Jonathan Meath

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Jonathan Meath
Jonathan G Meath portrays Santa Claus.jpg
Meath as Santa Claus on November 13, 2010
Born (1955-09-16) September 16, 1955 (age 65)
EducationAndover (1974)
Alma materNYU (1979)
OccupationTV producer,
Years activec. 1980s-present (television career)
2007-present (as Santa Claus)
AwardsPeabody Award
Emmy nominations[1]
Carnegie Medal 2005[2][3]

Jonathan Meath (born September 16, 1955) is an American TV producer based in Boston who is notable for children's television production.[5][6] He was Senior Producer of the TV game show Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?[7] He produced Zoom (1999)[8][9] and The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss.[6] He co-founded a production company called Andanzura.[10] In addition, he is notable for having a dual career as a professional Santa Claus. He made numerous appearances in various media as Santa, including ABC's Good Morning America show,[11] and at New York's Radio City Music Hall with The Rockettes.[11][12][13] He appeared on the cover of Boston Magazine as Father Christmas. He was described by National Public Radio[14][15] and Time Magazine as a "top Santa",[16] and appeared as Santa in a Delta Airline's in-flight safety video.[16] He is featured as Santa in Coca-Cola's worldwide 2016 holiday advertising campaign both in print and commercials titled "A Coke for Christmas."[17][failed verification]

Television career[edit]

Meath attended Phillips Academy and graduated in 1974 with the school's first co–educational class.[10][10] As a student he directed his friend and classmate Dana Delany in a video. He graduated with honors from New York University in 1979. During the 1980s Meath worked at CBS, Business Times, The Creative Establishment, MTV Networks and Greenwood Productions in various capacities. During 1996–1998, he produced twenty shows for the Jim Henson Company called The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss. He produced for PBS 295 half-hour episodes of Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?, as well as 80 episodes of Zoom.

Career as Santa Claus[edit]

Meath feels that he and other Santa Clauses uphold a tradition that has not been commercialized, despite criticism that this has been the case with the appearances of many Santa Clauses in shopping malls and in advertisements:

Santa is really the only cultural icon we have who's male, doesn't carry a gun, and is all about peace, joy, giving, and caring for other people. That's part of the magic for me, especially in a culture where we've become so commercialized and hooked into manufactured icons. Santa is much more organic, integral, connected to the past, and therefore connected to the future. I like that representation of Santa because I'm not a Coca-Cola Santa. I'm much more of a Santa of the woods, a Santa of the snow, a Santa of the solstice.

— quote in Yankee magazine, 2011[18]

Meath, whose beard and hair went white early in life,[18] noticed that children sometimes called him Santa. He is slightly overweight – he has described himself as an organic Santa[11] and his wife bought him a red suit.[13] He attended schools to learn the craft of being a Santa.[11][19] He appeared in parades.[20] He is a professional vocalist.[12] In 2012, he appeared as Santa at Radio City Music Hall for the Christmas Spectacular show in New York City.[11][16] According to one source, Meath uses his real beard but conditions it with a "shimmer-like shampoo known as Cowboy Magic, and uses hair gel for his mustache.[21] His role as Santa was described in numerous publications.[12][15][18] In 2009, he appeared in a thirty–second television commercial spot for the Boston Red Sox baseball team. Sometimes the task of being Santa requires physical exertion:

When he's not listening to children's wish lists ... you can find him "training" for the momentous Christmas sleigh ride by swimming, running, and flying down a two-story tall slide made out of ice at the hotel's ice sculpture exhibit.

— report in Time Magazine, 2013[16]

Charity work[edit]

Meath promoted charity events such as the Red Sox's "Jimmy Fund Fundraiser" (2008), the Nature Center in New Canaan, CT, and the Dana–Farber Children's Clinic (2009).[22] As Santa, he visited children who are cancer patients in hospitals.[22] In addition, he supports the non–profit performing group Revels and has sung as a tenor on two of their CD albums.

Personal life[edit]

Meath has one child and lives in Newburyport, Massachusetts. His mother was activist and historian Mary Stewart Hewitt.[23] He is the great great grandson of businessman and sportsman John Malcolm Forbes and the great great great grandson of railroad industrialist John Murray Forbes.[23] Through this, Meath is distantly related to John Kerry. Meath's daughter, Amelia Randall Meath, is a member of the bands Mountain Man[24] and Sylvan Esso.


