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 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 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 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 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 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.
Whatnot episode 305 of The Muppet Show A Whatnot Santa appears during the line "everything's coming up sunshine and Santa Claus..."
unknown 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 is previously heard over a telephone swallowed by Cookie Monster (the voice provided by Jon Stone[1]).
unknown 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. He also gets to sing "Every Day Can't Be Christmas."
Charles Edward Hall Elmo's World: Happy Holidays Elmo travels to the North Pole near the end of the special.
Sallyannsanta 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 unknown 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
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
Unknown Elmo's World Live! Christmas Calling Elmo on the "video phone".
National Christmas Tree 2011
Brad Oscar 2011 The 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
Craig Robinson "All I Need is Love" Santa joins the Muppets' party with Cee Lo Green.
Obama-Santa-Piggy 2014
unknown The 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 The Furchester Hotel
"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.

Characters dressing as Santa Claus

Picture Portrayer Production Notes
BabyAnimalSanta Baby Animal Muppet Babies
Baby Animal dressed up as Santa to show who would come down the chimney that Baby Piggy must clean.
1989 mbabies christmas squeeze toy Baby Kermit Muppet Babies baby toys Baby Kermit Christmas squeeze toy from 1989.
Bild 75 3j Bert Peter Alexander presents Specialties Bert dresses as Santa in this German TV special from 1975.
Erniebert-santa Bert and Ernie Sesame Street Magazine, December 1977 Bert and Ernie collaborate as Santa Claus.
Epiblas 20 Bert Epi, Blas y los demás, 1978/1979 Bert dresses as Santa Claus.
Weinnachtenmiternieundbert-d 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 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 The Big Bad Wolf Muppet Classic Theatre The wolf dresses as Santa to infiltrate Sandy Pig's home.
Santabobo Bobo the Bear It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie Bobo is asked to fill in for the absent Santa.
Clifford 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 Cookie Monster Elmo Saves Christmas Cookie Monster dresses as Santa in order to trick Elmo out of his plate of cookies.
CosmoSanta Cosmo Scam The Great Santa Claus Switch Cosmo Scam poses as Santa.
Doc A Muppet Family Christmas Doc appears as Santa at the end of the special, passing out presents.
Santahogg Doc Hogg Bear in the Big Blue House "A Berry Bear Christmas" Doc appears as "Santa Hogg" at the Woodland Valley Mall.
ElmoSanta Elmo promotional photo
Elmosanta Elmo Gund Musical Holiday Collection Mini plush of Elmo dressed as Santa Claus.
Santaernie Ernie Sesame Street calendar, unknown year Ernie appears as Santa, with Bert as his reindeer.
Santa.fozzie Fozzie Bear Muppet Magazine issue 5 Fozzie dresses as Santa for the Muppet Magazine Christmas party.
Fozziesanta-pleasurecompany Fozzie Bear John Denver & the Muppets: A Christmas Together Fozzie dresses as a salvation army Santa for the number "The Pleasure of Your Company."
Fozzie Santa M15 1x10 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.
Gonzo episode 517 of The Muppet Show Gonzo's chickens play the part of Santa's reindeer in a holiday mix-up medley.
Grover Grover's 'Twas the Night Before Christmas Grover takes on the role of Santa Claus to leave presents on Sesame Street.
Grover 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.
Kermit-santa-chimney Kermit the Frog The Miss Piggy Cover Girl Fantasy Calendar Kermit plays the role of Santa coming down the chimney.
Movable kf santa
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 of the Muppet Show and the front cover of the March 8, 1979 issue of Lhiton. In 1981, Hallmark made a poseable wall decoration with Kermit dressed as Santa.
Muppetannual1983 Kermit the Frog Jim Henson's Muppets Annual 1983 Remake of the 1977 photo.
Winter 1987 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 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.
Kermit the Frog Good Morning America 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 Miss Piggy "Kermit's Christmas Diary", 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."
SantaPiggy 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 Oscar the Grouch A Sesame Street Christmas Carol Christmas Carole transforms Oscar when he won't come out of his can.
Turkey - Have yourslf a merry little christmas 12 24 64 Rowlf The Jimmy Dean Show
Rowlf is dressed as Santa on December 24, 1964. Sesamstrasse cast The official website's annual advent calendar features Elmo, Pferd, Ernie, Wolle, Bert, Grobi, Finchen and Krümelmonster in Santa hats and beards.
Santasnuffy 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 The Swedish Chef Palisades Toys The Santa Chef Action Figure was released as Palisades' 2004 holiday figure.
Santawitch 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.
Santa-waldorf Waldorf Muppet Magazine issue 17 Waldorf plays the role of Santa in the Muppet Babies comic book adaptation of "A Visit from St. Nicholas".
Santawilkins 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 claus baby kermit

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


Santa Claus illustration glimpsed in The Organized Mind film footage

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.
  • 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 streetcorner 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)


  1. Interview with the Muppet Mindset. Joseph Bailey. December 20, 2011

External links

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