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My Favorite Writer tells us about TV Thanksgivings . . .

Kara Kovalchik

4 Turkey Day TV Specials (and Some Surprising Facts Behind Them)
by Kara Kovalchik – November 25, 2009 – 11:10 AM


What does Thanksgiving mean to you? Is it a day of gathering together with beloved family members to share a bountiful repast, or is it the chore of getting up at six o’clock in the morning to shove croutons up a dead turkey while the rest of the family slumbers contentedly? Wherever your emotions fall in the overall Thanksgiving spectrum, we hope to give you some temporary relief by revisiting some of our (and hopefully your!) favorite TV turkey moments.

1. Cheers reveals what Vera Looks Like (Briefly!)

normswife.pngIn the “Thanksgiving Orphans” episode, most of the regulars who frequent Cheers have no special plans for Thanksgiving, so they accept Carla’s invitation to a potluck dinner held at her home, with Norm in charge of bringing the turkey. Norm, however, unskilled in the nuances defrosting a bird before roasting it, brings an enormous frozen turkey to the party. Tempers begin to flare when it seems like the turkey will never be ready, and a food fight breaks out. Norm’s oft-mentioned but never seen wife, Vera, arrives during the melee, but before viewers can get a good look at her, she receives a pie in the face. So, who played Vera? That role was given to George Wendt’s real-life wife, Bernadette Birkett.

2. The Drunken Origin of the Bob Newhart Drinking Game

bobphone.pngTV Guide rated the “Over the River and Through the Woods” episode of The Bob Newhart Show at #9 of the 100 Greatest Episodes Ever. It’s also Newhart’s personal favorite. Emily is going home to Seattle for Thanksgiving and Bob decides to stay home because his “patients might need him” (when in reality he can’t bear the thought of skipping stones across Puget Sound with his in-laws). His friend Jerry brings a large jug of vodka and cider, and starts taking slugs from it every time his alma mater (William and Mary) is scored against during the Big Game. Joined by Bob’s neighbor and a patient, the quartet plays the drinking game throughout several more televised football games until they realize that they should probably eat something. Bob drunkenly tries to order Chinese food on the phone:
“I’d like some Moo Goo Gai Pan. What do you want, Jerry?”
“I, too, want the Moo Goo Gai Pan.”
“Another Moo Goo…Goo Goo…”
“Bob! You said ‘Moo Goo Goo Goo!’”
“Maybe I’m ordering Chinese baby food!”
This episode inspired the “Hi, Bob” drinking game, where participants down a shot every time those words are spoken during an episode of the show.

3. WKRP’s Strange (and True) Turkey Day Promotion

Arthur Carlson, the station manager on WKRP in Cincinnati, longs to play more of an integral role in daily operations. So, in the “Turkeys Away!” episode, he secretly plans a special Thanksgiving promotion – dropping live turkeys out of a helicopter over the Pinedale Shopping Mall. The station’s earnest but clueless news reporter Les Nessman is on the scene reporting live, and at first states that skydivers are jumping out of the copter. But when no parachutes open…he suddenly realizes that he is witnessing live turkeys hitting the ground “like sacks of wet cement.” Mr. Carlson hadn’t intended any animal cruelty; “As God is my witness,” he states after the event, “I thought turkeys could fly.” Oddly enough, this episode was based on an actual radio station promotion that one of the show’s writers had witnessed. The stunt was inspired by an annual “turkey drop” festival held in Yellville, Arkansas, which was finally halted in 1989 after animal rights activists got wind of it.

4. Will and Grace struggle to Keep the Story Straight

willgrace.pngWill and Grace fans learned the entire back story of all the main characters in the “Lows in the Mid-Eighties” episode (which originally aired as a one-hour special in November 2000.) Flash back to 1985, when Columbia student Grace brings boyfriend Will home with her for Thanksgiving. After dinner, Grace is all hot and bothered when they retire to her bedroom, but Will feels conflicted and rushes to the bathroom to call Jack, whom he’d met briefly earlier that day. Jack has already correctly noted that Will is gay, which Will vehemently denied at the time. “If you’re all hot for your girlfriend, then why are you on the phone with me?” Jack asks him. In addition to clarifying quite a bit, the show does bring up one inconsistency. This episode briefly shows Diane, the only woman with whom Will was intimate, but she’s a redhead played by a writer’s assistant. In a later episode, Diane is portrayed by blonde Academy Award-winning actress Mira Sorvino.

Since you’re probably reading this at work while marking time until the long weekend begins, why not chime in with your favorite Thanksgiving TV episodes?


