Do you remember when Archie played Santa on Laugh-In?

Rowan and Martin and Archie and Carroll

Picture the scene:

You've got the kids off to bed for a long winter's nap.
You're sat in your kerchief, or maybe your cap.
Santa falls down the chimney, his face is beet red.
He cries out "Don't just sit there. Help me, Meathead!"

You'd think a fellow named Carroll would make a great addition to any Christmas, but O'Connor was famous for playing the Scrooge of all Scrooges, Archie Bunker. There's not a fellow worse-suited for the red suit. The only thing Archie Bunker would be worse at than being Santa Claus is paying honest respect to other cultures' holiday traditions.

But, once upon a Christmas, Archie Bunker himself was Santa Claus on Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In. That's right. The Queens curmudgeon played the holliest and jolliest on one of America's favorite variety shows.  

In 1971, Carroll O'Connor guest-starred on the Christmas episode of Laugh-In, where he partook in a Dickens parody. This contemporary "Christmas Story" saw Ebenezer M. Nixon and Spiro T. Cratchit lampooning the classic tale. Next, O'Connor starred as a Christmas tree salesman with only aluminum and plastic trees for sale. 

Finally, as the episode crescendos, O'Connor as Archie Bunker delivers a Christmas speech to the audience. Obviously, it's not the Christmas spirit some would suspect, as the speech stays true to Archie's whole philosophy.


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19 Comments

tootsieg 6 months ago
Loved Laugh-In but do not remember the episode.
dennydenco 6 months ago
I’d really love it if METV would embed the videos they reference in their articles. Not a gripe, just a wishlist item. Would add to the quality of the articles. Even a link would be great (or maybe they do and I miss it…which is possible).
Crisco 6 months ago
I was 8 years old at the time that happened. My parents wouldn't let me watch that show until I was 13.i also never saw that episode later
cperrynaples Crisco 6 months ago
Well, many of the later episodes were locked up for years! Time Life put them on DVD and you can see it on Freevee! I assume they wouldn't let you watch AITF either!
Mike 6 months ago
On Laugh-In, Carroll O'Connor played Santa in a string of blackouts, doing flirtation gags with the exquisite Ann Elder.

Apropos of that, has anybody here ever seen CO'C's guest shot on Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea, wherein he played "Old John", a marooned sailor who teaches a spoiled prince how to be a real leader? Worth checking out ...
LoveMETV22 6 months ago
" Do you remember when Archie played Santa?"
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I think a visual of Archie as a Santa might help. :
sagafrat69 6 months ago
I did see that show. Interesting to watch these people outside of their shows doing sketch comedy. I'm pretty sure Stapleton and Struthers did L-I. Has to be Rob Reiner. I know his dad the great Carl Reiner was a guest in one show.
cperrynaples sagafrat69 6 months ago
I remember Struthers was asked by one of the regulars why she had curly hair in the first season, and she said it was a reaction to Archie's racial slurs...LOL!
Jeffrey sagafrat69 6 months ago
Well, I saw Rob Reiner on an episode of The Mother's-in-Law starring Eve Arden and Kay Ballard, this morning on LAFF TV, When they usually air Nanny and The Professor.
Andybandit 6 months ago
I watched L-I, I never seen Carroll O'Connor as Santa.
cperrynaples Andybandit 6 months ago
Well, try to see it on Catchy Comedy! Every episode is a classic!
LoveMETV22 cperrynaples 6 months ago
For those who may not have "Catchy Comedy" the episode is available on tubi TV (free) as well. Although a Google search will say Season 5 Episode 12 it is actually Season 5 Episode 13. Watched the episode yesterday. A quick search shows it is available on Crackle, Pluto TV and
The Roku Channel which are all free as well.
cperrynaples LoveMETV22 6 months ago
Yap, and also on Freevee!
LoveMETV22 cperrynaples 6 months ago
Yes. I mentioned Crackle and the others as you don't need to sign in or anything.
Freevee (via Amazon acct) used to be IMDb TV, not 100% sure but think one could access the same as Crackle and the others.
cperrynaples LoveMETV22 6 months ago
Yep, no registration is needed for Freevee!
cperrynaples 6 months ago
Bonus Question: Which AITF star NEVER did Laugh-In? Was it a] Jean Stapleton, b] Rob Reiner or c] Sally Struthers?
I’d say Rob Reiner
Yep, and another poster confirmed that his father WAS on Laugh-In!
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