December 05th, 2023

macys thanksgiving day parade spotlight pageThese floats make their way through the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Catch this year’s parade Thanksgiving morning. Courtesy photoELLY GRIMM • Leader & Times


Thanksgiving is coming up only next week, and one of my favorite traditions on Thanksgiving Day is watching the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade on TV. It always sets the tone for the day for me and it’s always a good way to start Thanksgiving because there’s just so much to watch throughout the parade. 

So for this week, I thought it would be fun to talk about some of the things I’m particularly excited about for this year’s parade. The parade always has something for everyone and I think this year should be just as awesome as the past 90-plus years. 



One of the parts of the parade that’s always extremely diverse is the performers set to be part of the parade festivities. This year’s parade, from what I’ve read online, will feature a very diverse and talented group of performers including Broadway veterans Idina Menzel, Lea Michele and Billy Porter, new “Blue’s Clues” host  Josh Dela Cruz, Natasha Bedingfield, Jimmy Fallon and The Roots, and country artists Chris Young and Chris Janson. With so much diversity in these performers, there’s going to be a lot of great music for the parade audiences there in New York to hear. 

I’m also excited to see performances from the Broadway shows “Ain’t Too Proud - The Life and Times of The Temptations,” “Beetlejuice,” “Hadestown” and “Tina - The Tina Turner Musical.” I always look forward to the show performances because not only are the casts of the shows ridiculously talented, there’s a good chance I get introduced to some new musicals to listen to in the process. The shows are also a great lead-in to the Radio City Rockettes, which I have fond memories of attempting to mimic back in my much younger days. The final part of the performances I’m looking forward to (and this comes from my many years participating in band) are all the marching bands and other similar groups that will be making their way to 42nd Street. These bands are always super talented and it always brings back some great nostalgia of my days in high school/college band. 

friends thanksgivingMonica tries to surprise Chandler with a funny moment in a Thanksgiving episode of “Friends.” Courtesy photoELLY GRIMM • Leader & Times


With Thanksgiving only a couple weeks away, I’ve been working to get myself into that spirit and get excited for all things turkey day-related. Like Halloween, one of the things I like about getting into the Thanksgiving spirit is catching up on some of my favorite Thanksgiving-themed episodes of some of my favorite TV shows. So here are some of my favorite Thanksgiving episodes I’ve seen, be sure to let me know what some of your favorites are!


The One With All the Thanksgivings (Friends)

This season 5 episode of “Friends” never fails to make me laugh. It takes place on Thanksgiving Day shortly after the meal and all the friends reminisce about what they consider their worst Thanksgiving holidays, and hilarity ensues. It’s very well written and very funny and I enjoy watching it every year. We get to see the beginnings of the overall group’s friendship dynamic, we get to see a couple of the main characters dance around with a turkey on their head (which also makes my mom laugh every time). In general, I love this flashback episode and it’s one I try to find around this time every year to watch. And this is only one of my favorite Thanksgiving episodes from just this show. 


Slapsgiving (How I Met Your Mother)

This season 3 episode of “How I Met Your Mother” is another one that gets me rolling just thinking about it. This takes place in the few days leading up to Thanksgiving, which will be the first time newlyweds Lily and Marshall will be hosting at their apartment. Hilarity ensues not only as Lily works to make the apartment perfect for the meal, but also as Ted and Robin work to figure out their relationship, having recently broken up. A subplot of the episode also features Marshall torturing Barney with a slap countdown clock (as the result of Marshall winning a slap bet earlier in the show) and ultimately renaming the holiday Slapsgiving. The episode is funny, very well written, and hearing Marshall sing his original song “You Just Got Slapped” gets me laughing every time I hear it. 

john leguizamo latin history for moronsJohn Leguizamo prepares the start of a history lesson in his one-man show “Latin History for Morons,” currently available to stream on Netflix. Courtesy photoELLY GRIMM • Leader & Times


Suggestions for movies and TV shows and other media come to me in a variety of ways, whether it’s via Netflix, a conversation on Facebook or a conversation at the office. My most recent suggestion for something to watch came from a YouTube personality I follow and I can definitely say YouTube is a good source for media suggestions. 

In this particular video for this YouTube personality, she mentioned seeing John Leguizamo’s one-man show “Latin History for Morons” where she lives and a few days after watching that video, the show itself came up in my Top Suggestions tab on Netflix. I’d seen the suggestion before without giving it a ton of thought, but after seeing a review of it on YouTube, I clicked on it and gave it a shot. Like a lot of things I’ve seen this past year, I ended up being VERY surprised by what I saw. In this one-man show, Leguizamo describes how he found humor and heartbreak as he traced 3,000 years of Latin history in an effort to help his bullied son with a school project. 

The first thing I’ve got to give praise to is Leguizamo’s performance throughout the show. He gives 100 percent of himself into every minute and he is able to very deftly blend humor and history together as he’s telling the story of his quest to help his son in school. His timing is outstanding, the humor throughout is solid, and you feel everything right along with Leguizamo. One-person shows are exceedingly difficult to do well, and Leguizamo pulls off this show very well. Another thing I liked about the performance overall is just how open and raw it is. With the way Leguizamo tells the different parts of the story, he performs it all in a way that allows the viewer to have an inside track on how he was feeling at that point in time, and especially in the more serious moments of the show (particularly near the end when he’s recapping some other information for the audience) he is open and raw and it’s a credit to how good an actor Leguizamo really is. And the way he presents the actual information is also done very well – so well, in fact, I wonder if Leguizamo ever considered actually becoming a teacher of some type at some point in his life.