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Santa Claus is a traditional, secular figure of Christmas good cheer, generally depicted as a jolly fat, old man in a red suit. Other nations have their own variations, such as Father Christmas in England and Sinterklaas in the Netherlands.

Santa has appeared in several Muppet/Sesame Street specials over the years, portrayed by different human actors and occasionally depicted as a Muppet. Muppet characters have sometimes felt the urge to don the familiar beard as well.

Santa Claus as a character

Picture Portrayer Production / Notes
Santagodfrey.jpg Arthur Godfrey
The Ed Sullivan Show December 24, 1967

Santa appears alongside Scudge, Gleep, and other monsters in a brief holiday sketch. Set entirely in his workshop, the monsters attempt to steal toys until Santa shows them kindness by giving them the playthings as a present.

Cinderellasanta.jpg unknown
Hey Cinderella!

"Santa Claus" appeared as one of the ball guests, telling one of the Stepsisters that she reminded him of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

Santacarney.jpg Art Carney
The Great Santa Claus Switch

This was Santa's first extended appearance in a Muppet production. Santa is an amiable figure, kind even to Cosmo Scam. He is also a hopeless amateur magician, forever practicing card tricks.

Fragglesanta.jpg unknown
Fraggle Rock "Manny's Land of Carpets"

Uncle Traveling Matt encounters a department store Santa, who he assumes is a magical wish giving creature.

Newsflash-santa.jpg Anything Muppet
Sesame Street News Flash

A Pumpkin Anything Muppet (Frank Oz) appears as Santa Claus, apparently unsure of his own identity.

Anything Muppet
Sesame Street News Flash

In another News Flash sketch, Kermit the Frog encounters a Fat Blue Santa (Kevin Clash), hoping to find out how he gets down the chimney.

The Muppet Show episode 305

A Whatnot Santa appears during the line "everything's coming up sunshine and Santa Claus..."

Jon Stone
Christmas Eve on Sesame Street

Big Bird sits out on the roof of 123 Sesame Street to catch Santa in the act of delivering presents. Santa appears when Big Bird dozes off and is only seen in shadow, disappearing the moment Big Bird awakes. His voice (provided by Jon Stone)[1] is previously heard over a telephone swallowed by Cookie Monster.

Stone also plays the narrator of the audio adaptation who gradually reveals himself to be Santa Claus.

animated, silent
Muppet Babies
"Who's Afraid of the Big, Bad Dark?"

Santa Claus whizzes by, as the lyrics of the song "Good Things Happen in the Dark" mention him by name.

Tony Geiss
Elmo Saves Christmas

A goodwill Santa stands in front of The Furry Arms Hotel.

Charles Durning
Elmo Saves Christmas

This Santa is rather crotchety and frustrated by the side effects of Elmo's wish for having Christmas every day. He also gets to sing "Every Day Can't Be Christmas."

Santa Charles Edward Hall.jpg
Charles Edward Hall
Elmo's World: Happy Holidays!

Elmo travels to the North Pole near the end of the special.

Sallyannsanta.jpg Dave "Squatch" Ward
It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie

Fozzie runs into a compassionate Salvation Army Santa, and accidentally leaves his sack of money with him.

Deletedsanta.jpg Jay Brazeau
It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie

In a deleted scene, a jolly Santa, apparently convinced he's the real deal, regretfully informs Kermit that he can't appear in their big holiday production.

Muppet Poser
Macy's Windows, 2002

A poser puppet of Santa Claus helms his sleigh in the Macy's window display.

Rockettes2005 01.jpg
Charles Edward Hall
Radio City Music Hall, 2005

Kermit with the Rockettes and Santa during Kermit's 50th Anniversary Tour.

Kevin James
Elmo's Christmas Countdown

Kevin James shows another side of Santa Claus when he is issued a speeding ticket.

Richard Griffiths
A Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa

The Muppets race to make sure that three letters make their way to Santa.

Anything Muppet
Weihnachten mit Ernie und Bert

Santa visits Ernie and Bert in their German apartment.

Sesame Place Christmas Elmos World.jpg
Elmo's World Live! Christmas

Calling Elmo on the "video phone".

National Christmas Tree 2011.jpg
Brad Oscar
2011 National Christmas Tree Lighting

Santa Claus performs "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" with Kermit the Frog at The White House, and later joins him for a sing-along rendition of "Jingle Bells" and "Winter Wonderland."

Santa - Craig Robinson.jpg
Craig Robinson
"All I Need is Love"

Santa joins the Muppets' party with Cee Lo Green.