Year Result Award Category Notes
2005 Won Carnegie Medal Excellence in children's videos FableVision's The Dot[2][25]
2005 Nominated Emmy (daytime) Outstanding Pre-School Children's Series Paz[26]
2001 Nominated Emmy (daytime) Outstanding Children's Series Zoom[27]
2000 Nominated Emmy (daytime) Outstanding Children's Series Zoom[28]
1997 Nominated Emmy Outstanding Children's Program
1997 Nominated Emmy Outstanding Children's Program The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss[1][27]
1996 Nominated Emmy (daytime) Outstanding Children's Series Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?[27]
1993 Won George Foster Peabody Award Excellence for overall show Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?

Additional source for awards: Phillips Academy website[29]


  1. ^ a b = 1949&end_year = 2010&network=All&web_category=All&winner=All "Jonathan Meath" Check |url= value (help). Primetime Emmy Award Database. 1997. Retrieved 2010-11-14. * Outstanding Children's Program - 1997 ... The Wubbulous World Of Dr. Seuss ... Jonathan Meath, Producer
  2. ^ a b "Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Children's Video winners, 1991 to present". Association for Library Service for Children. 2005. Retrieved 2010-11-13. 2005 ... Jonathan Meath of FableVision, ...
  3. ^ "Awards for Jonathan G. Meath". IMDb Internet Movie Database. 2001. Retrieved 2010-11-13. see awards
  4. ^ Jonathan Meath (2010-11-13). "Jonathan Meath". MeathMedia. Archived from the original on 2010-10-30. Retrieved 2010-11-13. MeathMedia is the umbrella company for the activities and creations of Jonathan Meath.
  5. ^ "Famous Folks from Cambridge". The Boston Globe and 26 March 2012. Retrieved October 17, 2012. ... The Cambridge resident spent 15 years in children's television producing ... producers behind "Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego."... Santa Claus. ... .
  6. ^ a b LIAM MURPHY (2009-10-23). "Jonathan Meath '74 Pursued Children's Television Production After Cultivating His Interests at PA" (PDF). Phillips Academy. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-12-09. Retrieved 2010-11-13. Meath graduated from New York University in 1978 and has been nominated for one Primetime Emmy award and two Daytime Emmys for his work on the children's series "Zoom" and "The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss."
  7. ^ "Carmen Sandiego's Great Chase Through Time". allgame. 2010-11-13. Retrieved 2010-11-13. "The Chief" Video Director ... Jonathan Meath
  8. ^ About This Person (2010). "Jonathan Meath". The New York Times: Movies & TV. Retrieved 2010-11-13. Jonathan Meath Filmography: Zoom (TV Series)
  9. ^ "Jonathan Meath". Yahoo! TV. 2010-11-13. Retrieved 2010-11-13. The Making of Zoom. Producer. Zoom. Senior producer.
  10. ^ a b c Liam Murphy (October 26, 2009). "Jonathan Meath '74 Pursued Children's Television Production After Cultivating His Interests at PA". The Philippian. Archived from the original on August 9, 2011. Retrieved 2010-11-13. Jonathan Meath '74, ... co-found Andanzura, a children's television production company. ...
  11. ^ a b c d e Alex E. Weaver (December 7, 2012). ""The Harvard of Santa Schools": Tracking Kris Kringle to the Classroom". BostInno. Retrieved December 12, 2012. ... Jonathan Meath, a Cambridge resident who's been a professional Kris Kringle for seven years. ... appeared all over the world, in malls and movies, radio shows and, currently, Radio City Music Hall in New York ...
  12. ^ a b c Rich Whittle (December 12, 2007). "Swingin' Santa Finds Singing's Big Business". Boston Herald. Retrieved 2010-11-13. Here's one Santa who sings for his snack. Professional Santa Jonathan Meath, a Cambridge television producer, has released a holiday CD ...
  13. ^ a b Mary Ann Georgantopoulos (December 23, 2007). "Miracle on Mass. Ave.: City Santa takes suit seriously". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2010-11-13. ... Jonathan Meath is the perfect fit for a Santa. He is slightly overweight (he prefers the term "organic Santa"), has a red suit ...
