Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Happy Thanks-For-Giving on Thanksgiving! (Part 1) :)

I know, I know!  It's called Thanksgiving, but the play on words is a nod to the rarely-seen TV Special, Daffy Duck's Thanks-For-Giving Special, which was produced and directed by Chuck Jones. The reason why it's not shown often is because the cartoons had little/nothing to do with the holiday - it was really just a chance to premiere Jones' sequel to Duck Dodgers Of The 24 1/2 Century: Duck Dodgers And The Return To The 24 1/2 Century. But the marketing for the cartoon featured an image of Daffy Duck in pilgrim garb, which I've posted below, along with other images of Thanksgiving craziness that I've found, including an epic crossover between the stars of three 1960s sitcoms: The Beverly Hillbillies, Petticoat Junction and Green Acres. Too bad it was just a photo op. It also appears to have been taken in the late-60s,  since June Lockhart is present (replacing Bea Benederet).

And I did not forget the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade (or CBS's coverage of the parade, which had gotten a little bit hipper after they ditched the cheesy "All-American Thanksgiving" format around 2004/2005, though I wish they'd brought back Daisy Fuentes to cover it like they did to launch the change - nothing wrong with having a hip, sexy woman host a parade, says I). Remember the days when there was no Spider-Man balloon and a fan created an online petition to bring it back? I'm not sure if it made a dent, but I recall meeting the guy while standing on line for autographs from the Romitas, John and John jr. - he was low-key and nervous; he ducked out (!) and the woman accompanying him (I'm assuming it was his girlfriend or wife *) got them to sign a copy of the petition on his behalf.

"I'm a man on a mission" - his reply to me when I saw the long form in his hand and asked about it. Maybe it turned the tide?  Who knows?

And how can I not mention A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving? Even if I had forgotten,  all of cyberspace would have reminded me! My favorite tribute is the fan who made a batch of cupcakes depicting images/items seen in the special. The Peanuts gang's antics might be hard to take in large doses these days (nowadays ol' Chuck would be hooked on anti-depressants), but nowadays people are trying to reinvent Thankgiving dinners to allow for vegans or calorie counters; Charles Shultz's original target was anyone who insisted on having Thanksgiving dinner at a diner or restaurant, in which the experience gets shortchanged by flakey service; we're slowly learning how to love a plate full of pretzels, toast & jellybeans. My favorite scene is the last one played over the credits,  with Snoopy & Woodstock quietly enjoying a Thanksgiving feast after all the kids have left.

Lastly, I'm not a huge fan of Planes, Trains And Automobiles, the John Hughes film in which Steve Martin & John Candy play strangers who keep running into eachother in airports and train stations during the Thanksgiving weekend travel crush and eventually have to work together if they're going to get anywhere - partly because their characters were a bit cardboard (Martin was on his way to becoming the bland suburban "Dad" of Cheaper By The Dozen; Candy is sort of playing off himself - and his weird moustache & frizzy hair - for all of it - their chemistry was weak; maybe if it was Rick Moranis playing the Candy role to Martin or Chevy Chase playing the Martin role to Candy..), but it might be the only Thanksgiving movie I'm aware of, except for Other People's Money, which has a few scenes set around the holiday.

Tomorrow in part 2's installment I'll talk Turduckens - of the comic book kind, that is.

*I don't believe that woman was his wife or girlfriend. It was his mother.

No comments:

Post a Comment