Obama-Santa-Piggy (1).jpg
2015 National Christmas Tree Lighting

Santa Claus joined Miss Piggy, President Barak Obama, Michelle Obama, Reese Witherspoon and others for a sing-along rendition of "Jingle Bells."

Jim Gaffigan
Once Upon a Sesame Street Christmas

In the bedtime story told to Elmo, Santa visits Sesame Street for the first time after the spirit of kindness has been brought to the neighborhood. Santa later visits Elmo's bedroom while he is asleep.

Anything Muppet
"A Furchester Christmas"

Santa Claus visits the Furchester Hotel, bringing gifts to all the guests who presumed he'd miss them due to their re-locating.

Santa 12 Days of Cookies.jpg
Anything Muppet
"12 Days of Christmas Cookies"

On the twelfth day of Christmas, Santa (Ryan Dillon)[2] brings Cookie Monster twelve snowman cookies.

Fireside Christmas Story with Cookie Monster - Santa.jpg
Fireside Christmas Story with Cookie Monster

Santa appears in an animated silhouette, on-screen with his face obscured, and in voiceover provided by Tyler Bunch.

MB2018 327b 44.jpg
Matt Danner
Muppet Babies
"A Merry Litter Christmas"

The Muppet Babies almost run into Santa while traveling to Planet Gonzo.

Characters dressing as Santa Claus

Picture Portrayer Production / Notes
BabyAnimalSanta.jpg Baby Animal
Muppet Babies, "Pigerella"

Baby Animal dressed up as Santa to show who would come down the chimney that Baby Piggy must clean.

Kermit Santa Remco.jpg Baby Kermit
Muppet Babies baby toys

Baby Kermit Christmas squeeze toy from 1989.

Bild 75 3j.jpg Bert
Peter Alexander presents Specialties

Bert dresses as Santa in this German TV special from 1975.

Erniebert-santa.jpg Bert and Ernie
Sesame Street Magazine, December 1977

Bert and Ernie collaborate as Santa Claus.

Epiblas 20.jpg Bert
Epi, Blas y los demás, 1978/1979

Bert dresses as Santa Claus.

Weinnachtenmiternieundbert-d.jpg Bert
Weihnachten mit Ernie & Bert

Bert takes part in Rumpel's Christmas song as Santa on Die Grosse Sesamstrassen-Musikshow.

Big bird as santa claus.JPG Big Bird
The Sesame Street Postcard Book

Big Bird taking on the role of Santa with Snuffy taking on the role of the reindeer.

Santawolf.jpg The Big Bad Wolf
Muppet Classic Theater

The wolf dresses as Santa to infiltrate Sandy Pig's home.

Santabobo.jpg Bobo the Bear
It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie

Bobo is asked to fill in for the absent Santa.

Muppets Haunted Mansion

A cactus is seen in the background of the Muppets' Halloween party dressed as Santa.

CBS This Morning December 16, 1994

Clifford dresses as Santa Claus for a Muppet Christmas medley (Kermit states it was originally supposed to be Fozzie).

Santa.cookie.jpg Cookie Monster
Elmo Saves Christmas

Cookie Monster dresses as Santa in order to trick Elmo out of his plate of cookies.

COVID-19 Cookie as Santa Claus.jpg Cookie Monster
The ABCs of COVID-19, third special
CosmoSanta.jpg Cosmo Scam
The Great Santa Claus Switch

Cosmo Scam poses as Santa.

A Muppet Family Christmas

Doc appears as Santa at the end of the special, passing out presents.

Santahogg.jpg Doc Hogg
"A Berry Bear Christmas"

Doc appears as "Santa Hogg" at the Woodland Valley Mall.

ElmoSanta.png Elmo
promotional photo

Used in Sesame Street marketing and social media.

Gund 2010 musical holiday plush elmo.jpg Elmo
Gund Musical Holiday Collection

Mini plush of Elmo dressed as Santa Claus.

Santaernie.jpg Ernie
Sesame Street calendar, unknown year

Ernie appears as Santa, with Bert as his reindeer.

Santa.fozzie.jpg Fozzie Bear
Muppet Magazine Winter 1984

Fozzie dresses as Santa for the Muppet Magazine Christmas party.

Fozziesanta-pleasurecompany.jpg Fozzie Bear
A Christmas Together

Fozzie dresses as a salvation army Santa for the number "The Pleasure of Your Company."

Fozzie Santa M15 1x10.jpg Fozzie Bear
The Muppets "Single All the Way"

Fozzie almost doesn't play Santa on Up Late with Miss Piggy because Becky broke up with him, but after a reassuring phone call, he decides to play Santa after all.

The Muppet Show episode 517

Gonzo's chickens play the part of Santa's reindeer in a holiday mix-up medley.

