Showing posts with label Thanksgiving. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Thanksgiving. Show all posts

Thanksgiving on Frasier

Monday, November 21, 2022

As we discovered in the "Halloween on Frasier" feature, the series didn't focus much on holidays.  That should come as no surprise, as Frasier wasn't your everyday sitcom that featured an "average working-class American family" like Full House or Home Improvement.  


Thanksgiving is a time when most sitcoms highlight family and togetherness.  Where most families celebrate with a large family dinner complete with all of the trimmings, jokes, laughter, and family squabbles, the idea of that is almost the antithesis of Frasier.  As a series, Frasier focused more on the absurdity of life's finer things while still portraying the differences among family members.  While Frasier (the character), living with his father and being best friends with his brother, certainly loved his family, the show Frasier often focused on the affluent urban life of parties, dinners, and private clubs.  Compared to shows like Roseanne that featured the "everyday" aspects of a typical suburban middle-America family, a sitcom show like Frasier is often not considered in the same category.  

This was always sort of funny to me.  While Frasier may have been a bit "elitist," at its heart, the entire family was, deep down, all blue-collar folk attempting to fit in as best they could with the upper class of Seattle.  Martin was as down to earth as you can get, being a retired policeman who would rather spend his time at Duke's, his favorite dive bar.  Pair that with Frasier and Niles trying to weasel their way into elite social circles while still acting like buffoons puts them in everyday familiar sitcom family territory, in my opinion.  

Frasier may not have gone all out for Thanksgiving like Roseanne did every season, but they touched on the holiday twice during eleven seasons.  Like Halloween, Thanksgiving served as more of a backdrop for each episode than the central focus.  It also took the series four years to mention the holiday and another three before mentioning it again. 

Continuing the "Holidays on Frasier" series, we'll look back and see how they briefly touched on the Thanksgiving season.  I must admit that, much like Halloween, one episode stood out to me even before considering Frasier for this year's series.  I strongly remember watching one of the two Thanksgiving episodes with my parents when it first aired.  I'm not exactly sure why; perhaps it was one of the first times I remember seeing Lilith, Frasier's ex-wife, or maybe it was another "travel" episode as the cast left Seattle and headed east for Boston.  I also can remember the roaring laughter from my entire family as Niles attempts to prepare the Thanksgiving meal.  For whatever reason, this episode is so memorable that I can still picture where I was seated in my parent's living room as we watched this episode, and I'm happy to cover it here.  

Get ready for some eloquent, upper-crust, loving family dysfunction as we look back at "Thanksgiving on Frasier!"

Retro RePost: John Madden and Turducken

Friday, November 18, 2022

Piggybacking on my last post on the NFL on Thanksgiving Day, I figured another football-related post was in order.  I spent a lot of time trying to tie piggybacking to pig skin, but I couldn't come up with one, so if you think of one, leave it in the comments below.

One of the things I frequently remember from turkey-day games of the past was big John Madden and his favorite dish, the "Turducken."  


I've always wanted to try one, and I promise someday I will.  

No idea what Turducken is?  Well, you're not alone.  I wrote a short piece about the fried fowl a few years back, so click below to read all about it!



Retro RePost: How Football on Thanksgiving Became a "Thing"

Monday, November 14, 2022

Growing up, I was always playing sports.  My Brother and I were frequently outside playing street hockey with the neighbor, Wiffle ball, or other made-up games we used to create to entertain ourselves with a tennis ball.  Ice hockey was always my favorite, though.  

I was never an avid football fan, but I always liked turning it on on a lazy Sunday afternoon.  I remember Dad would usually turn on the New York Giants game in the afternoon after Church with his feet up in the easy chair.  

As a kid in the second grade, I remember having to pretend that I was a big football fan to fit in with my friends as they excitedly talked about "the big game" on Thanksgiving Day.  Honestly, I doubt we even had it on in our house that year, but I played along as best I could when we returned to school after the holiday break.  


I'm sure they knew I didn't watch any of it, but they were nice enough not to call me out on pretending to be a football fan... like they did when Starter jackets were trendy; my Mom bought me a Cincinnati Bengals jacket.  Everyone else had the Rangers, Giants, or Yankees (the local teams), and I didn't even know they were a team or even what sport they played, but I loved the bright orange and black colors.