  14. ^ Win Rosenfeld (December 25, 2007). "America's Next Top Santa". National Public Radio. Retrieved 2010-11-13. ... Santa also goes by the name Jonathan Meath. When he's not checking his lists, Jonathan is a TV Producer who specializes in children's programming. ...
  15. ^ a b "Santa in town for May Day parade". April 24, 2008. Retrieved 2010-11-13. You may think that Santa Claus only comes to town in December but The Kennebunks will be in for a treat when he makes a special guest appearance at the May Day parade on Saturday, May 3. ...
  16. ^ a b c d Olivia B. Waxman, Dec. 09, 2013, Time Magazine, These Are the 11 Best Santas in the U.S. -- And where to find them, Accessed Dec. 10, 2013, "... lobby of Radio City Music Hall last year, where he posed for numerous pictures with the Rockettes. ... if you're flying ... see him putting an oxygen mask on himself before putting one on his elf in the holiday edition of the airline's in-flight safety video ..."
  17. ^ "Coca-Cola".
  18. ^ a b c "Why Should We Believe in Santa?". 2011-10-12.
  19. ^ Santa Glen, secretary (October 2010). "Minutes of meeting". San Diego Chapter of F.O.R.B.S. Archived from the original on 2010-10-22. Retrieved 2010-11-13. Hello fellow Santas, ... Fashion Show: ... Jonathan Meath ...
  20. ^ Edward B. Colby (December 3, 2009). "Town in the spirit: Dedham Square to be filled with song, shopping". Dedham Transcript. Archived from the original on July 21, 2011. Retrieved 2010-11-13. DEDHAM — ... Jonathan Meath – better known as Santa JG, who performs with the Boston Pops – ..."We booked him months ago because we knew that he's in demand this time of year,"...
  21. ^ Billy Baker (December 11, 2012). "Real or fake beards? Santas split hairs". Boston Globe. Retrieved December 12, 2012. ... Jonathan Meath, a real-bearded Santa ... Radio City Christmas Spectacular in New York ... shimmer-like shampoo, a conditioner called Cowboy Magic, and hair gel for his mustache.
  22. ^ a b Monica Brady-Myerov (December 22, 2009). "Santa Pays A Special Visit". 99.9 radio. Retrieved 2010-11-14. Santa Claus, also known as Jonathan Meath, says kids all want the same thing: toys! And it's no different for the kids he visited at the Jimmy Fund Clinic at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute this week.
  23. ^ a b "Mary Stewart Hewitt". Monadnock Ledger-Transcript. January 10, 2010. Archived from the original on February 21, 2010. Retrieved 2010-11-14. She is survived by her husband, Peter M. Hewitt; two daughters, Margaret F. Meath of Lorton, Va., and Sarah M. Tibbetts of Scituate, Mass.; two sons, James S. Huntington-Meath of Chapel Hill, N.C., and Jonathan G. Meath of Cambridge, Mass.
  24. ^ Lester, Paul (2010-06-07). "New Band of the Week: Mountain Man". The Guardian.
  25. ^ "FableVision Recognized as 2005 Carnegie Medal Co-Recipient". FableVision Fable Flash. 2005. Archived from the original on 2011-07-10. Retrieved 2010-11-13. FableVision now happily shares the Carnegie honors with co-producer Scholastic Weston Woods. Medals will be given ... Jonathan Meath, ...
  26. ^ "32nd ANNUAL DAYTIME EMMY AWARD NOMINATIONS". NATIONAL TELEVISION ACADEMY. March 2, 2005. Archived from the original on November 22, 2010. Retrieved 2010-11-14. Outstanding Pre-School Children's Series ... PAZ * TLC JONATHAN MEATH, EXECUTIVE PRODUCER
  27. ^ a b c "Outstanding Children's Series". Internet Movie Database. 2001. Retrieved 2010-11-14. Zoom: Kate Taylor (executive producer), Jonathan G. Meath (senior producer),
  28. ^ "Outstanding Children's Series". Internet Movie Database. 2000. Retrieved 2010-11-13. Zoom: Kate Taylor (executive producer), Jonathan G. Meath (senior producer),
  29. ^ "Jonathan Meath 1974". Phillips Academy. 2010-11-14. Archived from the original on 2014-04-07. Retrieved 2010-11-14. Children's television producer, "Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?" [1991-96], recipient, Peabody Award for Excellence [1993], Emmy Award [1995]; "ZOOM" [1999-2005]; "The Dot" [video], recipient, Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Children's Video [2005]

External links[edit]