Series: Spin City
Episode: S2E12 "Miracle Near 34th Street"
Original airdate: December 10, 1997
Santa? City-employed Santa's, Richard Kind Santa and...um...dead Santa
Other holidays mentioned: None, but there is a carefully placed menorah in one scene
Unique Christmas Story:
In the version of this episode I watched on YouTube (the first part of which is below), Michael J. Fox introduces the episode by saying it was one of the funniest episodes they have ever done, but also one of the darker Christmas episodes a sitcom has ever done. For the most part, he isn't wrong on either count.
The cast of Spin City has some serious comedic chops, and the chemistry between the actors is remarkable. For example, when Mike say he hates "The Little Drummer Boy," all his coworkers start singing it. It's that kind of comrade that bands them together in this episode.
While there are a couple subplots swirling around, the main action surrounds the mayor talking about when he learned Santa Claus wasn't real right in front of a small child. Cue an episode dedicated to damage control and attempts to restore the child's innocence.
The first issue Mike runs into is procuring a Santa Claus. It turns out he fired all the Santa's employed by the city when he cut the holiday budget. His attempts at negotiating with the Santa's go poorly first with a rough exchange of verbal insults, and then an inevitable brawl, again right in front of the child.
In a last ditch attempt, Mike arranges a meeting at the kid's house, complete with a Santa trying to make his way down the chimney. However, Santa gets stuck and the whole thing falls apart once again.
Mike's efforts show how much some people try to make the holidays special for others. Even as we get older, and Christmas becomes more of a chore than something to look forward to, we still go to great lengths to make it special for children. We try and help them make the memories they will never forget, and maybe, if we're lucky some of that Christmas cheer rubs off on us.
Unique Christmas Message:
Beware of children asking for Bunsen burners for Christmas.
I look at another Bill Lawrence sitcom.