I didn't even know what a Bengal was until much later in life.  Oh well.  It was a cool-looking coat, and eventually, I got my Rangers Starter Jacket years later.

While I've never been that big of a football fan, my high school was always pretty good at it.  Nothing like high school football in Texas, but we were good for New York.  I didn't play, of course, but during my Senior Year, I had several good friends on the team, and I went to watch them play most of the season.  It made me get into football for a few months, along with the "Raider Pride" school spirit.

One of the most memorable times that year was when my Dad and I drove upstate a few hours to watch them in the third round of the playoffs.  I don't exactly remember how the game ended, but I'm pretty sure it was a losing effort that finished the season on a low point.  

But, the memory of my Dad and I driving home together down the New York Thruway late at night after the game is one I think about while I look up at the stars at night when I'm driving or flying. 

I don't follow pro football very closely, but many people I work with do.  So, I follow along by reading headlines and final scores to know enough to keep the conversations going.  

A few years ago, I wondered why football is even played on Thanksgiving anyway?  And why does it always seem like the same handful of teams play every year?


By the way, this year (2022), you can watch the Buffalo Bills take on the Detroit Lions on CBS at 12:30PM Eastern.  The New York Giants play rival Dallas Cowboys on FOX at 4:30PM, and at 8:20PM, the New England Patriots will face off with the Minnesota Vikings on NBC. 

Retro RePost: When Macy's Thanksgiving Parade Doesn't Go As Planned

Friday, November 11, 2022

As a kid, I loved the Thanksgiving Day Parade.  Every Thanksgiving morning would start with the excitement a holiday typically does.  I'd entertain myself by playing with my action figures and then sit down to watch the parade while the house started to fill with the smells of Thanksgiving dinner.  Or, more likely, I would wander back and forth from our house to Granny and Gramp's and watch the parade from both homes because it was surely on television in both places, and, as a curious (nosey) kid, I wanted to see what everyone was up to.  

Then, it'd be time for Laurel and Hardy's March of the Wooden Soldiers right before the meal.  Occasionally my Dad would put on football after, but I honestly don't remember much turkey-day football in our house. 

Every year, I tell my wife that I will get back into watching Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.  It never happens, though.  Inevitably, something comes along, and I get sidetracked.  Before I can get back to it, the parade is over, and we're all on to the next thing. 

I have never enjoyed the big song and dance numbers that they intersperse between watching the giant balloons, so I also tend to lose interest quickly, especially now that I'm old enough to not have a clue who 90% of the musical acts are.  

Last year, however, I successfully sat and watched at least an hour of the parade, and maybe this year, I'll get to watch more than an hour!  I look forward to sharing some of the excitement of the balloons and other holiday festivities with our daughter as she grows.  Hopefully, she gets as big of a kick out of the balloons as I did as a kid.


Sometimes, just like my hope of watching the big event, the parade doesn't always go as planned.  One of the last times I remember watching the parade in full was that fateful year, 1997, when there were enough disasters (and injuries!) that the whole shebang changed.  

In today's Retro RePost, I'd like to provide the opportunity to go back and read my 2019 feature titled When the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Doesn't Go As Planned by clicking HERE!

You may even learn some history of the parade that began in 1924, like when a balloon almost took down a small plane.  Go ahead and read it for more!  

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving on Roseanne

Friday, November 19, 2021

The holiday season was often a significant event on the classic sitcom "Roseanne."  Roseanne is probably best known for their annual Halloween celebration, but Thanksgiving was highlighted in most seasons since family and togetherness are very important to the real-life Roseanne.  Most years, the Conner family celebrated Thanksgiving in a big way with a large family dinner complete with all the trimmings, jokes, laughter, and some family squabbles, too!   


When we looked back at Halloween on Roseanne last month, we discovered that the holiday was emphasized more than others in some years.  Thanksgiving is no different during the 9 season run of the series, but as we found with Halloween, the first season of "Roseanne" didn't cover Thanksgiving at all as the series was only 4 episodes old at that point.  Interestingly, "Roseanne" was on an every-other-season schedule celebrating Thanksgiving until season 6, when each of the remaining seasons enjoyed using the holiday as a backdrop to an episode.    