Please check out more of Mental Floss’s Confessions of a TV-Holic

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8 Not-So-Famous Firsts

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6 Famous Veterans from TV

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The Stories Behind 6 Famous Masks

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Some Things You Should Know About Polar Bears

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6 Secrets from the Brady Vault

by September 30, 2009 – 12:00 AM

11 Famous Actors and the Big TV Roles They Turned Down

by September 25, 2009 – 10:24 AM

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Remembering Our Favorite Laugh-In Stars

by September 18, 2009 – 12:30 PM

The Medical Credentials of 7 Famous Doctors

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A Brief History of the Jerry Lewis Telethon

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6 Behind-the-Scenes Secrets from Cheers

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A Few Quick Poison Ivy Facts

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5 Famous Fires and the Lessons They Taught Us

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50 Years of Highway Safety – Happy Anniversary!

by October 12, 2009 – 12:10 PM

Happy 50th Anniversary, Twilight Zone!

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8 Retro Airline Commercials

by August 20, 2009 – 10:44 AM

Whatever Happened to the Prince Spaghetti Kid?

by August 17, 2009 – 4:50 PM

Happy Anniversary, Abbey Road!

by August 10, 2009 – 12:02 PM

The Secret Inner Workings of Netflix

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The Original Names of 7 Famous TV Characters

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The Stories Behind Curiously Named Products

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The Stories Behind 6 Safety Precautions

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The Early TV Appearances of 9 More Stars

by July 22, 2009 – 5:18 PM

November 29, 2009 Posted by | Confessions of a TV-Holic, Gossip, Mental Floss, Sitcoms | | Comments Off on My Favorite Writer tells us about TV Thanksgivings . . .

Steve Guttenberg IS Santa Claus

I just watched the most adorable movie on Lifetime. “Single Santa Seeks Mrs. Claus” was very relevant to my life and my current romance. So much of what Crystal Bernard (Helen from “Wings”) said about Steve Guttenberg‘s Nick were the same excact words I would use to describe my boyfriend!!

Quick, fast romance. When you know it’s “the one,” —  You KNOW.. Kind man who loves to make people happy. I smiled throughout this movie and was just waiting for Bernard’s Beth to “believe.”

OK, I confess, part of this movie got really creepy. Steve Guttenberg as Nick was a complete stranger to the single mother and she left her kid with him after he “volunteered” to babysit her  7 year old son. She knew his first name only and that he lived in a hotel. I don’t care HOW NICE a guy is, you don’t leave him alone with your kid when you JUST met him and don’t even know his NAME!!

Then again, this movie was a cute love story fantasy and it was as predictable as, oh, say the upcoming Barbara Walters interviews, but it was sweet and it made me happy. I plan to DVR the next showing so I can write down some of the beautiful words she sad describing her perfect man/santa.

And yes, my big cute boyfriend would make a great Santa!!

November 29, 2009 Posted by | Couples, Crystal Bernard, Hunky Men, Movies, Steve Guttenberg, TV Drama | | Comments Off on Steve Guttenberg IS Santa Claus

They are FREE from working and I couldn’t be happier!

No longer do the Gosselin children have to have TLC cameras in their faces.

This is wonderful. Kids shouldn’t have to work so their parents could have “nice things.”  Some sheeple think the kids were having fun and that they were awarded great opportunities. Yes, Opportunities to be humiliated. Opportunities for their classmates to have fodder for years and years.

Thank you, Jon Gosselin, for finally doing the right thing and stopping the cameras. TLC is disgusting for suing you for doing the right thing. Keep fighting for those kids. THEY NEED YOU more than ever.

November 25, 2009 Posted by | Child Labor, Reality TV | | Comments Off on They are FREE from working and I couldn’t be happier!

Snarkie’s rambling rants . . . .

TLC’s vendetta against Jon Gosselin: It’s transparent and pathetic. To get a bitter woman to use her hatred against her estranged-spouse and broadcast this on TV for wonderful “memories” for those kids is a form of abuse. Someday, TLC, Those kids will sue your fucking asses off. It won’t be TLC/Discovery/OWN . . . It’ll all belong to The Gosselin children with the help of A Minor Consideration. Oprah Winfrey is teaming with a company that will drain her legal budget to try and destroy Jon Gosselin. THEY WANT TO FILM THOSE KIDS and it really doesn’t matter who, what, where, why or HOW that happens. It will happen.

Nip/Tuck: Not good this season. I usually stick with shows even when they falter. However, I’ve forgotten to watch, fallen asleep and also just been geeking on my Crackberry during the show.

FoxNews: They are using clips from the 2008 presidential election to show how many people are showing up at Sara Palin’s book signings. They did this with other footage and Jon Stewart nailed them. Now they do it again?? “This footage just in . . .” and they show a crowd with signs that say “McCain/Palin 2008”.
Foxnewsisnotnews . . . . . We all know that, right??

