Happy Thanksgiving from OTB

Family, football, feasting, and flashbacks.

Here’s wishing a happy Thanksgiving and a great holiday season to our readers.

In honor of our late colleague, Doug Mataconis, here’s the iconic scene from the 1978 WKRP in Cincinnati Thanksgiving episode:

As a bonus, here’s President Bartlett calling the Butterball hotline on The West Wing:

And while we’re at it, the Friends Thanksgiving wherein Rachel makes a trifle horribly wrong:

Consider this an Open Forum.

FILED UNDER: Open Forum, , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. clarkontheweekend says:

    Longtime visitor of OTB here. The WKRP clip has become a staple of my Thanksgiving as much as all the other regular traditions of the day for me, and it always brings a smile to my face. Thanks to the OTB hosts and community for an enjoyable and engaging place to visit. And a safe and enjoyable holiday to you all.

  2. Jon says:

    Happy Thanksgiving to all, and safe travels to those who are on the road!

  3. Sleeping Dog says:

    Happy Turkey Day to all.

    In particular our gracious hosts, Dr T & Prof J, who allow us into their universe. If we were house guests, we’d have our feet up on the furniture, drink their beer and whiskey, put cigarettes out on the coffee table and raid the fridge. All the while they put up with us in (mostly) good humor.

    And since we’re posting T-Day videos, we can’t forget these 3 ragamuffins.

  4. MarkedMan says:

    Thanks to our hosts for another years worth of thoughtful commentary and debate.

  5. OzarkHillbilly says:


  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Today in Covid:

    US hospitals prepare for influx of Covid patients as millions travel for Thanksgiving

    As cases begin surging once more in the US, millions of people are expected to travel for the Thanksgiving holiday, and health workers and hospital systems are now preparing for an influx of Covid patients after having little time to recover from the summer surge. Last year, there was a major surge in cases around the holidays. But this year, new tools could blunt the spread – if they are taken up quickly.

    US scientific agencies on Friday recommended boosters for all adults six months after mRNA vaccination, and children over the age of five recently became eligible for vaccines. Existing treatments like monoclonal antibodies are highly effective if given early, while two promising antiviral medications from Merck and Pfizer may be authorized in coming weeks. But the new treatments may come against a backdrop of rising cases during the holiday season.

    “It is a race against time,” Kyle Enfield, the associate chief medical officer of critical care at University of Virginia Health, said.

    Scientists warn of new Covid variant with high number of mutations

    Scientists have said a new Covid variant that carries an “extremely high number” of mutations may drive further waves of disease by evading the body’s defences. Only 10 cases in three countries have been confirmed by genomic sequencing, but the variant has sparked serious concern among some researchers because a number of the mutations may help the virus evade immunity. The B.1.1.529 variant has 32 mutations in the spike protein, the part of the virus that most vaccines use to prime the immune system against Covid. Mutations in the spike protein can affect the virus’s ability to infect cells and spread, but also make it harder for immune cells to attack the pathogen.

    The variant was first spotted in Botswana, where three cases have now been sequenced. Six more have been confirmed in South Africa, and one in Hong Kong in a traveller returning from South Africa.

    Dr Tom Peacock, a virologist at Imperial College London, posted details of the new variant on a genome-sharing website, noting that the “incredibly high amount of spike mutations suggest this could be of real concern”. In a series of tweets, Peacock said it “very, very much should be monitored due to that horrific spike profile”, but added that it may turn out to be an “odd cluster” that is not very transmissible. “I hope that’s the case,” he wrote.

    We’re not out of the woods yet.

  7. Kathy says:

    I’m still grateful for last year’s election.

    And I suppose someone has to say it: As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly

  8. Kylopod says:

    @Kathy: It’s a pretty good reminder that this is the first Thanksgiving since Donald Trump’s landslide reelection. 😉

  9. Happy Thanksgiving to all the denizens of the OTB comments sections.

    Thanks for reading and engaging!

  10. Barry says:

    Thank you Steve and James!

  11. Slugger says:

    And since it’s easier to haul our trash pile down than to haul the old trash pile up, that’s what we did. And now I’m on the group W bench with mother rapers, father stabbers, …father rapers.

  12. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Slugger: We can always make room for one more on the Group W bench. Welcome home.

  13. Michael Reynolds says:

    Thanksgiving is one of the few holidays I actually approve of, the other being Yom Kippur. Somehow it has largely survived the inevitable American corruption and commercialization. It’s more than just another excuse to get drunk.

    For some reason, to the mild amusement of my family, I put effort into it. I cook. I’m not doing turkey, I’m doing a roast instead, but keeping the usual sides – mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, carrots, cranberry sauce (not really an appropriate garnish for beef, but I like it, so we’re having it), green bean casserole, salad, apple pie and pumpkin pie with whipped cream. All homemade, from scratch, (aside from dinner rolls.)

    I think it’s because I approve of the idea of expressing gratitude. Life’s been far better to me than I deserve, and no day goes by that I don’t acknowledge that. But there is something to formalizing the emotion in ritual. The cooking, and the inevitable cursing that goes along with cooking, feels vaguely like a religious observance. An odd sort of sacrifice, but without God ordering me to stab my first born. Although, she’s home, and the day is young. . .