Grover's 'Twas the Night Before Christmas

Grover takes on the role of Santa Claus to leave presents on Sesame Street.

Sesame Workshop 2014 Kid's Holiday Party

Grover dressed as Santa for the 2014 family holiday party.

Herry Monster
Elmo's Delicious Christmas

Herry dresses as Santa Claus to help collect toys and food for needy families.

Herry Monster
Sesamstrasse magazine

Herry dresses as Santa Claus on a 1980 Sesamstrasse magazine cover.

Jr gorg santa claus.png
Junior Gorg
Fraggle Rock sweater

Junior Gorg dressed as Santa sweater.

Kermit-santa-chimney.jpg Kermit the Frog
Miss Piggy Cover Girl Fantasy Calendar

Kermit plays the role of Santa coming down the chimney.

1977waldecoration2.jpg Kermit the Frog
Hallmark wall decorations

Kermit dresses as Santa, with Miss Piggy holding mistletoe over his head, in a 1977 wall decoration by Hallmark. The same picture can be seen in the dressing rooms on The Muppet Show and the front cover of the March 8, 1979 issue of Lhiton.

Movable kf santa.jpg Kermit the Frog
Hallmark wall decorations

In 1981, Hallmark made a poseable wall decoration with Kermit dressed as Santa.

Muppetannual1983.JPG Kermit the Frog
Jim Henson's Muppets Annual 1983

Remake of the 1977 Hallmark photo.

Winter 1987.JPG Kermit the Frog
Muppet Magazine Winter 1987

Kermit is dressed as Santa on the cover of the Winter 1987 issue of Muppet Magazine with Pee-Wee Herman and his stocking.

Santakermit.jpg Kermit the Frog
The Christmas Toy

Kermit delivered his traditional holiday introduction for The Christmas Toy after climbing down the chimney.

Kermit the Frog
Santa Kermit plush doll

Released in 1990 by Presents, a division of Hamilton Gifts.

Santa Kermit GMA 1997-12-23.jpg
Kermit the Frog
Good Morning America December 23, 1997

Santa Kermit & his frog elves stop by the studio "to wish everybody a happy season" and sing "Jingle Bells."

Kermit the Frog
Kermit Presents Christmas Treasures

Kermit is pictured on the cover of the sheet music book dressed as Santa Claus.

Kermit the Frog
Sababa Muppet plush doll

In 2003, Sababa sold a grayscale Kermit plush doll dressed in a pantsless, red Santa Claus costume.

Motherchristmas.jpg Miss Piggy
Jim Henson's Muppets Annual 1982

Santa Claus can't make it for Christmas Day, so Miss Piggy cheers up Robin by dressing up as Mother Christmas in "Kermit's Christmas Diary".

SantaPiggy.jpg Miss Piggy
Promotional images

Miss Piggy dresses up as Santa Claus in several promotional images from the mid-2000s, on one occasion letting Kermit borrow her hat.

Santa.oscar.jpg Oscar the Grouch
A Sesame Street Christmas Carol

Christmas Carole transforms Oscar when he won't come out of his can.

Pops Santa Merry Xmas cbook.png Pops
Merry Christmas with the Muppets

Pops plays a department store Santa entertaining Robin on his knee.

Turkey - Have yourslf a merry little christmas 12 24 64.jpg Rowlf
The Jimmy Dean Show

Rowlf is dressed as Santa in the December 24, 1964 episode. Sesamstrasse cast

The official website's annual advent calendar features Elmo, Pferd, Ernie, Wolle, Bert, Grobi, Finchen and Krümelmonster in Santa hats and beards.

Mr. Snuffleupagus
Christmas Eve on Sesame Street

Snuffy assumes the role of Santa for scientific purposes, in an attempt to demonstrate how someone as large as Santa can fit down a tiny chimney.

a Snuffleupagus
Sesame Street Episode 3295

At the Snuffleupagus-American Day Parade, one Snuffleupagus portrays "Snuffleupa-Claus."

Merch.santachef.jpg The Swedish Chef
Palisades Toys

The Santa Chef Action Figure was released as Palisades' 2004 holiday figure.

Santawitch.jpg Taminella Grinderfall
Tales of the Tinkerdee

Taminella poses as Santa as part of her scheme to steal Princess Gwendolinda's birthday presents.

Two-Headed Monster
A Muppet Family Christmas

The Monster plays jolly Saint Nick in the Sesame Street gang's Christmas pageant.

Mike Quinn Uncle Matt Santa Claus.jpg Uncle Traveling Matt
Fraggle Rock (France)

Mike Quinn manipulates Uncle Matt dressed as Santa for a French Postcards from Traveling Matt segment.

