1982 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade (found NBC broadcast of parade; 1982)

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Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade 1982 Title.jpg

Title card.

Status: Found

Date found: 15 Apr 2022

Found by: Laura Branigan Forever

The 1982 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is the 56th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and was held on November 25, 1982, in New York City, and shown to viewers live on NBC that same day. It was hosted by Bryant Gumbel and Sarah Purcell. Participating celebrities included Milton Berle, Andy Gibb, Sammy Davis Jr., the Oak Ridge Boys, Paul Williams, Laura Branigan, Ricky Schroeder, and the New York City Opera.[1]

Impact[edit | edit source]

The 1982 Parade was one affected by high winds, and as such, five of the balloons were given minor damage to removals.

Lineup guide.

The first of the turbulences was ironically the first balloon in the Parade, Bullwinkle J. Moose. Just a few blocks after stepping off on Central Park West, a gust of wind blew the balloon into a lamppost, giving the nose a nasty puncture. The balloon would fly until it was pulled just a couple of blocks from the Parade’s finish line. Though the balloon was technically okay to fly, Parade director at the time, Jean McFaddin, cited the reason for Bullwinkle’s removal as a cosmetic issue. This removal resulted in the Kermit the Frog balloon leading the Parade. The next troubling balloon was the Mickey Mouse balloon. The blustery winds proved challenging for the balloon’s many handlers, however, they would overcome Mother Nature and move Mickey safely through Herald Square. The Aviator Snoopy balloon also received a deflated tail though no other damage was done to the balloon. Just before the kick-off of the Parade, Superman was discovered to have a small tear in both his leg and head, which were quickly repaired by master balloonatic Jim Artle. The balloon, however, experienced a punctured hand at some point along the Parade route. The fifth and final troubled balloon was the new Woody Woodpecker balloon, which had its head punctured three blocks into the route. It remained low, however, it made it to Herald Square without issue. In terms of retirements, the only retired balloon was Aviator Snoopy, with plans to retire Bullwinkle being dropped and pushed back to 1983.

This year's parade is especially notable for Sesame Street fans as it was the last public appearance of Will Lee, who played Mr. Hooper since the show started in 1969. Though he was ill with cancer, Lee performed the best that he could. He was hospitalized a few days later and passed away on December 7th. The next Thanksgiving, Sesame Street aired a sobering episode that openly addressed Mr. Hooper's death and helped the cast deal with it. The parade also featured the debut of the Olive Oyl balloon, which was the 3rd female giant balloon to appear in the parade's history. The other balloon to debut that year was Woody Woodpecker, who became a parade mainstay for over a decade.[2]

Availability[edit | edit source]

While almost all of NBC's parades since 1981 have been widely bootlegged, the 1982 Parade was the only one post-1980 that had yet to surface in full. This is especially odd since it (like all the other parades during this time period) aired during a time when nearly everyone in North America had some form of home recording media, though for some reason no one wants to share the whole thing on the Internet. Only a handful of clips had made their way to YouTube. (while some other uploaded clips are of two other marching bands and of Andy Gibb's performance of "Any Dream Will Do" from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.) Some other clips were also shown in the parade's 85th-anniversary special, which aired in November 2011 and can be found in its entirety on YouTube. Certain clips from 1982 were used in 1983, 1986 and 1990, which can be found in full on YouTube.

One of the 1982 clips that can be found online is of the Clinton High School marching band from Clinton, Tennessee, and was uploaded by Amy Jeffers. She claims to have the entire 1982 parade on VHS, however, she hasn't contacted anyone in regards to leaking it. (As an additional note, the clip in question was recorded using a video camera taping the television set, so it's likely that Jeffers does not have a video capture USB device.)

On April 11th, 2022, user "RetroGamePlanet" uploaded more, previously unseen footage of the 1982 Parade. This included the Keith Carradine performance on the Thanksgiving Turkey float, the Sesame Street float and the Kermit the Frog, Olive Oyl and Woody Woodpecker balloons. Later that day, the remaining balloons' appearances were uploaded in full to YouTube.

On April 15th, 2022, user Laura Branigan Forever uploaded the 1982 Parade in full to YouTube and the Internet Archive, after being lost for nearly 40 years.[3]

Video[edit | edit source]

The NBC telecast of the 1982 Parade.

See Also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]