    In any event, OTB, James and Steven, and all you cranky people, are part of what I’m thankful for. Most of what I write is work. Here I get to write for fun. And you people put up with me. Thanks.

  14. Jax says:

    Happy Thanksgiving, OTB family!!

  15. Stormy Dragon says:


    The B.1.1.529 thing is yellow journalism of the worst sort. The 529 implies it was first identified back in July. In the four months since, there’s been a grand total of 10 known cases. Even if the mutations make it vaccine resistant, it’s pretty obvious the mutations also make it suck at being a virus too. But a bunch of irresponsible sites are trying to drive clicks by making up scary sounding articles about it.

  16. Jay L Gischer says:

    If you’ve got 18 minutes, Alice’s Restaurant is a Thanksgiving story and well worth the time, IMHO.

    Like Michael, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. For the reasons he said, and also because of its universality – giving thanks is a concept every one can understand and endorse. I also like the idea of celebrating immigration.

  17. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Stormy Dragon: To repeat:

    In a series of tweets, Peacock said it “very, very much should be monitored due to that horrific spike profile”, but added that it may turn out to be an “odd cluster” that is not very transmissible. “I hope that’s the case,” he wrote.

  18. JohnSF says:

    We may not do Thanksgiving over here, but many happy turkeyings to ye all over there!

  19. Stormy Dragon says:


    Yes, I saw. That’s why I categorized it as Yellow journalism. When they bury a detail contradicting the entire theme of the article in the last paragraph, that is not a demonstration of thoroughness, that’s a demonstration that the author knew they were being misleading up until then.

  20. Mikey says:

    Happy Thanksgiving to all!

    I ran a “Turkey Trot” 5K this morning, my time was pretty mediocre but it was a fun race and the weather was excellent.

    I showed my 17-year-old son the WKRP video, I think he found it amusing the same way he finds all the stuff old people like amusing.

  21. Sleeping Dog says:

    As if on cue, a rafter of turkey’s paraded through the yard about the time my wife put our bird in the oven.

  22. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Sleeping Dog: I’m always able (and willing) to forget the Three Stooges, but happy Thanksgiving all the say. And wishing a peaceful day with friends and family to all of us. Enjoy the holiday, all!

  23. sam says:

    Darwin Award, Thanksgiving Division

    Stay safe and happy, guys.

  24. de stijl says:

    Challenge: consciously think of a thing you are grateful for every day, not just on Thanksgiving.

    Everyday should be Thanksgiving.

  25. Michael Reynolds says:

    @de stijl:
    Every single day I think, ‘how the hell did this happen?’ How do I have money in the bank and a car that will start and a lovely view (except for that goddamn telephone pole)? How did I end up with a loving partner and kids? And respect, FFS?! 43 years ago I had crashed, burned and scattered the ashes, and the only person on planet earth dumb enough to bet on me surviving, let alone succeeding, was the person I married.

  26. Kathy says:


    Think with all the decades of design and improvements to perfect ovens, and these people choose the risky option.

    On other things, how’s this sound? Meatballs and pasta in olive oil and garlic sauce.

    We don’t get turkey here until Xmas.

  27. Kathy says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    I don’t trust any science news in the news media, unless I’m familiar with the subject.

    In this case, though, health authorities in the UK, Israel, and other countries, are banning flights from southern Africa, and issuing test and quarantine orders from any people who came from there or were there recently. Apparently cases surged in parts of South Africa, and this new variant formed 90% of them (it’s an estimate).

    So, it should be handled with care. I agree, though, yesterday’s and today’s early reports seemed more like alarmist journalism than cause for concern.

  28. Kathy says:

    The other day I said tech labeled “smart” means it’s a computer that does something specific, like make phone calls, or play video.

    As I also said, smart TVs aren’t at the level of smart phones in functionality. But I’ve noticed they borrow a lot of the aesthetics.

    My old TV*, a Samsung not-quite HD flat screen LCD, had a huge bezel and very visible speakers on the sides. It also had a LARGE on/off button with it’s own indicator light, plus channel, volume, and source buttons to the side of the bezel.

    The new one has a very thin bezel, almost as though it’s ashamed it’s needed to contain the screen, as opposed to phone bezels which are part of the screen and just about as thin as a human hair (I exaggerate only slightly). It has no visible buttons at all. In fact, it has one button only, and on and something** button under the bezel at the bottom. Nothing on the sides at all. If the remote breaks, well, you can use your smart phone with the TV remote app. In this it beats most phones, which have as many as three buttons. Well, Android phones. I don’t know what the iphones have.

    It’s like a big smartphone that can’t make phone calls (yet).

    *I’m trying to recall when I bought it. I know it was before 2010, but not how long before then. I think it was 2008.

    ** If you press it with the TV off, it turns the TV on. If pressed with the TV on, it brings up some kind of menu I lacked the time to explore, as I was heading out for work. So I just turned it off with the remote