November 20, 2009 Posted by | Reality TV | | Comments Off on Snarkie’s rambling rants . . . .

It’s A Very Gosselin Christmas! Thanks Jimmy Kimmel

November 16, 2009 Posted by | Jimmy Kimmel, Reality TV | | Comments Off on It’s A Very Gosselin Christmas! Thanks Jimmy Kimmel

Jon Gosselin Goes Back in Time from Jon Gosselin – Video

Jon Gosselin Goes Back in Time from Jon Gosselin – Video.

November 11, 2009 Posted by | Gosselin, Gossip, Greed, Humor?, Reality TV | , , | Comments Off on Jon Gosselin Goes Back in Time from Jon Gosselin – Video

Protected: Do you read blogs of people you hate?

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November 8, 2009 Posted by | Reality TV | | Comments Off on Protected: Do you read blogs of people you hate?

Interesting blogs for Gosselin followers

There are some blogs that I’ve recently discovered that have new perspectives and great information for those who are interested.

This one is written by a lawyer.

This one is written by a body-language expert

This one is written by a neighbor/psychologist

And, the best is David Zurawik, respected and experienced TV journalist for the Baltimore Sun.

He “Gets it!” and doesn’t bow to TLC’s threats. LOVE THIS GUY!!! (and his bloggers are smart too).

November 8, 2009 Posted by | Reality TV | | Comments Off on Interesting blogs for Gosselin followers

World events, my events and what is “really” important to others

Today people were murdered by a military psychiatrist.

Babies and little girls being kidnapped, raped and killed. Sometimes by women or their own mother!

Wars in both Iraq and Afghanistan are taking lives every single day. I do not see and end in site for this war. 

My mother is bedridden for 2 months because her insurance will not cover the surgeon that has experience doing the surgery she needs. They say their surgeon could do it because she’s “seen a few performed in medical school.” Now my mom needs to go on medicare since her high-priced private insurance won’t pay. That doesn’t kick in until January. She’s in bed.

Americans are losing their homes, jobs and insurance at alarming rates and there is no end in site.

My friends in Maine had planned to marry but their neighbors decided not to allow it. They feel it will hurt their marriage if Bryan and Craig have a legal union. Bigoted assholes.

Gangs are shooting children who are trick or treating because they “thought” they were from a rival gang.

A man who was a convicted sex offender kept a child for 18 years and made her have 2 children.

Another man, also a convicted sex offender, has been discovered to have numerous bodies buried on his property.

My good friend lost close friends in a fire a year ago this week. Three little children were killed in that fire.

One of my best friends lost her fiance 3 months ago. He was 47 and just “died.” Now his relatives are mad at her because she’s not giving them the money he left for her to live on. They were close as family and now they are enemies fighting over money and “things.” He’s still dead. They now might move his body because he is buried next to her father and she will eventually be buried on top.  They couldn’t pay for a funeral but they are willing to exhume a body to “make a point?” People suck.

BUT over on another site, some people are so concerned because I have email contact with Hailey Glassman. Yes, This is what is big news and an important topic for these yahoos to talk about all day long. How dare I?? I’m hurting the kids!! I showed kindness to a person I felt empathy for. Shame on me. I do not support her recent media tour but it’s also none of my business what she does. I think she is a nice person and whoever has a problem with that can kiss my ass. Also, it’s really creepy to me to be followed all over the internet. So I post on other sites. Big whip. I have a twitter account. OMG, I’m a criminal. I also have a FACEBOOK account under this name and my birthname. I guess I’m my own sock puppet because the RDoK will call my home if they get my number. It’s happen to others when their legal names were discovered so forgive me for not always using my actual name when I post on message boards.

November 6, 2009 Posted by | Reality TV | | Comments Off on World events, my events and what is “really” important to others

Cliche-Fest Bingo! Kate “Breaks her Silence (yeah, as if she was ever silent) for OUR entertainment!


Kate Gosselin interview bingo: Get ready for another cliche-fest

by Margaret Lyons

Tonight, Kate Gosselin will reveal all when she does a nothing’s-off-limits episode! Wait, wasn’t that last week? Uh, sort of: Last week, Kate answered viewers’ questions, but we didn’t dig deep enough, apparently, and now the Today show’s Natalie Morales takes a turn.

I’ve seen enough Kate Gosselin interviews in the last few months to last a lifetime know that Kate’s a robotic interviewee; she sticks to her talking points like she’s a political operative. So I’ve made you this handy Bingo card, which you can print (or remix here) to make tonight’s interview more enjoyable. Remember, if something actually revealing or new-sounding happens, everybody drink.

November 2, 2009 Posted by | Reality TV | | Comments Off on Cliche-Fest Bingo! Kate “Breaks her Silence (yeah, as if she was ever silent) for OUR entertainment!