I’m writing this on Thanksgiving Eve, so apologies if I seem a little distracted. Based on the Sharpie notes scrawled on my arm, today I gotta shop for 80 mushrooms, stuff 80 mushrooms, wash three loads of clothes, pick up relatives from the airport, shave for the first time in weeks and then decide which of my seemingly identical black shirts has enough give to sustain the 37 pounds of garbage I plan to eat tomorrow.
I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Here’s the latest edition of Classic Christmas Commercials, featuring old TV spots that I’ve rescued from shoddy home-recordings of Frosty and Rudolph. May they fill you with holiday spirit.
Wendy’s Smoky Bacon Cheeseburger! (1996)
I just adore the fact that Wendy’s Smoky Bacon Cheeseburger was presented as a “Christmas burger” in 1996. The burger had literally nothing to do with the holiday season (even I can’t connect sautéed onions to Santa), but they really made it seem like that year’s ultimate yuletide thing.
The Smoky Bacon Cheeseburger had limited releases both before and after this, but 1996 was when it got its “moon push.” I mean, you had Dave Thomas yanking burgers out of a gift box large enough to work as a ferret tank, scored by a trumpet-driven instrumental of We Wish You a Merry Christmas. It doesn’t just get you hungry for a cheeseburger; it makes you wanna top your tree with one.
Ronald McDonald Saves Christmas! (1994)
Commercials like this help explain why us older folks have a hard time thinking of McDonald’s as another “big bad corporation.” There’s not one mention of food or restaurants or boiling beef fat. It’s just a sweet little holiday special condensed into thirty seconds.
Birdie worries that they won’t have time to send out holiday cards, but Ronald has a solution. Instead of lame cards, they’ll just fly over the whole fuckin’ world, spreading pixie dust that just happens to look like cordless Christmas lights. By the end of the commercial, the entire planet looks like the Griswold house on 12/25.
I love how Ronald’s approach to all problems involves evaluating sets of circumstances before determining the most impossibly extreme solutions.
While the best McDonald’s giveaways belong to Halloween, Christmastime definitely got their best commercials. In fact, there were so many great ones that even a spot as gorgeous as this is barely mentioned anymore. It may not pack the emotional punch of Ronald helping a kid learn how to skate, but man, it’s pretty. Read More…
We’re less than a week away from Thanksgiving. It’s one of my favorite days of the year, full of food, family and a weird ass parade where people ooh and aah at big-eyed kaiju balloons.
Me and Jay from The Sexy Armpit wanted to continue our tradition of reviewing ancient Macy’s Parades every November. We tackled the 1994 edition last year, and while I wasn’t sure if we’d be able to find one that topped it, this parade at least comes close.
Sooo, let’s dive deep into the 1990 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, featuring everything from a giant Bart balloon to a live-action Ninja Turtles concert. It’s a winner, folks:
Thanks so much for your ears, and for sharing the show around. The Purple Stuff Podcast is also on Patreon, for those who wanna support it. If you do, you’ll get access to exclusive bonus shows, every month.
As for the 1990 parade, a couple of nice folks have uploaded the whole damn thing to YouTube. Give us a listen, and then watch it back — you’ll see that we weren’t exaggerating about any of the awesomely strange moments!
Enjoy! We hope this extra show adds a little spice to your holiday week.
For the second year in a row, Pringles released a stupid awesome Thanksgiving kit as an online exclusive. Get a load of their ridiculous Friendsgiving Feast:
The kit features six different crisps, including all of the flavors necessary to create a turducken “stack.” (Hence the monstrous mascot.)
The Friendsgiving Feast sold out in less than an hour, but it was only really on sale for like thirty freakin’ seconds. My story was one of a thousand reloads and about as many open tabs, and even with that level of dedication, I was very lucky to get through.
Lots of folks were ticked, and I don’t blame them. Part of the appeal of these wackadoo releases is that they’re limited, but surely there’s a way to maintain that without deliberately frustrating thousands of your biggest fans. (Maybe they could’ve given away an additional 25-50 kits through a raffle or something? I dunno.)
For what it’s worth, I got mine the real way. These weren’t comped to me by Kellogg’s or anything. I just kept reloading like my life depended on it, because in the moment, it felt like it did. Don’t hate the player, hate the game. Read More…