Tuesday, November 25, 2008

As turkey day approaches

General Thanksgiving musings:

The Macy’s Day parade is fun to watch only when it’s raining, snowing, windy, or five degrees. Otherwise, what’s entertaining about Al Roker interviewing second bananas from the NBC “hit” comedy, KATH AND KIM, a production number from HAIRSPRAY (probably now starring Shaquille O’Neill), guys on unicycles, marching bands performing Sondheim, Wal-Mart 5 A.M Sale commercials, the Hello Kitty balloon, and the phrase “for children of all ages”? And now, even when there IS a balloon accident they make no mention of it.

Meanwhile, the Hollywood Santa Claus Lane Parade, once a proud LA tradition, is now pathetic. And it’s not even because it’s no longer safe to go to Hollywood at night. It'll be this Sunday night, unless it's canceled. Gone are the days when TV stars like Lucy and Jack Benny would be in the parade. Now they don’t even get Gypsy Boots, lasso expert Monty Montana, and Iron Eyes Cody hawking his new line of jewelry. Today it’s the disc jockeys from KTNQ and maybe Santa Claus if they can pour him out of the Frolic Room.

Oh God, holiday music begins. The only Christmas songs I like are “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” by Linda Eder and the Chipmunk Song.

And then there are the Christmas themed episodes on sitcoms. These stories all ran out in 1957. What to buy? I forgot to get a present for X. Oh no, I have to work, etc. All episodes end in a living room in front of a roaring fire or at the homeless shelter. And everyone learns a lesson they should have already known since they were five.

Since they always SAY the day after Thanksgiving is the worst shopping day of the year, with the biggest lines, why do people go????

Worst Thanksgiving songs: "The Turkey Trot" by Little Eva and "Turkey Lurky" from PROMISES PROMISES (the absolute nadir of the Bacharach-David songbook).

This is the one week a year when those idiots who never take down their Christmas lights are the smart ones.

Drive, fly, and eat carefully.

40 comments:

Anonymous said...

The lasso expert was Monty Montana....not Monty Montgomery

and the greatest moment of the old parade was when silent film star Frances X. Bushman would be driven down the street barely sentient.

steve

PS have a great thnaksgiving

Roger Owen Green said...

Dominick the Donkey - toxic.

Bob Summers said...

In case nobody has caught on or noticed:

NBC carries the Macy's parade, but if you flip it over to CBS, it's the exact same parade, only without using the Macy's name.

Paul Duca said...

Holiday music 24/7 began on three radio stations in the Boston/Providence area on the 6th (and at Wal-Mart the day after Halloween).

And Bob....I miss the good old days when CBS aired several parades--the Philadelphia Gimbles', Hudson's in Detroit, Eaton's out of Toronto, and even the Aloha Floral Parade from Honolulu (I think you can guess the celebrity commentator on THAT one).

Not to mention the day after, when they showed the cartoons you usually only saw on Saturday.

Tallulah Morehead said...

"Now they don’t even get Gypsy Boots, lasso expert Monty Montana, and Iron Eyes Cody hawking his new line of jewelry."

Well Gypsy, Monty, and Iron are all dead; would you really WANT them in the parade anymore? They'd only depress people, while the live spectators would find the smell a turn-off.

Cheers darlings
Poor old Iron Eyes. I was the first person to make him cry, back when we filmed JOHNNY HORNDOG together at Universal. The Man was a waterworks. Made him blind for a while, when his Iron Eyes rusted shut.

Jayne said...

Driving to work this morning, the morning jocks were discussing the best Thanksgiving based TV episodes.

Naturally, WKRP's Turkey's Away was listed at #1 but also near the top were Cheers-Thanksgiving Orphans and what I consider to be the funniest entire episode of TV in the history of TV The Bob Newhart Show-Over the River and Through the Woods!

How fortunate that I have all three of those shows on DVD and I'll be able to watch them tomorrow.

Also, I've been assimilated: I've been listening to Christmas music on the radio since October 31!

rms said...

As we head into Xmas, it's time for me to dig out my favorite Xmas movies: The Ice Harvest, A Christmas Story, and my all time favorite, the unrated version of Bad Santa.

It's the only way I can survive this season without stabbing someone in the eye.

So, is this still a porn blog? I live such a sheltered life.

SharoneRosen said...

TURKEY LURKEY!!!
One of the worst musical theatre songs ever!

