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"The Night of the Meek" is the eleventh episode of the second season of The Twilight Zone, and was first broadcast in December of 1960, serving as that year's "Christmas Special". It starred Art Carney as a derelict playing a department store Santa Claus, and featured John Fiedler, famous for (amongst other things) being the voice of Piglet, as his harried boss.

Art Carney is Henry Corwin, a drunk man with temporary employment playing Santa Claus. The temporary job doesn't do much for his outlook and work habits, and when he stumbles into late work and drunk, his annoyed boss fires him, but not before an exchange where Corwin cites poverty and depression as reasons he drinks. He stumbles out, and while wandering around, finds a bag that dispenses gifts. He runs around the city, turning from a fake Santa to a real one, with a few brushes with the police on the way.

This is a typical Christmas Story, with the subgenre of learning the true meaning of Christmas. It is nice and uplifting stuff, because even Rod Serling had to occasionally give people what they expected. It is also a vehicle for Art Carney, who was starring in The Honeymooners at the time, and was one of television's biggest stars. Like the other stories (Time Enough At Last, Mr. Bevis) that were produced as vehicles for famous stars, the actors get a lot of good material in, and they do carry the story. However, the star power of Art Carney isn't the automatic draw to an audience in 2014 that it would have been in 1960. So while it is still a cute story, some of the appeal of this story has faded with age.

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