November 21, 2018

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, November 26, 1959

For Thanksgiving Eve, let's take a look at this rare kinescope of the 1959 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade as broadcast on NBC. The host is Bill Wendell, who was Ernie Kovacs' announcer on his NBC show, and went on to greater fame as the announcer for David Letterman's show, while Gene Rayburn provides the commentary from street level.

You'll notice it's only one hour; far shorter than today's bloated, performance-filled version. I love the parade, but I can't watch it without my thumb on the remote, ready at a moment's notice to switch over to Chicago or Detroit when the action lags. I've actually come to prefer the online streaming of America's Thanksgiving Parade in Detroit (you should be able to click on that link Thursday morning if you want to see it), which seems to have far more of the parade and far less of the singers lip-syncing to their latest hit. I wouldn't know what to do without them, though.

Regardless of how you feel about the parades (Mike Doran is not a fan, as I recall), please accept my best wishes for a very Happy Thanksgiving, one of the best days of the year! TV  



  2. Betty White hosted a few of these for NBC along with Lorne Greene. i remember they did it so often that they "hosted" MAD Magazine's parody "Messy's Thanksgiving Day Parade" as well. :)

  3. Was the original telecast in color?

  4. Obviously, they weren't able to have color cameras outdoors yet...



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