Night of the Meek
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|"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
Henry Corwin (Richard Mulligan) who works as a department store Santa Claus takes his dinner break at a local bar, complaining to the bartender that many families in the world struggle as evidenced by two homeless children outside. Without explanation, two dollar bills appear out of Corwin's pocket and he donates them to the transient kids. However, when Corwin returns to work visibly tipsy, the store owner Mr. Dundee (William Atherton) fires him. Dundee is already upset that the custom-made coat for his wife was sold to a customer and blames Corwin for ruining Christmas for the kids. Corwin rebuffs Dundee and tells him that the kids whose families struggle with keeping the lights on and putting food on their tables will be the ones who will be unable to enjoy Christmas.
Corwin goes to his apartment depressed on Christmas Eve and gets ready to take a garbage bag to the street. He hears children caroling and says that he wishes that he had something to give them. They move on and then Corwin notices that there are toys coming out of the garbage bag.
Mr. Dundee gets home and notices the children on the streets are running around with new toys. At the lobby of Corwin's tenement building, a joyous party is held with kids getting toys as well as adults and teenagers receiving badly needed items. Mr. Dundee suspects they have been stolen from his department store. The police are called and question Corwin. They lack proof that he stole, but since Corwin lacks proof of ownership, they decide to arrest him.
Receipts for Dundee's department store start to flow out of the bag and the police become satisfied that everything is okay. Dundee asks Corwin how he managed to make that happen and he tells Dundee to never question miracles. Reaching into the bag, Corwin pulls out the fur coat intended for Mrs. Dundee and a baseball with the signatures of the 1961 Yankees for himself. Dundee asks Henry if there is anything that he would like for Christmas? Corwin says that all he wants is to be able to be charitable every year.
Happy, Dundee walks to his car and Corwin enters his apartment. Corwin attempts to get his beard and mustache off and he soon realizes that he must have some newfound magic. Corwin disappears up the chimney. Near his car, Dundee hears bells and the jolly laugh of Santa Claus overhead. Smiling, he knows that Corwin got his wish, too.
This episode is a remake of the original The Twilight Zone series episode, "The Night of the Meek" about a drunken department store Santa (played by The Honeymooners Art Carney) who finds a magical sack that can create presents and he becomes a real-life Santa Claus after giving gifts to everyone (including the police officers who arrest him).