Thanksgiving Traditions

As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly.

In honor of our late colleague, Doug Mataconis, here’s the iconic scene from the 1978 WKRP in Cincinnati Thanksgiving episode that he shared many times over the years:

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

And, my personal favorite Thanksgiving song by Mr. Arlo Guthrie:

FILED UNDER: Entertainment, , ,
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. Michael Reynolds says:

    The youngest daughter has to spend the day with her boyfriend’s parents in Marin. The oldest daughter is having Thanksgiving alone with her cat in Oakland because Katherine and I are just now starting to see negative Covid tests. So, I’m keeping the cooking simple. No turkey – we very seldom have turkey. I’m making ribeye filets with béarnaise, some form of potato TBD, salad and a basic pumpkin pie. With real whipped cream, of course.

    Thanksgiving is one of the very few Holidays I approve of. It’s a lovely idea to take stock of all the good things life has given you. In my case a wonderful marriage, two kids who fought when they were young but seem to be forging a tentative and affectionate peace as adults. And both of whom actually seem to still like us. Money in the bank, a Merc in the garage, better health than I’ve earned. . . in fact, that’s a theme of my life: I’ve been ridiculously lucky and have had a much better life than I deserve. A great deal to be thankful for and no divinity to thank. But, thank you, DNA, and thank you life experience, and thank you random chance. And above all, thank you to my wife for making the wise decisions I claim as my own free will.

    Also, thank you to OTB, a rare safe place where a gaggle of smart people can discuss and disagree and occasionally snipe and snark, but always come back for another round, all under the benign tutelage of our two professors.

  2. Kathy says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Coincidentally, I’m thinking of a new untried potato recipe. I’ve had good results mixing potatoes and onions with balsamic vinegar, but not like this:

    1 red onion per 3 potatoes, sliced
    Balsamic vinegar
    Garlic cloves, minced

    Saute the onions in a pan to the desired degree of softness, then add the minced garlic and keep sauteing for a minute or two, next add balsamic vinegar (I’m guesstimating 1/4 cup or a little less for two onions) and stir. Reduce heat and let it simmer covered until most of it is consumed. Add paprika. Add ketchup to taste and stir well. Remove from heat.

    In the same pan, or a different one, fry the potatoes as you prefer (I usually do large pieces, skin on, with only a little oil or toss the potatoes in oil before putting them in the pan). When done mix the onions back in, or place the potatoes on a serving platter and cover with the onions. You may want to season the potatoes before marrying them to the onions. A mix I use often is ground black pepper, paprika, and garlic powder. Sometimes I add some ground oregano.

    I’m making them this weekend.

  3. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    And to everyone here at OTB, thanks for welcoming me to the pack. Cracker’s fault I found you all, and a wonderful day that was.

    At Casa Luddite, we’ve grown to eschew the large gatherings at SWMBO’s family for something smaller. Daughter, her fiancee of 11 years, and a friend or two. This year we’ll be blessed to have Cracker over with yams and soda bread. Daughter does taters 2 ways. Bakery does sesserts. SWMBO’s veggies and such. Turkey is in the oven so daughter’s taters go in early afternoon.

    Like Michael, I’ve been ridiculously blessed. Cancer free, 37 year marriage, a daughter who’s still my delight. Friends, family, health… Blessed beyond anything I deserve or dreamed of.

    Happiness and joy to all of you and yours.

  4. CSK says:

    @Flat Earth Luddite:

    You’re a joy to have around, Luds.

  5. MarkedMan says:

    Also very blessed here at Casa d’MarkedMan. And a small but significant part of that is you lot. Thanks.

  6. Kathy says:

    I recalled another tradition. I want to say it involved Doug, but I’m not sure. It could have been one of the other people I followed on Fakebook years ago. Anyway, here goes:

    Thanksgiving is the day Americans set their differences aside and come together to root against the Dallas Cowboys.

    It does sound like something Doug might have said.

  7. CSK says:

    On a serious note: Just being here has helped me through some difficult times. It’s good to be around sane, literate, well-informed and well-read people.

    My thanks to you all.

  8. Mister Bluster says:

    Happy Thanksgiving from South Park!

  9. Joe says:

    My wife and I had a bit of a road trip this afternoon to spend time with her cousins, but out of the blue, the radio station was kind enough to play the Alice’s Restauarant Massacree. Yet another holiday blessing. And I learned she was not familiar with the WKRP Turkey Drop episode, which, now home and not driving, I shall go share with her.

  10. MarkedMan says:

    Nothing to say. Just wanted my latest thumbs ups to register