He has been described as both jolly and kind… he’s based on a saint for crying out loud. But you might picture him differently if this were your first introduction to Santa Claus. You’re listening to “Santa Hides in your Phonograph” an Edison Blue Amberol Cylinder from 1922. You’ve got to think Harry E. Humphrey meant for his portrayal to be somewhat jovial, though he comes off more like a supervillain.
Humphrey was a prolific performer for Edison’s studios. Among his other roles were George Washington, Abe Lincoln and Othello. But none of them rank as high on the Creep-O-Meter as his portrayal of Old Saint Nick. Maybe Mr. Humphrey came across some coal as a young man?
See a hilarious video montage with the complete version right here.