03/18/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Kristopher Kringle, Beloved Children's Entertainer, Dead at 1000+

THE NORTH POLE - Kristopher Kringle, better known as "Kris" to friends, or by the name of his beloved character, "Santa Claus," died late last night at his home in North Pole, the North Pole. He was believed to be somewhere over 1000 years old. Cause of death is being reported as sugarplum-related.

Mr. Kringle is best known for his work as "Santa Claus," "Saint Nicholas," and of course for his autobiographical work as "Kris Kringle." While he has worked steadily over the past several hundred years on the stage and in small, chimney-house productions, he rose to greatest prominence in the forties, fifties, sixties, and seventies, when his work in productions ranging from A Miracle on 34th Street to bit parts in films such as Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and most famously in his titular role in Santa Claus is Coming to Town brought him international acclaim and considerable wealth.

When knowingness and sarcasm started growing in the eighties, however, simultaneous with a corresponding rise in the overall weirdness of the premises of children's cartoons, Mr. Kringle's career went into decline. This decline continued into the nineties, when irony became fashionable with even the youngest of his fans.

While this turn of events reportedly depressed Kringle, he continued working, starring in increasingly low-budget affairs alongside the likes of Tim Allen, as well as in a mounting string of made-for-TV specials. Family and friends say that at this time, they could already see the seeds of the illness that would eventually take Mr. Kringle's life, and that his candy-cane, gingerbread, eggnog and gumdrop use, previously recreational in nature, took a turn for the worse.

When Home Alone was released to widespread box-office and fan acclaim, a Christmas-movie with no "Santa" appearance in sight, Kringle reportedly went on a sugar-cookie bender that lasted a week.

The breaking point, however, came after a performance in Square 1 Mall in Revere, Massachusetts. There, a young viewer, four-year-old Timmy Whitkins, reportedly approached Kringle and told him "I know you're not really real," before kicking Kringle in the shin. The self-doubt that Kringle had been experiencing for years seemed to be crystallized for him by this assault, which he saw as proof of a general loss of faith in his performing abilities. A downward spiral of candy and cheer-use followed.

Mr. Whitkins, now in high school, could not be reached for comment.

His addiction problems led Mr. Kringle, always a large man, to put on upwards of 700 pounds in under five years. For the last year of his life, he was bedridden by his ever-increasing size. Friends claim they don't know how he found access to his drugs of choice, but they all appeared suspiciously diabetic.

At time of death, Mr. Kringle had to be extricated from his room via crane, after his wife allowed eleven police crews to remove one wall from their gingerbread house.

Kringle is survived by his wife, who doesn't have a first name, and some 6000 children, all of them sufferers from a mysterious combination of Webster-disease and physical mutations of the outer ear and toes.

Though his later years were plagued by sorrow and syrup, he will no doubt be cherished in the hearts of many as the man he was in better days. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that well-wishers send toys to help lighten the workload of his children during this mourning period.