1982 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade (found NBC broadcast of parade; 1982)
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.
The 1982 Parade was one affected by high winds, and as such, five of the balloons were given minor damage to removals.
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, causing the nose to deflate. 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 balloon was the Mickey Mouse balloon. The blustery winds proved challenging for the balloon’s many handlers, with Mickey often crashing onto the ground. However, they would overcome mother nature and move Mickey safely through Herald Square. The Snoopy balloon also received a deflated tail during preparations. Just before the kick-off of the Parade, the Superman balloon 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.
This parade was also the last appearance of the long running Snoopy balloon, which had been in the lineup since 1968. It would eventually return in 1985, before being retired once again. It was succeeded by seven other giant helium balloons, made between 1987 and 2023.
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. He was hospitalized a few days later and passed away on December 7th due to a heart attack. 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 third 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 before retiring after the 1996 Parade.
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.
- 1939 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade (lost experimental NBC broadcast of parade; 1939)
- Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade (partially found NBC broadcasts of parade; 1953-1980)
- 1989 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade (found NBC broadcast of parade; 1989)
- 1998 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade (found NBC broadcast of parade; 1998)
- Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade (partially found widescreen versions of NBC broadcasts of parade; 2005-2011)
- Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade (lost production material of cancelled film adaptation of annual event; 2011)