Ho! Ho! Ho! As Santa prepares to make his worldwide rounds Monday night, Newsday plucked out five actors who have played the North Pole’s most famous resident on TV:
Lloyd Bridges. The Sea Hunt star and acting-family patriarch starred in the 1991 TV movie In the Nick of Time. This Santa was getting on in years, and he had seven days to find his successor.
Art Carney. The man best known as dimwitted Ed Norton on The Honeymooners played Santa twice. In the Twilight Zone episode Night of the Meek in 1960, he was an alcoholic department store Santa Claus. In the TV movie The Night They Saved Christmas (1984), he played a Santa who was endangered by an oil company dynamiting in the North Pole in search of an oil field.
John Goodman. The Roseanne star was Santa in the 2006 TV movie The Year Without a Santa Claus. His St. Nick had grown disenchanted with his gig and decided to take a year off from delivering presents, until a young man helps him rediscover the true meaning of the holiday.
Ed O’Neill. In a classic 1992 episode of Married … With Children, O’Neill’s character, Al Bundy, takes a part-time job as a mall Santa to earn extra money for his family.
George Wendt. Norm from Cheers starred in the 2006 cable movie Santa Baby, in which Santa falls ill and his daughter (Jenny McCarthy) has to fill in for him on Christmas Eve. And in the cable movie Merry-in-Laws (2012), he again played Santa with his former Cheers colleague Shelley Long cast as Mrs. Claus.