168. Howard Hughes Santa

Q: I am trying to locate a copy of National Lampoon magazine featuring John Walsh as a Howard Hughes Santa. Probably circa 1970.

A: Carol sez: “The John Walsh/ Howard Hughes/ Santa Claus connection is revealed at last, due to insomnia and an ancient Twilight Zone episode. I couldn’t sleep last nite, so I was watching “Night of the Meek”, a TZ about a drunken department-store Santa (played by Art Carney). The actor playing Santa’s boss was John Fiedler, and he looks exactly like the photo of ‘the young Claus’ in NL’s “Xmas Time; the Death of Santa Claus” (Dec. 1977). I got that issue out to compare faces, and noticed a tiny photo credit… John A. Walsh. I’m sure this all has a deep significance, but I don’t know what.”

5 comments on “168. Howard Hughes Santa

  1. -

    The December 1977 “Christmas in December” issue has a TIME magazine parody about the death of Santa. The cover, done in the style of Burt Silverman (and possibly painted by Mara McAfee), depicts him as a wizened Howard Hughes lookalike.
    But who’s John Walsh?

  2. -

    I was thinking the same thing, but I couldn’t remember which issue, and the John Walsh thing threw me. FYI, Walsh was the host of America’s Most Wanted which didn’t first air until 1981. In 1977, he was in the hotel business and not known to the public.

  3. -

    I will be interested to see how (or why) NatLamp pulled together Santa Claus, Howard Hughes, and John Walsh! Sounds pretty “Dada” to me.

  4. -

    The John Walsh/ Howard Hughes/ Santa Claus connection is revealed at last, due to insomnia and an ancient Twilight Zone episode. I couldn’t sleep last nite, so I was watching “Night of the Meek”, a TZ about a drunken department-store Santa (played by Art Carney). The actor playing Santa’s boss was John Fiedler, and he looks exactly like the photo of ‘the young Claus’ in NL’s “Xmas Time; the Death of Santa Claus” (Dec. 1977). I got that issue out to compare faces, and noticed a tiny photo credit… John A. Walsh. I’m sure trhis all has a deep significance, but I don’t know what.

  5. -

    That’s probably as close to a definitive answer as we’re probably going to get on this one. I’ll pass this on to the original questioner and see if it was the answer he was looking for. Thanks, Carol!

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