Watching the Thanksgiving episodes over for this article, I noticed some fun trends, routines, or traditions that seemed like something that would happen in any family in America.  Jackie would always be the one to bring the groceries over early in the morning while Roseanne would cook.  Dan and the men watched football after playing in their own annual football game.  Each year, new faces would be around the table, while as the kids grew, some familiar faces began to disappear into their own families and traditions.  Roseanne's mother got on her last nerve every year while using the holiday as a way to "spill the beans" about something from her past.  


In continuing my "Holidays on Roseanne" series, we'll take a look back and see how they touched on Thanksgiving each season.  So, get ready for some dysfunctional yet loving family fun as we look back on "Thanksgiving on Roseanne!"   

Retro RePost: How Football on Thanksgiving Became a "Thing"

Friday, November 12, 2021

The leaves are falling, the temperature has dropped, and we've already set our clocks back an hour.  It's definitely Autumn.  This time of year brings certain things to mind for all of us.  For myself, I'm reminded of the times I spent outdoors in cooler weather and family visiting for Thanksgiving.  I'm also reminded of my high school hockey team and how it had gotten into full swing by this time of year.  Of course, Thanksgiving also reminds me of football.  

I've never been that big of a football fan, but my high school was always pretty good at it.  Nothing like high school football in Texas, but we were pretty darn good for New York.  I didn't play, but during my Senior Year of high school, I had several good friends on the team, and I went to watch them play a few times.  One of the most memorable times during that year was when my Dad and I drove a few hours upstate to watch them in the third round of the playoffs.  I don't exactly remember how the game ended up, but if I had to guess it was a losing effort.  But, the memory of my Dad and I driving down the New York Thruway late at night after the game is one I often think about while driving or flying at night as I look up at the stars.

Thanksgiving 2021 Streaming Guide

Sunday, November 7, 2021

Before you know it, the holidays will be here! We've been using these cute cartoon turkey paper plates and napkins we found at Walmart, and our Thanksgiving decorations have been scattered about the house for a week now.  With the temperatures in New York dipping into the 40s, it's starting to feel like Thanksgiving!  

That means it's also time to watch some of our favorite Thanksgiving movies!  While most Turkey Day movies are often pushed aside by the Christmas set of films, there are still plenty of enjoyable movies for those of us who wait until after Thanksgiving to move on to Christmas.  


Like many holiday movies, most of the Thanksgiving movies you'll find have just one scene set at the Thanksgiving dinner table or just barely mention the holiday.  What my wife and I consider to be the true Thanksgiving films requires the plot to be based around Thanksgiving or at the very least focus on people traveling home to their family for Thanksgiving.  

So, if you're ready for some turkey, mashed potatoes, and gravy along with the fellowship of friends and family, be thankful for these films to help you get into the mood for the Thanksgiving holiday!  

Click ahead for the list!

Thanksgiving on Home Improvement

Friday, November 20, 2020

The holiday season was often an important event on "Home Improvement." Halloween and Christmas were the most significant holidays on the show. However, Tim Taylor made sure Thanksgiving was a giant feast and time to connect with friends and family. Tim and the Taylor family and their friends celebrated the Thanksgiving holiday, often in a big way, every year. 


When we looked back at Halloween on Home Improvement last month, we discovered that they emphasized the holiday some years more than others. Thanksgiving is no different during the 8 season run of the series. Some years, like Season Seven, Thanksgiving was the central focus of the episode. Others, like Season Eight, there was barely a passing mention and served only as a backdrop to the story.  



In continuing my "Holidays on Home Improvement" series, we'll take a look back and see how they touched on Thanksgiving each season.


Get ready to deep fry that turkey because here comes "Thanksgiving on Home Improvement!"

Christmas Classics TV Schedule for 2020

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Haul out the holly! Put out the tree before my spirit falls again... it's time for Christmas television! Of course, you have the Hallmark and Lifetime channels with nonstop 24/7 Christmas... but what about the other Christmas classics?  


Well, here is a list of what I consider the best of the best. Obviously, this schedule is subject to change, but as of writing, here it is!


The YesterYear Retro Christmas Classics TV Schedule for 2020!


Items Of Note

 

"A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving" will NOT air on television this year but will be FREE on Apple TV from November 25th through November 27th. The same goes for "A Charlie Brown Christmas," which will be available FREE on Apple TV from December 11th through December 13th.


