Santa Claus (born Seth Applegate) is a character in Ernest Saves Christmas portrayed by Douglas Seale. Santa, Ernest P. Worrell and Harmony Starr set out to locate a children's show host named Joe Carruthers, who has been chosen from a list of potential candidates to become the new Santa Claus due to Santa's retirement. However, he is blocked off by Marty Brock, Joe's agent who lands him a part in a movie called Christmas Slay which Santa finds out to his disgust that it is a horror film about an alien terrorizing children on Christmas Eve and punches the director in the face. Joe turns down Santa's offer but has a change of heart after learning the director wants him to swear in the film, which he refuses to do in front of the children on the set and agrees to become the new Santa Claus.

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