Christmas for the kids. But, Corwin says that the kids in the store aren't going to be disappointed, but the kids who can't afford to shop at the store are the real losers this Christmas. Corwin spends his Christmas Eve depressed and collecting his garbage together, when he hears the beautiful voices of children below: some carolers on the street singing "The First Noel". He proclaims that he wishes he had something to give them. The children kindly understand and move on. As Corwin brings his garbage to throw out to the street, he notices a radio controlled vehicle coming out of the garbage bag, along with some stuffed toys. He begins to realize the bag is filled with toys and other presents for his neighborhood and he yells into the night for all the kids to come out to him.
As Mr. Dundee drives home, he notices dozens of kids running around with brand new toys and it piques his curiosity. He enters Corwin's apartment house and sees Corwin pulling toys, electronic appliances, and many other things out of a garbage bag. It doesn't occur to Dundee that Corwin is pulling out the perfect gifts for everyone; instead, Dundee, convinced that Henry stole the gifts he is giving away from his store, storms over and calls the police. The police come and they question Corwin about the incredible amount of gifts. The police are skeptical that Henry could have stolen so much merchandise by himself, but without receipts, they have to take him in for questioning. The bag then starts spewing receipts for Dundee's department store. The police clear Henry of all charges. When Henry comes out of the apartment house after the party, Dundee is sitting outside with the receipts in his hand and asks Henry how he did it. The receipts then magically vanish and Henry tells Dundee to never question miracles. He then reaches into the garbage bag and gives Dundee the fur coat for his wife and a baseball with the signatures of the 1961 Yankees lineup for himself. Dundee asks Henry if he wants something for himself, but Henry says his only wish would be to be able to do this magical gift-giving every year. Smiling and happy, Dundee walks to his car.
Henry returns to his room and attempts to remove the false beard he is wearing, but finds that it now will not come off. He then realizes that his body and suit have changed and that he has become the new Santa Claus. Delighted and joyful with his new-found magic, Henry goes up the chimney in a magical whoosh. Dundee is walking to his car with the presents he was given when he hears bells and the jolly laugh of Santa Claus overhead. Dundee smiles, knowing that Henry must have gotten his wish too.
This episode is a remake of the original The Twilight Zone series episode, "The Night of the Meek", about a drunken, fired department store Santa (played by The Honeymooners Art Carney) who finds a magical sack that can create presents and becomes a real-life Santa Claus after giving gifts to everyone (including the police officers who arrest him).