FreeForms "25 Days of Christmas" begins on December 1st!


"A White Christmas" starring Bing Crosby and Danny Faye will air late at night at 2:30 AM on AMC on the night of December 3rd or the morning of December 4th, depending on how you look at it. The actual date is December 4th at 2:30 AM.


"The Wizard of Oz" airs on TBS on Sunday, November 22nd, at 8 PM and 10 PM.


"It's a Wonderful Life" airs on Christmas Eve on NBC at 8 PM.


"A Christmas Story" marathon returns to both TBS *AND* TNT this year! It begins at 8 PM on TBS and 9 PM on TNT on Christmas Eve. Final showings air on Ch4at 6 PM on Christmas Day on TBS and 7 PM on TNT.

Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Pop culture website "Thrillest" posted the following map on Twitter yesterday, showing what they've discovered to be the most popular side dishes for Thanksgiving dinners around the country.


At first glance, I noticed Alaska knows what's good. Hashbrown casserole. Oh yes, pass that my way, please.

  

Maine is an outlier, the only one on the map that prefers a "side salad." Honestly, I'd be ok with it compared to the sweet potato casserole of Florida or the Green Bean casserole in several other states. 


I also cannot believe that Arkansas considers "white gravy" a side dish and not a condiment... 


Here in New York, the preferred dish is stuffing. Yes, we certainly haves stuffing for our meal every year. I noticed down south they have "dressing," which is what most of what my family calls stuffing.  


So, I looked up the difference. It's mostly a regional difference, but technically, there is a difference. Stuffing is literally cooked while "stuffed" inside the turkey, and the dressing is cooked up all alone in its own dish. Who knew?  


Personally, I'd have to say Utah, Oklahoma, Missouri, and West Virginia are right. The Kings Hawaiian rolls we have for dinner every year are my favorite.  


What say you?


Was that the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade in Christmas Vacation?

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Everyone knows National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation.  Everyone who reads this blog knows it's my favorite Christmas movie of all time.  But did you know there is a bit of an online controversy surrounding a short 5 second scene halfway through the film?


About mid way through the movie there is a scene where the Grandmothers are watching a parade and decorating a gingerbread house while the Grandfathers take a nap in the living room.  The argument online is whether they are watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade or not.

So today, I thought I'd settle the score once and for all.

Black Friday Top Toys of the 80's and 90's

Friday, November 29, 2019

Today, the day after Thanksgiving, is widely known as "Black Friday."  This annual shopping day has earned it's colorful nickname because it represents the time of year when most retailers turn a profit and the accounting books move from "the red" to "the black."  Back in the day, shoppers would wake up at the crack of dawn for early doorbuster sales.  I remember as a kid when it was a big deal that stores would open at 4am.  As the years went on the stores opened earlier and earlier and now today we have people skipping out on Thanksgiving dinner as they head out in search of deep discounts, hard to find gifts, and credit card debt.  Of course, as most of us know, as the internet became more prevalent, this tradition of yesteryear has expanded into Cyber Monday and now we are at the point in 2019 that some companies began running "Black Friday" deals on November 1st.


Even though the tradition is not as fun as it once was, one thing has always been a big seller on Black Friday:  Toys.  People buy toys on Black Friday.  Hard to find, limited quantity, and high priced... it didn't matter.  Even before "going viral" was a thing, parents would literally get into fist fights to ensure that little Johnny had the hot toy for that year under the Christmas Tree.  Here's a look back at the top toys of the 80's and 90's that drove parents crazy!

Holiday Memories of YesterYear: Thanksgiving

Wednesday, November 27, 2019


Welcome to the second post in a series of rambling stream-of-conscious articles related to holiday memories of the past.  With Thanksgiving just days away, I sat down to reflect upon Thanksgivings of yesteryear.  I hope you enjoy this as much as I did.  It's cathartic in a way to go back and put this down in writing and hopefully it jogs your memory of some fun or heartfelt moments of your own.

When the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Doesn't Go As Planned

Monday, November 25, 2019

Very few things can get millions of Americans to tune in to the same television channel at the same time anymore.  The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is still one of those things.  In my household, it's always playing in the background on Thanksgiving morning but the marching bands, lip synching, and Broadway dancing just aren't something we have interest in watching.  The larger than life balloons, however, are a favorite and still draw everyone's attention at my house.



