Happy Thanksgiving!

Hey all, hope you’re having a great thanksgiving. To celebrate, here is a mini-review of the greatest Thanksgiving movie of all time and the greatest Thanksgiving TV Episode.

Best Movie: Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

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People will probably fight me on this, but I think this is easily the best Thanksgiving movie of all time. It’s a comedy classic, it’s about Thanksgiving, and it’s about family.

SUMMARY

Neal Page (Steve Martin) is an advertising executive who needs to get home to his family in Chicago from New York for Thanksgiving. When he tries to get to the airport, his cab is stolen by Del Griffith (John Candy), a chatty shower-ring salesman who says he wants to get home to his wife. They end up being on the same flight, which gets diverted to Wichita due to weather. The pair share a cheap hotel room and Del gets on Neal’s nerves. However, Del defends himself as just being a friendly guy and calls Neal a cold cynic. During the night, they get robbed, but manage to catch a train heading to Chicago.

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No Customer Service Rep ever deserved to deal with angry Neal. Okay, some do, but not all.

The train breaks down, leaving the pair stranded in Missouri. Del sells some shower-rings to get them a ticket to St. Louis. From there, Del rents a car and gives Neal a ride, resulting in Del falling asleep at the wheel and going into the wrong lane on the highway. While pulled over after nearly being killed, Del accidentally sets the car on fire. Neal sells his watch to get them a hotel room for the night, then they finally catch a ride in the back of a refrigerator truck. They finally separate at the Chicago metro rail station, only for Neal to realize that Del’s comments during the trip revealed that Del’s wife has actually died and Del is homeless. Neal returns and invites Del to his family’s Thanksgiving.

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Special Cameo from Vespa’s case from Spaceballs!

END SUMMARY

Look, this movie is one of the funniest Steve Martin films, one of the funniest John Candy films, and it’s an 80s John Hughes film which basically means it’s gold. It’s got some great dialogue, some hilarious sight gags, and a shocking amount of emotional moments. Upon re-watch, even I’d forgotten how many laughs there were, but I also had forgotten how many times in the movie everything slows down and lets you realize that these people are actually dealing with insane circumstances as best they can. If you haven’t seen it, you can rent it for $4 on Amazon.

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Or you can go to… well, you get the idea.

Best TV Episode: Turkeys Away (WKRP in Cincinnati)

If you didn’t see this coming, you don’t have joy in your heart. This isn’t just the best Thanksgiving episode of television, this is one of the funniest episodes of television ever aired. While there are other great episodes of television that take place on Thanksgiving, this is the best it will ever get.

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As God is my witness, I think this is the best last line in a TV episode.

I’m not doing a summary, I already wrote a review for it. Here’s the link.

Happy Turkey Day, Y’all!!

If you want to check out some more by the Joker on the Sofa, check out the 100 Greatest TV Episodes of All Time or the Joker on the Sofa Reviews.

If you enjoy these, please, like, share, tell your friends, like the Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/JokerOnTheSofa/), follow on Twitter @JokerOnTheSofa, and just generally give me a little bump. I’m not getting paid, but I like to get feedback.

88) Homo for the Holidays (Will and Grace)

Will and Grace was (and now is again, because we’re out of ideas as a culture) a show about a single Jewish woman (Debra Messing) and her gay best friend and roommate (Eric McCormack), as well as their two borderline insane friends Jack (Sean Hayes) and drunk socialite Karen (Megan Mullally). The two live an upper-middle class New York lifestyle, except that they have an apartment that Jeff Bezos probably couldn’t afford.

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As this show was in the 90s, not the 50s, the gay aspects were more accepted, but it was still among the first mainstream shows with an openly gay lead character. By showing Will as being fairly normal for a sitcom lead, the show reminded the audience that, aside from who you date and how the toilet-seat argument works, gay people are basically the same as straight people (Shocker!!!!). However, as if to counter that, Will’s best friend Jack is every stereotype balled into one. My personal favorite stereotypical action was that he saw Mamma Mia on stage 11 times in 3 days. By giving both an “average” person, and a person who is outlandishly over the top, the show was saying that while some people will always fall within a certain stereotype, you can’t judge all the people in a group to be that way. So, good news kids, you’ve just seen a living example of how life works. Yay, learning… ish?

SUMMARY

WillAndGraceHomoForTheHolidaysMany episodes of television have established the theme that our “parents” are personae adopted by normal people, or even very flawed people, once they have kids and try to pretend that they didn’t make all of the mistakes they did. If you have kids, you’ve done this to some extent, and you’re lying if you say otherwise. This episode combines that with the “coming out” episode. Inverting expectations, the one coming out is Jack, who at one point was described as “so flamboyant, flamingos ask him to turn it down a notch.” Despite his lifestyle, appearance, and almost all of his actions, including saying that “heterosexual marriage is wrong, because if God wanted straight people to marry, He’d have given them both penises,” Jack has never told his mother he was gay. In fact, he told her he’s been dating Grace… for years. Incidentally, this causes Karen to be upset that she didn’t get picked to be the fake girl (despite her being married to a high-profile businessman). Their interactions throughout the episode are excellent, but the main reason this episode makes it on the list is Jack’s mom, who is the stereotypical Susie Homemaker.

WillAndGraceJacksMom.jpgWhen she finds out her son is gay, Ms. McFarlane says A) it makes sense, B) she doesn’t care because it only matters that her son is happy and C) that she hadn’t assumed that he was gay, because her son can act however he wants, but the only thing that makes him gay is who he wants to date (Shocker!!!). After that, she has a confession of her own: the person who Jack thinks is his father isn’t. In fact, she doesn’t know who Jack’s father is, because he was conceived during a swinger’s party in the 60s. Despite her almost over-the-top wholesome appearance, she was pretty much the inspiration for Supertramp (this would later be copied in How I Met Your Mother the way I just copied this joke).

END SUMMARY

Ultimately, the episode reminds us that everyone acts a little different and more in line with the way we think society wants us to act when we’re dealing with people who we love and from whom we fear reproach. However, it also reminds us that it’s better to be yourself, even if you are a little slutty. Maybe especially if you’re a little slutty.

PREVIOUS – 89: Red Dwarf

NEXT – 87: Homicide: Life on the Streets

If you want to check out some more by the Joker on the Sofa, check out the 100 Greatest TV Episodes of All Time or the Joker on the Sofa Reviews.

If you enjoy these, please, like, share, tell your friends, like the Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/JokerOnTheSofa/), follow on Twitter @JokerOnTheSofa, and just generally give me a little bump. I’m not getting paid, but I like to get feedback.

Rather than one of the sentimental moments in the episode, here’s the last joke: