Ye Olde Dragon here, reflecting on Thanksgivings past. Around this time of year, I tend to reminisce about the way television used to be on Thanksgiving, when I was a hatchling. On Turkey Day itself, after the Macy’s Parade went off the air, the three networks (back then, that’s all there were) would usually air samplings of their Saturday morning fare. The local area broadcast channels also offered holiday goodies. WPIX – the New York City area’s Channel 11 – would air Laurel and Hardy in MARCH OF THE WOODEN SOLDIERS followed by a cavalcade of cartoons hosted by Captain Jack McCarthy – himself the host of the daily Popeye show – and Officer Joe Bolton – the host of the Three Stooges and Dick Tracy shows. Sometime around 4:00 PM, on WOR – Channel 9 out of Secaucus, New Jersey – shared their annual Thanksgiving offering – a triple feature: the original KING KONG (1933), SON OF KONG (1933) and the original MIGHTY JOE YOUNG (1949). Truly a feast of gigantic proportions.
But Channel 9 didn’t stop there. The next day, when (back then, at least) kids were home from school, we could tune in for more giant monster fun. Starting (some years) at noon, they ran KING KONG ESCAPES (1968) and KING KONG VS. GODZILLA (1963). In later years, they would go to an all Godzilla format.
But alas, nothing lasts forever. With the advent of cable television and the rise of superstations buying up broadcast rights, local channels stopped airing daytime movies, switching to schedules including game shows, soap operas and talk shows.
I was reminded of those good old days, when @DriveInMob posted a link to some old WOR holiday movie promos. Someone clearly recorded them in the earliest days of the VCRs, as GODZILLA VS. MEGALON (1976) was added into the mix in the early 1980s.
So, I don’t know about you, but Thursday night I’ll be popping in my DVDs and revisiting some old friends.