Thursday, November 27, 2014

First Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

The First Macy's Thanksgiving Parade was presented on November 27, 1924.
November 27, 1924
On this day in 1924, Macy’s department store in New York presented the first Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade. The story goes that many of the store’s employees were first-generation immigrants who were proud to be American citizens and wanted to celebrate that fact through a Thanksgiving parade; an event that their parents had enjoyed in Europe. From the very first outing, the parade included elaborate costumes, floats, professional bands and even live animals that were borrowed from the Central Park Zoo. At the end of the parade when Santa made his entrance, he was escorted to the balcony of the 34th Street store entrance where he was crowned the “King of the Kiddies.” Three years later the parade saw its first large balloon character – Felix the Cat.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Turkey TV

Turkey TV
So, what is special on TV for Thanksgiving? Not exactly a huge holiday for specials, but the networks have cooked up a few including re-heating a few leftovers that still have some flavor left in them. Some surprises include a performance by Need to Breathe, Christopher Walken playing Captain Hook and Courtney Cox with a raw turkey on her head. Here is what TV is serving up tonight and tomorrow:

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving
"A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving" (ABC)

The Making of Peter Pan Live!
8:00 p.m. - NBC
After last year’s success of The Sound of Music Live, NBC is trying it again with Peter Pan Live, however, you’ll have to wait a week before THAT special is on. Tonight though, you can see a behind-the-scenes special that includes interviews with Christopher Walken, Allison Williams and Minnie Driver.

Peter Pan Live
"The Making of Peter Pan Live" (NBC)
A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving
8:00 p.m. – ABC
The Peanuts annual special is always a good choice no matter how many times you have seen it before.

An SNL Thanksgiving
9:00 p.m. – NBC
This two hour special features (hopefully) the best Thanksgiving sketches over the show’s 40 year history.

Saturday Night Live
An SNL Thanksgiving (NBC)

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade
9:00 a.m. – NBC

Matt Lauer, Al Roker and Savannah Guthrie of NBC's Today anchors tomorrow’s broadcast of the annual parade that features over 8,000 participants. Special guest performers include: Big Apple Circus, Before You Exit, William Blake, Sabrina Carpenter, Cirque du Soleil, Hilary Duff, Ren√©e Fleming, Becky G, Lucy Hale, Nick Jonas, KISS, Sandra Lee, The Madden Brothers, Idina
Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
"Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade" (NBC)
Menzel, Miss USA 2014 Nia Sanchez, MKTO, the cast and Muppets of Sesame Street, NEEDTOBREATHE, NHL legends John LeClair and Pat LaFontaine, Pentatonix, Romeo Santos, Cole Swindell, Meghan
Trainor, The Vamps, Quvenzhané Wallis and more.

Friends Thanksgiving Episodes
10:00 a.m. – TBS

TBS is sharing a cornucopia of Thanksgiving-themed episodes of the sitcom Friends.
Need to Breathe
Need to Breathe will be performing during the
Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

Thank You America! With Robin Roberts
8:00 p.m. - ABC

Robin Roberts seeks out unsung heroes and salutes them with life-changing surprises.

Cause for Paws: 
An All-Star Dog Spectacular
8:00 p.m. - FOX

Hilary Swank and Jane Lynch co-host this special celebrating rescue dogs. Celebrities scheduled to appear Include Paula Abdul,
Friends Thanksgiving
A "Friends" marathon will be held on TBS. (TBS)
Kristen Bell, Kristin Chenoweth, Whitney Cummings, Josh Duhamel, Fergie, Max Greenfield, Kathy Griffin, Julianne Hough, Carrie Ann Inaba, Randy Jackson, Scarlett Johansson, Kesha, Miranda Lambert, Cesar Millan, Jerry O’Connell, Kelly Osbourne, Sharon Osbourne, P!nk, Amber Riley, LeAnn Rimes, Rebecca Romijn, Emmy Rossum, Jenna Dewan Tatum and Betty White.

Video of the Day: Pan

What? Another Peter Pan movie? This looks well made, but I am skeptical. How about you?

Here's Looking at You Kid

Casablanca premiered in New York on November 26, 1942.
November 26, 1942
On this day in 1942, of all the gin joints in the world, Ingrid Bergman walked into Humphrey Bogart’s in the World War II classic, Casablanca. The movie’s premiere was in New York. The film wouldn’t open nationally until January 23, 1943. Directed by Michael Curtiz, Casablanca is known for its iconic quotes like “Round up the usual suspects” and “Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship,” it was nominated for eight Academy Awards and took home three including Best Actor.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Debut of the "New" LIFE Magazine

November 23, 1936

Originally a humor and general interest magazine, LIFE began publishing in 1883. However, it wasn’t until this day in 1936 that became the photojournal magazine that it is known for. Henry Luce, founder of Time magazine purchased LIFE earlier in the year and shifted its focus to news. He believed that pictures could tell stories instead of just illustrating text. Photos were printed on thick glossy paper. The format was a success. The first issue was published during the Great Depression and instead of focusing on the war, the first cover showed the Fort Peck Dam in Montana photographed by Margaret Bourke-White. By the 1950’s the magazine started to lose reader due to the popularity of TV. On December 29, 1972, LIFE printed its last weekly publication.

Dancing with the 'Mad Men' Stars

Trudy (Alison Brie) and Pete (Vincent Kartheiser) dancing
in a blur in Mad Men. (AMC)
With Dancing with the Stars finale tonight, I am reminded of another dance on TV a couple of years ago.

Do you remember that scene in Mad Men where Pete Campbell (Vincent Kartheiser) and his wife Trudy (Alison Brie) dance the Charleston at a Country Club? Ever wonder where the two learned how to dance like that? 

John Cassese the
"Dance Doctor"
That is the result of training from John Cassese, the self-described “Dance Doctor” who believes that everyone who has a desire can dance. In addition to the Mad Men gig, he has trained other celebrities like Adam Sandler, Elizabeth Hurley and Sir Ben Kingsley. He has also been featured on a number of TV shows including Extreme Makeover, The Bachelor, The View, Oprah and others and his corporate clients include Sony, Paramount and Twentieth Century Fox. He teaches everything from ballet to salsa classes Santa Monica style in his studio in California. Now you know. Oh, and to refresh you of the scene, here it is: