All images courtesy of Vintage Everyday.
As you can see from that first image which was taken in 1931…the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Balloons didn’t look too friendly, this was of a dragon though it looks like a cat to me. The way the parade attendees are swarming the balloon it looks like it is fighting for it’s life.
Thanks to the Vintage Everyday site that uploaded these photos you can take a look at much scarier and to be fair awesome images of the famous parade throughout the years.
How about a 1940 parade balloon that looked like the late great Eddie Cantor?
[Via] Your Eddie Cantor Channel
To be honest this 1945 pumpkin balloon is probably my favorite, I wouldn’t say it was scary except for the strange little character near the lower right corner.
What is that? The Green Goblin of the future? Was it actually part of the parade and not just some supernatural imp caught on camera?!
When I was a kid, my Grandmother one time casually mentioned that she remembered when kids used to Trick or Treat on Thanksgiving. When I pressed her for details about it, she was vague, and it made me wonder if she was pulling my leg. It has been decades since she brought that up and I think I finally found out what she might have been talking about, it was a tradition called, “Thanksgiving Ragamuffins” or “Ragamuffin Day”.
Robert Martens posted this video on YouTube showing kids in 1940s New York, dressing up like paupers and going door to door “begging” for money. As you can see, their costumes are almost Halloween-like, some almost look like clowns. No explanation is given as to why they tradition went away, but this article from the New York Public Library, which has more info about this New York tradition, states that people seem to be annoyed with the practice and just wanted it to go away.
So what would you do if kids, trying to restore this tradition, showed up on your doorstep on Thanksgiving in a tattered but colorful costume and asked if you could spare, “Anything for Thanksgiving?” Would you slam the door or dig in your pockets for a few coins?
In 1985, the best float in the history of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade made its debut. The “Masters of the Universe and Princess of Power” float graced the streets of New York City bringing the fight between good and evil to televisions nationwide. It was a good fit. Masters of the Universe lends itself to float theatrics and with the next day being Black Friday, of course, helps promote the toy line for the Christmas shopping season.
Pat Sajack has a “I really have to read this?” look on his face but does it in a way that still stays professional. A year later he was joined by Dolph Lundgren, who was filming Masters of the Universe at the time, to introduce the float again.
After seeing the Masters of the Universe float you can’t argue the similarities of the Turbo Man float in “Jingle All The Way.” Just as the movie was inspired by the Cabbage Patch Kids shopping craze of the mid-1980s, the float is a nod to He-Man and his cohorts welcoming the holiday season.
I am not sure how you spend your Thanksgiving, but this year I am doing something a little different and not going back to NJ to celebrate. Instead I will be home enjoying Turkey at my own Thanksgiving table. I will go for a morning constitutional, come home and watch the parade and then I plan on eating until I pop and marathoning TV shows until I fall asleep. So I guess while the venue changes, some things will remain the same…
I hope that everyone out there, no matter what sort of Turkey day you celebrate is having the best time. Maybe you go out and play some football? Maybe you will go shopping in the newfangled 24/7 shopping madness? Or maybe you will just be on the couch letting the day inch by surrounded by good food and loved ones. No matter which path you choose, just make sure you go turbo on that path and make it the best Turkey Day you can. You only get one of these a year, make it count. I’ll see everyone tomorrow.
Well, the turkey is almost thawed, so I thought I would continue to cue up some Thanksgiving-themed entertainment for my upcoming turkey coma couch session. Archive.org uploader WA4CZD has put together a fantastic playlist of 100 Thanksgiving old time radio programs.
Included are plenty of the top shows, including Jack Benny, Amos and Andy and others. I will always recommend The Great Gildersleeve and Lum & Abner holiday shows, so be sure to check those out. There are also three Jean Shepherd shows that are in there, including an episode that talks more about the hillbilly neighbors next door, the Bumpuses and their turkey-thieving hound dogs. Enjoy!
I hope this makes sense, because my fingers are shaking as I type this, but the Turkey Day Marathon is back!!!! The annual MST3K event was one of my favorite days of the year. I’d often take a plate of food and sneak off to a room with a TV (one that wasn’t playing a football game) to catch a bit of Teenage Crime Wave, Gamera or Daddy-O when nobody was looking. Failing that, I’d get one of those 8-hour VHS tapes and set it up to record the movies and the special host segments. Before they were available on home video, this was like striking gold. And oil. And diamonds. In heaven.
SHOUT! Factory will stream six episodes selected and hosted by Joel Hodgson live beginning at noon ET on Thanksgiving. I assume they will be all Joel episodes (which is fine, I take no sides in the Joel-Mike debate), but they are currently taking episode suggestions.
I’m going to be a Thanksgiving “orphan” this year due to scheduling conflicts, but if I can’t spend Turkey Day with the family, spending it with Joel, Mike and the bots will do just fine. Head on over to the official site for more details. MOVIE SIGN!
Most of us don’t associate Thanksgiving as a time for cartoons like we do for Christmas and Halloween. But when I was a kid way back in the 70s, anytime a cartoon special was offered, I was right in front of the 26 inch Zenith color console waiting to devour it. Now I’m sure a lot of you are familiar with “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” and “A Garfield Thanksgiving”, but some other ones I remember fondly were Daffy Duck’s Thanks for Giving Special in which Daffy decides everyone should be thanking him for all the entertainment he provides and 1972’s “The Thanksgiving that almost wasn’t”. A Hanna Barbera cartoon about the first Thanksgiving as told by a father squirrel to his son. I really wanted to share Daffy’s Thanks for Giving Special but could not find any online video for it. So, thanks to Youtube user comicbookking we can watch The Thanksgiving that almost wasn’t.
Don’t get me wrong, I prefer watching the Charlie Brown and Garfield Thanksgiving cartoons but this one brings back some great memories of waking up early on Thanksgiving morning to watch the parades and later this cartoon.