My Temple choir sings a Doo-Wap version of I Have a Little Dreidle every year... no... really... my fault. I make them do it...

Favorite Christmas song is Silver Bells... hours of fun to be had when you sing it with a lateral lisp.

Eric Curtis said...

One of my favorite radio stations flipped over to Christmas music 24/7 recently. That' probably means one of my favorite radio stations won't be on the air much longer.

Has anyone else noticed the Black Friday ads stink this year? I'm just picking up a couple of DVDs online.

I've got a friend who is planning on going to Best Buy Friday dressed in tan pants and a blue shirt thinking he'll be able to cut to the front the line. If he pulls it off, it'll be brilliant, but I think he's going to get the crap beat out of him by some soccer moms. Either way, it's going to be funny.

Happy Thanksgiving all!

Joe said...

Wait.

How can you tell when something's the nadir of the Bacharach/David songbook?

I mean I can't, and I doubt anyone can without an advanced degree in purely theoretical mathematics.

Jaime J. Weinman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jaime J. Weinman said...

I can't defend "Turkey Lurkey time" as a song, but Michael Bennett's choreography of the number was one of the best parts of that show. (It really put Bennett on the map as a choreographer, along with his favorite dancers, and led to his more famous work with Sondheim/Prince and A Chorus Line.)

Joe said...

P.S. My fave Thanksgiving Day episode was from Bob Newharts shot-lived "Bob" where his comic book superhero character (Mad Dog) has a balloon in the Federated Stores (OK, Macy's) Thanksgiving Day parade and it flies off and they chase it by car.

The series kinda sucked and Bob Newhart and a lot of other people were HORRIBLY wasted on it, but I love that episode.

Joe said...

P.P.S. So I can't type. Sue me.

Rick W. said...

Sounds like someone needs a little shot of holiday spirit! If you come home some night soon and the face of David Isaacs is on your door knocker ... don't say I didn't warn you!

Rick

Griff said...

I hold no brief for "Turkey Lurkey Time," but the true nadir of the Bacharach/David canon was the score for the musical version of LOST HORIZON.

jbryant said...

Well, I love most everything Bacharach/David did with Dionne Warwick and Gene Pitney, as well as Bacharach's album with Elvis Costello. I find it quite easy to forgive their duds (especially since I've never heard Turkey Lurky or the Lost Horizon soundtrack).

gottacook said...

I too have mercifully been spared seeing LOST HORIZON, although I do recall the Mad magazine version, "Least Horizon." Also, the Fifth Dimension did get radio play for their version of "Living Together, Growing Together."

Small wonder that Bacharach and David split up after this movie. I have great affection, however, for many of their Warwick songs - very inventive both metrically and in terms of harmonic rhythm and melody.

Klamath Blog Face said...

I choose to rock out to Skynards Free Bird down at the homeless shelter,

Paul said...

Hollywood isn't safe to visit at night? You realize it's no longer the 1990s, right? Hollywood's been safe for years.

charlotte said...

Question:
(completely unrelated to Thanksgiving or parades or Burt Bacharach):

I just finally got around to watching the Bob Saget roast. (Freakin' hilarious, BTW. Which I'd heard it was, but never would have thought. I mean, Bob Saget? Seriously?? But anyway...)

Obviously each of the stand-up comedians who stood up and said something comedic wrote their own material, including Bob Saget's own bit at the end. And just as obviously, non-stand-up-comic host John Stamos' material was written for him by someone else. My question is about Cloris Leachman's set. Unlike all the other speakers (not including host Stamos), Ms. Leachman, while a hysterically funny performer, is not a stand-up, so presumably did not write her own material. (Which was absolutely brilliant.) So who did? And who decides who does write something like that? Her? The show's producers? The non-performing writer(s) who got the gig writing the host's lines?

Always been curious how the writing work is broken up on shows like this where some (most) of the performers involved are also writers (but only for themselves) while some are not.

Cap'n Bob Napier said...

Favorite Xmas song is "O Holy Night," which is something of an accomplishment considering I'm an agnostic. When done right, however, it's a great piece of music.

Iron Eyes Cody wasn't even an Indian. He was Italian or Sicilian, depending on which source you believe. Funny thing is, he made a better living playing an Indian than most real Indians did. And while I'm on the subject, Jay Silverheels, who was a real Indian, was born Frank Smith. What has all this to do with Thankgiving? Well, you know, the Indians were there for the first one.

Alaskaray said...