Since 1924, the Thanksgiving Day Parade (originally the Macy's Christmas Parade) has entertained hundreds of millions.  Originally the parade featured employees in costumes and animals from the Central Park Zoo, including tigers and elephants.  In 1927, the game changed when Felix the Cat became the first iconic giant balloon.

5 Things I miss about Thanksgiving in the 90s

Friday, November 22, 2019

I've been reflecting a lot lately on my own childhood; both for this blog and the impending arrival of my own first child wondering what memories she'll have.  At the risk of sounding like a Buzzfeed clickbait listicle, I've decided to do a Top 5 list of things I miss about Thanksgiving from the 1990's.  I was born in 1984, a bit too late to have clear memories of the 80's but I definitely remember the holidays of the 1990's.


So, without further ado, here are my Top 5 Things I Miss About Thanksgiving's of the 90's:

John Madden and Turducken

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

"It's a turkey... Stuffed with a duck... Stuffed with a chicken!  Then you throw it in a deep fryer.  Out comes Turducken!"  - NFL Hall of Famer, John Madden

One of my favorite memories of Thanksgiving football in years gone by was legendary NFL announcer John Madden's annual proclamation of his love for the fried goodness of Turducken.


I begged my parents for it year after year and actually to this day have never actually had Turducken on Thanksgiving day.  You may have never heard of Turkducken and thought "What is it?" or "Where did this thing ever come from?"

Garfield's Thanksgiving

Monday, November 18, 2019

As a young child my family would make the annual trek from our home just north of New York City to Syracuse to visit my Aunt and Uncle and their large family of 7 children.  I remember not really enjoying the long drive, the cold weather, and the loud crowd of nearly 50 people (most of whom I didn't even know) at Thanksgiving Dinner.  We stopped making the trip when I was 7 or 8 and to be honest I was so young I don't remember much about the trips we did make... but I do remember one important event.  On our last trip one of my many cousins allowed me to take home a book I had picked up from his bedroom to read while the adults talked.


It was Garfield's Thanksgiving.

Pro Wrestling on Thanksgiving: Starrcade vs Survivor Series

Friday, November 15, 2019

When one thinks of Thanksgiving most people think of pumpkin pie, turkey, football, or maybe even parade balloons.  As unlikely as it seems, though, to me pro wrestling and Thanksgiving go together like mashed potatoes and gravy.

Pro wrestling has deep traditions tied to Thanksgiving, going back to the territory days of yesteryear. Mid-South Wrestling frequently held Thanksgiving events in the SuperDome in New Orleans during the territory glory years.  The big two major promotions we all know, WWF and WCW, also have historical ties to the holiday as well.

How Football on Thanksgiving Became a "Thing"

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Ask anyone to name three of their favorite things about Thanksgiving and I guarantee that most would include watching football.  Alongside stuffing ourselves full of turkey and sweet potatoes watching the NFL on Thanksgiving has become a cultural tradition that nearly all Americans share.


I've often wondered how this actually came to be and why it seems like the same teams always play on Thanksgiving.  If you've ever wondered this yourself, don't worry... I've done the research for you!

Survivor Series 1989 Review

Monday, November 11, 2019

Depending on which side of the isle you sit on in the WWF vs WCW war, the history behind the WWF Pay-Per-View event "Survivor Series" is either considered a dirty trick or just another step in Vince McMahon's plan for domination.  WWF's rival promotion National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) had run a major event called Starrcade on Thanksgiving for nearly a decade before Vince McMahon decided to create Survivor Series.  Vince placed Survivor Series on Thanksgiving Day to compete directly against Starrcade and given the all around success of his major gamble on Wrestlemania, McMahon held all the cards against the cable providers and demanded they decide to either carry his show... or else.  All but a handful of providers chose Survivor Series and the very next year Starrcade was forced to move to December, ending the very quick "Thanksgiving Day War."


As a WCW/NWA fan I've always considered Starrcade a Thanksgiving show, even though it took place in December longer than it occurred on Thanksgiving, but WWF's Survivor Series is the true Thanksgiving show.  From 1987 to 1990, the show took place on Thanksgiving Day.  From 1991 to 1994, the WWF moved it to Thanksgiving Eve before being moved in 1995 to the Sunday before Thanksgiving.