Plot & Details
Made for TV, The Man in the Santa Claus Suit jumped the gun a bit by premiering December 23, 1979. The title "character" is threefold: John Byner, Gary Burghoff and Bert Convy all don Santa suits for various reasons. Byner is a fugitive tramp, Burghoff a lonely schoolteacher, and Convy a divorced father estranged from his young son. Unifying their three stories is top-billed Fred Astaire, who pops up in eight different roles (or seven different roles, if you don't count his "surprise identity") and sings the title song. The moral, as ever, is that Christmas is what you make of it: if you're merry, then you'll have a merry Christmas.