Superior Donuts – Homeless For The Holidays
By: Jay Smith
Arthur (Judd Hirsch) has a box of decorations out and Randy (Katey Sagal) comments on it being just Christmas related and not enough Hanukkah and Franco (Jermaine Fowler) mentions the lack of Kwanzaa. Arthur makes a joke about converting, which he says he’s only allowed to make, and tries to compromise with Franco on incorporating Kwanzaa into the shop with some help. Unfortunately, Franco doesn’t know the meaning and loses the fight with Arthur. Fawz (Maz Jobrani) says his family doesn’t celebrate Christmas and calls it the day people lose their minds over Starbucks cups and Sweatpants (Rell Battle) is excited this year because he’ll be playing Santa this year. Carl (David Koechner) uses this opportunity to give Sweatpants some pointers since he’s been Santa for twenty years. Franco comments on a well known homeless guy, Pink Panther, who got his name from wearing a pink hat he received from the women’s march. Randy explains to Sofia (Diane Guerrero) that Pink Panther has been around the shop instead of his usual spot. Fawz says the business council got the police involved to move the homeless off the streets for the holidays. With it being cold, Franco invites Pink Panther (Keith David) in for food and coffee. Arthur is not okay with this kind gesture because he believes Pink Panther will invite his homeless buddies to the shop for the same treatment. Randy comments on the situation being sad because when they picked the homeless up and dropped them off at the shelter, they’d be back on the streets the next morning. Sofia wants to help, but also gets the urge to be like Arthur, which is a dig at his poor humanitarian efforts. Sweatpants agrees with Franco on him helping, but soon turns into the butt of the joke when Franco calls him homeless without him and Randy makes fun of his optimism of his Santa career. Franco believes the kindness wouldn’t hurt them and offers Pink Panther coffee. After not moving nor having a pulse, which causes Franco to scream, the shop goes into a panic over Pink Panther being dead. Fawz makes a tasteless joke on putting him outside to be a warning and Arthur calls 911.
When they get back inside Franco proclaims he can’t believe someone died in the shop, scaring two potential customers and causing Arthur to tell him not to repeat that. The group then goes through Pink Panther’s bag to contact family about the tragedy and they learn a little about his life like his name being John. Franco wants to hold a service for him and everyone comes up with excuses, but they change their tunes when they hear Franco was once homeless and he saw himself in John sometimes. The next day they all gather to remember John in the shop. Of course, it doesn’t go smoothly. As soon as Franco asks for them to bow their heads, Sweatpants (who was in the bathroom trying on his suit) comes out and is excited so show his suit off. It’s far from the traditional look and it even has Sofia calling him hot and “DJ Santa.” Not to miss the opportunity, Sweatpants flirts back, but Franco stops it to get everyone’s focus back on the funeral. Randy and Sofia feel bad for not doing more for John and Franco has the group raise glasses in his honor. Franco without thinking says he wishes John was there and then we get another scream when we all see John at the door. John explains that he’s diabetic and went into a coma because of the donuts. Franco apologizes and then John is upset that they’ve all gone through his things. As he’s getting his stuff back together, Franco gathers everyone again to try to do right by John once more. Franco delegates jobs before inviting John back to the shop.
Franco gets off the phone and he has secured housing for John if he gets a job. He asks Sofia how the resume is coming along, but it’s practically a dead end because John hasn’t had a job in forever and he’s difficult with its answers. With an expertise on jazzing up his resume, Santa Carl tries to help with an adjacent word to a lesser job title. DJ Santa Sweatpants comes back into the shop and proudly exclaims he passed out all his flyers. Carl lies and says he took a break when Sweatpants asks about his huge pile. A little girl is excited to see Santa and it’s a surprise when she makes contact with Sweatpants. Carl doesn’t understand the choice and Sweatpants tells him less is more. An upset Randy comes back into the shop and requests two donuts. She tells Franco that her and John couldn’t find a suit for him at any of the stores they went into. John then goes to Sofia and critics the resume she’s building for him and Franco tries to contain the situation by offering free coffee. He complains about the coffee, which prompts the group to discuss his attitude and wanting to give up on him. Franco is still holding on to helping John and asks Arthur to give him a job passing out flyers for the housing. Franco wants to reiterate it’s not about them, but helping anyone in need. The optimism on John doing a good job at the shop slowly starts to diminish when he tells a customer to get out of his booth and that someone died in it.
The next day Carl is passing out flyers when Sweatpants comes up greeting everyone while passing out flyers as well. Carl puts his foot down on his turf, but Sweatpants ignores him and gets the crowd excited with his rendition of a Christmas Carol. Inside Franco tries to compliment a clean shaved John, but he doesn’t play along. Franco ushers him outside to do his job, but his enthusiasm is terrible. Carl and Sweatpants also tell him to move since both of them have the current street. John isn’t fond of the suggestion and retaliates just as Franco is defending his character and showing optimism for his future. Franco breaks the fight up and Arthur fires John. This upsets the little boy who has been watching the whole thing and Franco tries to make it better. Everyone now takes this opportunity to be vocal about their distaste for John and this finally makes Franco give up on him. They throw out suggestions to help someone else, but he doesn’t want to and leaves. This upsets Fawz because he loves disagreeing with Franco and his idealism.
Franco arrives at the shop the next day and is surprised by the view. The gang has invited as many homeless people into the shop to celebrate the true meaning of the holidays. Franco jokes that it’s a Kwanzaa miracle. John is introduced as the guest of honor with a new look. Also, Fawz has helped him with a new job that involves him going around inspecting businesses and making sure they’re up to code. Franco is happy that this proves there’s no such thing as a lost causes and it makes Fawz tear up at the optimistic Franco being back. The group hugs before they get back to the party.