"Yes, Mikey, Santa Does Shave" is the 23rd episode of Recess, and also the show's Christmas episode. It was originally scheduled to premiere on December 19, 1998, but due to Disney's One Saturday Morning being pre-empted for news coverage on Bill Clinton's impeachment, it was postponed and ended up airing on the day after Christmas.
A few days before Christmas, Hank is getting ready to plow the snow, but to his displeasure, there's no snow on the ground, and the students are treating the weather like summer. The younger kids on the playground are still treating it like winter, however, such as building snowmen out of sand, and sledding on the grass. Vince brings up the fact that how when he and the rest of the Recess Gang were little kids, they would get excited for the Christmas season, too. The gang all discuss what's on their Christmas lists, and see Mikey over by King Bob's jungle gym, writing a list for Santa Claus, until the bell rings, where he went to go see the tryouts for the Christmas play.
In the auditorium, the kindergarteners, Upside-Down Girl, Hustler Kid, Randall, and the Ashleys are all on stage for tryouts. At the same time, Principal Prickly is showing television producer Mr. Bream the school, to see if he'd use it for his Christmas special. Right as Mr. Bream tells Prickly that the school was like every other school he's been to, Mikey arrives. Originally not wanting to try out and just trying to get into the spirit, Mr. Bream wants him to be the Santa Claus in the play. Mikey auditions under expectations, until Prickly reminds him of how he sang for the middle school music teacher, Miss Salamone. He then belts out a "Ho ho ho!" in his singing voice, and is chosen to play Santa.
After auditioning, the gang are sitting on the school jungle gym when Mikey decides to invite Santa to the play and starts composing the letter. Randall hears this and taunts Mikey for still believing in Santa. T.J. tells Mikey that there are kids who don't believe in Santa, but Mikey doesn't understand this. Gretchen tries to explain that an overweight man in a red suit delivering millions of presents in one night is very unlikely, and he still doesn't believe her. Despite T.J.'s efforts to smooth him over, a frustrated Mikey vow to prove Santa's existence to his friends and runs off. Gretchen laments that it's the Tooth Fairy incident all over again.
Back in the auditorium, Miss Grotke is choreographing the play and instructing the Ashleys' dance routine as the reindeer in the play. Also, Mr. Bream is on the phone explaining the Christmas pageant to the television station owner. The gang are sitting in the audience when Mikey brings a stack of encyclopedias to show the gang that Santa is real. Vince reads about Saint Nicholas, and brings up the fact that he died years ago. Gretchen reads a scientific magazine pointing out that for Santa to deliver all his presents in one night means he'll have no time for milk and cookies. Mikey still doesn't believe them, and runs out.
Later that day, the gang are at the mall in line for meeting Santa with Mikey. Mikey runs up the the mall Santa and sits on his lap, and asks him to do a few things for the gang to show them that he's the real Santa. However, the mall Santa can't take Mikey's weight on his legs, and pushes him off. He asks Trisha, his assistant, to get his replacement, which she can't because he's on break. The gang get their Christmas photo taken- with the mall Santa ripping his beard off. Mikey, however, explains that the mall Santa was just an imposter, and that the real Santa is appearing in the town's Christmas parade. The gang arrive at the parade, and see Santa Claus in the parade. "Santa" talks to the kids and offers them gifts, making Mikey excited, and Gus even thinking that Santa really does exist. However, when he's getting the kids candy from the back of his sleigh, his beard comes off, and it's revealed that he's actually Mayor Fitzhugh trying to get more votes. After the parade, Mikey hears Santa's voice on the radio, and runs down to the station, K-XMS. He asks the receptionist where Santa is, and she tells him Santa's not there. He runs into the recording station, and sees that it was just DJ Ricky McCloud doing the voice of Santa for his radio show. Crushed, Mikey leaves in tears, and decides not to appear in the play, tearing up his letter.
That night, back at the school, Hank is still looking for signs of snow. People begin to arrive for the Christmas pageant, and the gang decide to tell Prickly that Mikey decided not to come. Before they can, Randall tells Miss Finster, who tells Prickly. They decide to cast Randall as Santa.
Meanwhile, as Mikey walks down the street alone, he sits at a curb and rips up his letter to Santa. An old man at the retirement home on the same street noticed Mikey, and Mikey told the man about how his friends don't believe in Santa. The man tells him that it doesn't matter if you can see him or not, if he believes he's real, he's real.
The Christmas play starts, and each of the kids go up and say something about what they represent. Aside from the Ashleys as reindeer, Spinelli and Gretchen come up dressed as Druids for Winter Solstice, Gus as an elf, Vince as "Good King Kwanzaa", T.J. as "Harvey Hanukkah", and finally, Randall as Santa. Unfortunately, Randall gets stage fright when it's his turn to come up. Mr. Bream is not happy that Mikey didn't show up and attempts to switch the broadcast to a school on Hawaii, only for Prickly to tussle with him. All of a sudden, Mikey arrives as Santa, on a sleigh pulled by the kindergarteners dressed as elves. He and the gang begin to sing "White Christmas", as it starts snowing outside. After the show ends, Hank throws the doors open and exclaims that it's snowing. Everyone goes outside and notices the snow, and the kids begin playing in it. The old man whom Mikey met earlier tells Mikey that he did a good job, and that he was there because Mikey invited him. As the old man walks away, a piece of paper falls from his person. Mikey picks it up and calls his friends, showing them his letter to Santa, fully repaired, as if it were never torn up. The gang wonder who that guy was, but Mikey realizes that he was Santa Claus.
Home video releases
- The episode's title is a parody of the phrase, "Yes, Virginia. There is a Santa Claus".