Fred Williard Fred Williard

Cheers to Fred Willard for bringing joy to the world of The Closer.

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The always-merry comic actor (Best in Show, Everybody Loves Raymond) brightened TNT's often-grim crime drama as "Santa Jack," an eggnog-spiking Christmas-village owner suspected of murdering a rival St. Nick by sabotaging a zipline. Turned out Jack was the actual target — "Is this part of the war on Christmas?" he wondered — and the culprit was his greedy niece (True Blood's Lauren Bowles).

Willard has been a welcome presence on TV ever since his breakout role as dim-bulb sidekick Jerry Hubbard on the '70s talk-show spoof Fernwood Tonight. Now all we want for Christmas is for Willard to make a return visit to his Emmy-nominated role as Phil Dunphy's dork-tastic dad on Modern Family.

What did you think of Fred Willard on The Closer?

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