Thursday, November 27, 2008

never gonna give you up

The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade will always be a major part of my holiday. We could vary the dinner menu and I could miss a football game (as long as the Redskins aren't playing) but I cannot miss the parade and have it still feel like Thanksgiving.

Why does CBS bother to cover the parade each year? Better yet, why do I bother to watch? The broadcast is not in high definition, the camera angles are terrible, none of the bands or singers perform and the anchors often give erroneous information. For example, they said that Horton the Elephant was from Whoville, when everybody knows that all the Whos live in the speck of dust on the clover Horton carries.

Actually I do know why I tune in. I always hope to see additional coverage of the giant helium-filled balloons. This year CBS replaced Hannah Storm with Maggie Rodriguez who, like Hannah, referred to the balloons as "floats." She referred to the floats as "floats" as well. When a balloon did pass by, Maggie and co-anchor Dave Price would turn their backs to the camera to get a look. Can't say that I blame them for that.

Maggie and Dave seemed to spend more time interviewing random guests than describing the parade. Some of the celebrities who dropped by were Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Broadway star Roger Bart and singer Clay Aiken. A soap opera actress named Julie Pinson brought photos of the European vacation she and Maggie took together about eight years ago. Maggie revealed that she and Julie have blackmail-able photos of each other that were snapped on a beach in the south of France. I think we know what she means.

To truly enjoy the parade, you needed to watch the good-looking HD coverage on NBC and not pay attention to the corny scripted lines that Meredith Vieira and Matt Lauer were reading. They deviated from the script twice today that I noticed. Meredith got the stuffing scared out of her when the Keith Haring Heart balloon got too close and brushed their broadcast booth. We only heard her distress because the camera was already focused on the next entry. Later, there was some confusion over what paragraph to read when Andy Williams was about to perform. How come my man Andy didn't get a float or even a car to ride? I doubt they made an almost-81-year-old walk the parade route. If Andy did have a float that broke down, it might explain the mistake in the NBC booth.

Without question, the greatest moment of the parade was when the "Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends" float Rickrolled us viewers. NBC tried to spoil it twice by listing Rick Astley's name in the opening credits and by having Matt Lauer say, "watch carefully, we hear there is a special musical surprise." I had just called my wife into the room to hear the Friends' version of the theme from "The Courtship of Eddie's Father" when Astley interrupted with his '80s classic.

For the uninformed few among us, Rickrolling is an Internet sensation where you expect one thing but get Rick Astley. My friend Bean did a great job of explaining it on March 31 and then executing it on April 1 of this year.

I feel for the guy in the photo below. The good news is that he gets to be in the best parade in the country. The bad news is that he had to wear the most ridiculous costume and ride on the Jimmy Dean sausage float with some country singer. What's he supposed to be, a pat of butter?

Let's "dot dot dot" our way through the rest of my notes... my daughter heard that the Rockettes must all have the same length inseam... James Taylor's electric guitar looked like a really thin acoustic guitar... the NYPD band got ripped off when the network ran a recorded drum track instead of the band's audio... Shontelle almost fell off the Rhino Mountain float twice... the Clique Girlz send the exact opposite message I would want my children to get from a group targeting kids... there's an "Internet phenom" named Charice?... when these same balloons appear in the Macy's Holiday Parade at Universal Orlando Resort, do they get deflated and re-inflated every day?... did Varsity Fanclub take the place of the Cheetah Girls in the line of march?... my wife is happy because the best sounding band in the parade, the JMU Marching Royal Dukes, is from her alma mater... Al Roker apparently pulled some strings to get his kid aboard the Santa float... did I mention that the fools at CBS wasted the first ten minutes of their broadcast talking about nothing?

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Blogger Amelia said...

Jason and I were yelling, laughing...just in awe that the parade got rick rolled...that was by far the highlight of the entire parade this year!


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