Hard to believe it’s been 30 years since the first real, and fuckin’ awesome, Addams Family flick. As surreal as that all seems, the first time I saw the perfectly cast Christina Ricci as Wednesday Addams was not in the film itself, but rather the 1991 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade along with Pugsly (Jimmy Workman), Grandmama (Judith Malina), Lurch (Carel Struycken), and of course Cousin It riding a float mocking their 001 Cemetery Lane home.
The Addams Family film was a huge affair (I mean, it was for me anyway) during the 1991 holiday season and opened up officially in theaters just days before Thanksgiving that year. So naturally, banking on the tremendous advertising campaign the Macy’s parade brings as millions watch from home with the smell of turkey basting in the oven, Paramount used the traditional event to promote the movie- and man was it ever long overdue as the original cast of the 60s’ series never got the Macy’s treatment like their parallel monster family, The Munsters and it was a damn travesty- at least until 1991. Still, it would have been sweet as hell to see John Astin and Carolyn Jones in a Thanksgiving Parade during their heyday.
Anyways, beyond the fact The Addams’ infiltrated the sacred Tom Turkey-led march of helium madness, it was a VERY special year for the annual event as it was celebrating its 65th anniversary! Hosted by Willard Scott and Katie Couric, the lineup was every bit as entertaining with Ninja Turtles in cars, a stiff as hell Captain Planet, and a drunk Kermit the Frog balloon!
Ok, not drunk but winds provided some challenges that day and poor Kermit’s head got popped during the walk down Broadway.
Besides getting to see The Addams crash the parade, one of my favorite things about this particular year was the Ninja Turtles. In their second year appearance after the explosively cool 1990 film, the foursome donning Santa hats cruised down the parade in a couple of 1961 Cadillac convertibles like the true gangsters they are. Now that’s really all there is to it, but it was pretty awesome nonetheless.
The final highlight for me was the Captain Planet float. Again, nothing crazy spectacular going on here performance-wise but rather a stiff-looking Captain Planet on a very pretty Earth-themed float decorated with flowers and just aesthetically pleasing to my senses. Although it was years before Jingle All The Way, Captain’s stance is giving me serious Turbo Man vibes.
*Sorry for the ultra pixelated snapshots here guys.
The full parade can, of course, be found on YouTube- uploaded into two parts by user Major League Pong Gods. Time Stamps for the above highlights are all located in Part 2, but if you’re anything like me, you’ll just watch the whole damn thing in all its cheesy glory.
Addams Family float at 19:05
TMNT at 12:37
Captain Planet at 39:40