A few days ago on Thanksgiving I bombed Twitter (#tdayvidbomb) with Holiday-themed videos and clips, a sort of tribute/send-up for our National Eating Holiday. It occurred to me that not everyone who visits here might be on Twitter, or saw all the day’s tweets, so I’ve collected them here along with some annotations to explain some of what’s going on.
First, no American Thanksgiving is complete without that most noble of beasts, the turkey. And here they are, fattening themselves up for your enjoyment!
Wait, reducing the grain surplus? Wasn’t this during the depression?
Now, what would Thanksgiving be without the Macy’s Parade? Second to Christmas, it was the one holiday we wouldn’t sleep in because we wanted to turn on the TV and watch the parade. Living in California we also hoped to see snow and cold. Weird, I know. Here’s what it looked like in 1935.
That’s right, you bark and show you don’t approve!
Now, time to truss up that bird and make it golden brown. The secret? It’s better with butter, baby!
Bake your turkey the American Dairy Association way!
How about a Tex Avery cartoon to keep the kids busy while you’re in the kitchen? A little “Jerky Turkey” coming right up. And for those who can stream to their TVs, this is an exceptionally fine copy.
Time for a little football, perhaps? This is some old home movie (1929!) from my current home town’s rivalry game. This field is still in use by both the high school and a nearby college.
Everyplace I’ve lived there was always one radio station that would play Alice’s Restaurant by Arlo Guthrie from beginning to end. It was pretty much the only way they could ever give it any radio play. It was made into a movie, which I still have yet to see, but here’s an original (and longer than normal) trailer for it.
Alright, looks like the bird’s out of the oven and we’re ready to eat. Let’s let Jimmy Stewart deliver the thanksgiving prayer (from the movie Shenandoah).
Charlie Chaplin reminds us that not everyone can afford Thanksgiving. Maybe this isn’t going to be so funny in the future.
(By the way the shoe was made of licorice, which posed quite a health risk as two pounds of licorice is enough to cause serious heart arrhythmia!)
A little light dining music? Yes, nothing better for the appetite than classical music. Ladies and gentlemen, Liberace and his take on “Turkey in the Straw.”
Say what you will, the man could play.
And for a little after dinner entertainment, the children will put on a little play. Leave it to the Addams Family to teach us the true meaning of the holiday (and with Swedish subtitles).
Let’s work off some of those calories Little Eva and do the “Turkey Trot.”
In the days before DVDs and VCR and cable and movies on demand, many a family enjoyed the annual Thanksgiving tradition of watching The Wizard of Oz on TV.
I kind of miss those shared TV events. Aside from live sports events and awards shows and the occasional marathons, is there anything like this these days?
Looking ahead, while the adults are out doing shopping on the day after Thanksgiving, what are the kids supposed to do? Watch TV of course! This promo is from 1972.
Or, if you were a little more sophisticated, you did the Godzilla marathon.
Finally, if Macy’s announced the arrival of Santa and the holiday season, the deal wasn’t sealed for us on the West Coast until the Santa Claus Lane Parade took place (usually the weekend AFTER Thanksgiving). Proximity to Hollywood made it easier to draw big names, and floats towed by tractors replaced large balloons. Oh, and Gene Autry wrote “Here Comes Santa Claus” back in 1946 as a reference to his participation in this parade.
I found some more videos during the holiday that people posted elsewhere that I didn’t tweet. You can call these leftovers or seconds or the feverish dreams of a tryptophan nap, but here they are. This first one features Christina Ricci making a repeat visit, this time from the movie THE ICE STORM. Another sarcastic holiday dinner prayer.
Red Skelton delivered this homily during one of his TV shows back in 1952. Was he talking about a Communist invasion?
This recently discovered home movie footage from 1939 (in color!) shows the first Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade that took place on what we consider the modern Thanksgiving era, i.e., the first year the holiday was moved to the third Thursday in November to lengthen the shopping season an stimulate the economy. I think to do this today we’d need to have Thanksgiving sometime around the middle of July. Note, this would be the first appearance of the Tin Man from THE WIZARD OF OZ which came out earlier the same year.
And for all those turkeys who made it through the holiday without ending up on the table, a disco tribute.
And that’ll do it. Hope you and yours had a fine holiday and enjoyed the traditions that were uniquely your own.