>>Tallulah Morehead said...
Well Gypsy, Monty, and Iron are all dead; would you really WANT them in the parade anymore? They'd only depress people, while the live spectators would find the smell a turn-off.<<

I'm not so sure those would be problems. Have you been to Hollywood recently, Tallulah?

Alaskaray said...

>>Tallulah Morehead said...
Well Gypsy, Monty, and Iron are all dead; would you really WANT them in the parade anymore? They'd only depress people, while the live spectators would find the smell a turn-off.<<

I'm not so sure those would be problems. Have you been to Hollywood recently, Tallulah?

The Kenosha Kid said...

There's a fun version of Turkey Lurkey Time in the theater-geek movie "Camp." Worth a look.

Write Away said...

Favorite Christmas song: The Pogues' "Fairytale of New York." Sample lyric:

"You're a bum
You're a punk
You're an old slut on junk
Lying there almost dead on drip
In that bed

You scum bag
You maggot
You cheap lousy f****
Happy Christmas your arse
I pray God
It's our last"

Sums it up pretty good sometimes. Okay, that's not fair, some Christmas songs aren't all that bad. "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas", sung right, can bring a tear to the eye.

Baayork Wong said...

www.youtube.com/watch?v=H4u70p_SSi0

You must see Seth Rudetsky's commentary on "Turkey Lurkey." Hilarious.

On an unrelated topic WTF was the Rosie O'Donnel variety show? It just looked very bad, even after a minute. As if you had a whole show of people spouting "patter" written for award shows....

Tallulah Morehead said...

"Alaskaray said...
I'm not so sure those would be problems. Have you been to Hollywood recently, Tallulah?"

First off, I heard you the first time. It wasn't necessary to ask twice. My eyes aren't deaf you know.

Secondly, "Been to Hollywood lately?" Darling, I AM Hollywood!

Cheers

Nat G said...

For Christmas episode, I gotta give a nod to The Famous Teddy Z. Yeah, they did the A Christmas Carol thing... but they built it around a Hollywood agent Al Floss, a Jewish character. Just inherently funny.

(Overall, a fine series which only ran for a short while, had episodes that didn't air during its network run but showed up on cable later, and is probably about due for a rerun somewhere by dint of star Jon Cryer's more recent sitcom success.)

Joe said...

Tallulah,

I think you were meant to read those comments with 3D eyewear.

-J.

Dave said...

I recently found out that a guy I know and have done shows with is Gypsy Boots's son. You could have knocked me over with a feather when I was told, since Alex is the most normal, straight-laced guy I know. Maybe it was his idea of rebellion.

Every time I've seen him since, it just doesn't compute.

Tallulah Morehead said...

"Joe said...
Tallulah,

I think you were meant to read those comments with 3D eyewear.

-J."

But I'd have to be lying on my side on the floor. How fortunate that I usually am, except when lying on my back.

Saint Russell said...

Dude. I love your blog, but.. MACY'S DAY??

Joe said...

Tallulah,

Fret not, perhaps Santa Claus will bring you gravity boots this year, and you'll have all the geometric variations covered.

Tallulah Morehead said...

"Joe said...
Tallulah,
Fret not, perhaps Santa Claus will bring you gravity boots"

GRAVITY BOOTS! That's how it's spelled! I made a typo in my letter to Santa last yuletide, and have spent a year hanging upside down with my feet in gravy boats!

And all I really want is a Yule Log. No wait. Yul Brynner is dead. Well than any man's log.

Cheers darling.

Dean said...

You forgot to mention the interview with the guys from the "hit show" Knight Rider.

AlaskaRay said...

Tallulah Morehead said...
First off, I heard you the first time. It wasn't necessary to ask twice. My eyes aren't deaf you know.

Sorry. Don't you know it's not PC to make fun of someone who stutters.

Ray

Tallulah Morehead said...

The day I turn PC, just start shoveling on the dirt, because I'll be d-d-d-d-dead.

Th-th-th-th-that's all folks!

Cheers.

Pamela Jaye said...

..

Pamela Jaye said...

Compusa was selling a 1 terabyte Seagate hard drive for $99.99 on Friday, so my roomie got up at whatever am and went and bought one.

I went to newegg.com the night before. mine will be here tomorrow. (I think mine was cheaper - he had to pay tax. plus, I got to sleep till 10 and not have to sit in traffic behind that big accident (or, with my luck *be* that big accident))