Santa-waldorf.jpg Waldorf
Muppet Magazine Winter 1987

Waldorf plays the role of Santa in the Muppet Babies comic book adaptation of "A Visit from St. Nicholas".

Santawilkins.jpg Wilkins
Wilkins Coffee commercial

Wilkins plays Santa, with Wontkins as his reindeer.

Santa hats

Santa Claus in books

Big Bird relaxes with Santa and Mrs. Claus in Big Bird Meets Santa Claus

Santa going up the chimney in The Sesame Street Postcard Book.

Santa reassuring Baby Kermit he hasn't given up in Baby Kermit's Christmas.

Santa Claus illustration glimpsed in The Organized Mind film footage

Young David encounters Santa Claus (Sesame Street Episode 0889)

Santa Claus appears in a number of Muppet and Sesame Street books, including:

The Sesame characters visit Santa Claus at P.C. Nickles Department Store in:

Muppet characters also pretend to be Santa in other books:


  • In Christmas Eve on Sesame Street, Oscar asks Big Bird and Patty how Santa Claus can deliver presents on Christmas Eve if he can't fit through the narrow chimneys on Sesame Street. Kermit and Grover interview various kids on the subject trying to help solve the mystery. Eventually, Big Bird decides to stay up all night on the roof to wait for Santa Claus. Although jingle bells and footsteps are heard when Big Bird falls asleep, Santa Claus is not actually seen. Meanwhile, Cookie Monster tries repeatedly to write a letter to Santa Claus, and speaks to him by shouting into his belly after having eaten the telephone on which he had dialed Santa's number.
  • When Big Bird realizes that every grown-up was once a little kid in Sesame Street Episode 2621, he notes that that applies to Santa Claus as well.
  • In Muppets from Space, Gonzo hears a voice outside his window when he wakes up. Approaching, he asks, "Rizzo?" Rizzo replies, "No, it's Santa. But I forgot my reindeer."
  • A betting form posted on the door of Pepe's stateroom aboard Disney Cruise Line's ship, the Disney Fantasy, lists Sandy Claws as one of the competitors of Pepe's Crab Races.


The following actors, who have appeared in Muppet/Henson productions, have portrayed Santa in other film or television appearances.

  • Ed Asner voiced Santa in The Story of Santa Claus (1996, TV) and Olive the Other Reindeer (1999, TV) and appeared on camera as Santa in The Ellen Show (2001, TV) and Elf (2003, film).
  • Fred Astaire played Santa in The Man in the Santa Claus Suit (TV, 1979).
  • John Astin voiced Santa in an episode of Higglytown Heroes (2004, TV)
  • Mel Brooks voiced Santa in an episode of The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron (2002, TV).
  • David Canary played Santa in Secret Santa (1994, TV).
  • Art Carney reprised the role of Santa in The Night They Saved Christmas (1984, TV).
  • Charles Durning played Santa in several TV movies: It Nearly Wasn't Christmas (1989), Mrs. Santa Claus (1996), Mr. St. Nick (2002), and A Boyfriend for Christmas (2004).
  • Gilbert Gottfried voiced Santa in Billy and Mandy Save Christmas (2005, TV)
  • John Goodman voiced Santa in the direct-to-video specials Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Movie (1998) and It's a SpongeBob Christmas! (2012), a Robot Santa in Futurama (1999, TV), and played the part in The Year Without a Santa Claus (2006, TV).
  • James Earl Jones voiced Santa Claus in an episode of Recess (1997, TV)
  • Bruce Kirby played Santa in A Different Kind of Christmas (1996, TV)
  • Kermit Love appeared as Santa on the December 1982, 1984 and 1985 covers of New York
  • Stuart Pankin played Santa in an episode of The Hughleys (1998, TV)
  • Gerry Parkes played a retiring Santa Claus in Must Be Santa (1999, TV)
  • Austin Pendleton played a street corner Santa in Christmas with the Cranks (2004, film)
  • William Shatner voiced Santa in It's a Very Merry Eek's-mas (1993, TV)
  • Hal Smith voiced Santa in numerous Hanna-Barbera Christmas specials from 1964 to 1993
  • Jeffrey Tambor voiced Santa in The ChubbChubbs Save Xmas (2007)
  • Peter Ustinov played Santa in Julie's Christmas Special (1973, TV)
  • Frank Welker voiced Santa in A Chipmunk Christmas (1981, TV) and Inspector Gadget Saves Christmas (1992, TV)
  • George Wendt played Santa in A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All (2008, TV)


External links

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