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The 85th Anniversary of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade (2011)

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24 November 2011 (USA)  »

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Featured in The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Episode #20.44 (2011) See more »

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The 85th Anniversary of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade was a nice look back at that institution's history
30 November 2011 | by (Baton Rouge, La.) – See all my reviews

After watching "A Very Gaga Thanksgiving" on DVR, I then switched on that machine to this NBC special that aired during the last hour of what I just mentioned. It covered whatever footage the network managed to dig up of the annual episodes that they broadcast from the '60s and '70s (though there was one from '77 or '78 that wasn't showcased here but I managed to see on YouTube of the appearance of the Broadway show "Beatlemania" that I distinctly remember viewing when it aired live at the time) and most of the stuff from the '80s to that mornings edition. Especially interesting to me were the vintage footage from the early '60s of Betty White and Lorne Greene hosting with Ms. White as she is now commenting on the proceedings. They also showed a still photo of her riding a horse in '70 so I guess there's no tape of that now in existence. If there's some quibble about this special, there's no mention of the fact the musical acts are all lip-synced to their recordings and seeing one of the Jonas Brothers tell about not having instruments or microphones before airtime before someone suddenly provides guitars and the latter objects strikes me as dishonestly trying to keep the illusion. Still, it was an enjoyable enough show hosted by Matt Lauer with additional comments by, among others I forget to mention, Christina Applegate (who mentioned her fear of falling down during her "Sweet Charity" number), Brooke Shields, Vanessa Williams, Pat Sajak, Willard Scott, and-opposite her own interview with Lady Gaga on the Other Network-Katie Couric! Oh, and loved seeing that vintage black-and-white scene of Ms. White and Mr. Greene saying their goodbyes at the end.


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