Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy (sitcom) Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving. I look forward to the holiday, never writing about it. Every sitcom I’ve ever worked on, we’ve had the obligatory Thanksgiving episode. How many variations can you have on the big family dinner going awry? I think I’ve written the “turkey gets burned”, “relatives clash”, “nutty friends invited”, “can’t find a restaurant”, “kids break something”, “Guess who’s Coming to Dinner variation, “Meet the Parents variation”,“football gambler loses big”, “tofu turkey substitute”, “someone accidentally gets dragged seven blocks by the Mr. Potato Head balloon”, “mom’s a terrible cook”, “relative accidentally not invited”, “someone is allergic to something in the stuffing and has a funny seizure”, “power outage”, “thawing frozen turkey last minute”, “food fight”, and “the pilgrim re-enactment” episode fifteen times.

Hopefully, none of these things will happen to you this turkey day. And if they do, at least you’ll have your BLACKISH spec script halfway written.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Thanks for reading this blog.

19 comments:

B.A. said...

Hey, tofu turkey substitute was the star of a great EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND scene! "Kinda starts out with an aftertaste."

LouOCNY said...

Happy Thanksgiving Ken! The only one that matters is WKRP...

Ralph C. said...

Happy Gobbl-ing Up Massive Amounts Of Food Day to everyone! (GUMAoFD to everyone!!)

Peter said...

Hey Ken

I listened to the "How Did This Get Made?" minisode from July in which Stewart Raffill talks about Mannequin 2. It's later mentioned that they're gonna talk to you the following week about the movie but I can't find it on their website. Did your interview take place?

VP81955 said...

One more reason this writer is happy to focus on features.

KoHoSo said...

But, most of all, may nobody in a helicopter drop 20 live turkeys on your head.

Barefoot Billy Aloha said...



So this morning, my European talent agent sends over a script for an awards show and the deadline is tonight. Then, I get a note from them apologizing for not being aware that this is an American holiday. My response:

"Yes, this is a national celebration and we will have a house full of relatives. And yes, I will record it for you today...because we have a houseful of relatives."

:)

Happy Thanksgiving to all.

YEKIMI said...

What? No lonely person sitting alone watching a crappy local parade on TV while eating a Swanson's turkey TV dinner?

blinky said...

Big family Thanksgiving gathering. Women cook all day, men watch football, not helping at all. Dinner is finally ready and wife serves husband her special dressing. Husband take one bite, spits it out and says: This tastes like gasoline. Wife in rage gets up, goes to the bedroom and slams the door. We all sit in stunned silence until finally our cousin says: SO, how about those 49ers?
That was 20 years ago and we tell the story every Thanksgiving and laugh.

RyderDA said...

That's why you get paid the big bucks: to endlessly come up with an infinite number of creatively plausible but totally ridiculous variations on the exact same themes decade in and out. And I'm betting you could do it for 100 years. This year, I'm giving thanks for your wonderful writing. And I'm Canadian. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

sanford said...

You could write the same piece for Christmas shows. Why do networks think it is necessary to do these types of shows.

ScarletNumer said...

PROGRAMMING ALERT

At 8:30 Eastern, FXX will be broadcasting Dancin' Homer.

peterj said...

A Canadian tradition for (last month's) Thanksgiving is a take on "thawing frozen turkey last minute", but hilarious nevertheless: Dave Cooks the Turkey. There's even a sequel of sorts: Dinner at Tommy's.

Mike said...

The children enter the kitchen to find their mother waterboarding the turkey. Is she attempting to learn the location of the stuffing or is she practicing for when the children are older?

Doug G. said...

Even if you don't like writing holiday episodes, I still say "Frasier" never skipped a beat on the holidays. The writing was so good there was even an episode for February 29th ("Take A Leap").

Stephanie said...

I agree.

Ted said...

The fresh turkey the characters have won / purchased sight unseen / have been promised by a guest turns out to be a live turkey. I think I've seen this story line dozens of times, most recently on "Brooklyn 9-9." Some Hollywood turkey wrangler must get lots of work this time of year.

Covarr said...

The WKRP IN CINCINNATI thanksgiving episode was amazing, but it's also one of the most frustrating episodes of TV to me, period. Not by any fault of its own, but because it seems to be the only episode of that show anybody remembers.

It's a pity, because WKRP IN CINCINNATI is an excellent show all around, yet it's largely ignored. I understand this is mostly because of music licensing issues, similar to THE DREW CAREY SHOW, but it doesn't make it any less frustrating.

Clay said...


My mother always told a story of that Canadian Thanksgiving Day dinner when her grandmother brought out the turkey and her grandfather started to carve and passing along plates before finally tasting a piece and saying it was undercooked and on picking up gigantic turkey platter tossed it with 20+ pound bird out what was a previously open dining room window on a particularly mild Sunday but one of those seated at that end of table had just closed window a minute before ... This was around 1920 when enormous glass windows were extremely expensive so this was mentioned almost endlessly for my entire lifetime until my mother died when I was 52 ... By the way, |I have that 5 pound turkey platter which with 12 varieties of turkey bird plates is worth a few thousand dollars so at last it was not smashed way back when.