Thursday, November 24, 2011

Saturday Night Live's Tradition Of Thanksgiving Songs

Hi again everyone,
We're big fans of Saturday Night Live, especially of the show's classic eras.

SNL has never had a "Thanksgiving episode", but the show has featured quite a few Thanksgiving-themed musical numbers over the years.

In 1976, host Paul Simon opened the show by singing "Still Crazy After All These Years" a turkey costume:

Sorry I couldn't find any video of this online. Simon stops in the middle of the performance and calls it "one of the most humiliating experiences of my life!"

Perhaps the most famous Thanksgiving song in the show's history was performed on November 21, 1992. Adam Sandler introduced "The Thanksgiving Song", a new song he'd written about eating turkey. It also contains a plethora 90s pop culture references that have nothing to do with Thanksgiving:

A year later (November 20,1993 to be exact), Sandler did an excellent impression of Bruce Springsteen performing a Thanksgiving song.
Here's a Springsteen Thanksgiving:

In 1996, we got a sketch featuring multiple singers auditioning new Thanksgiving songs for a grant from the National Endowment of the Arts. This sketch includes the debut of Cinder Calhoun, played by Ana Gasteyer. "Cinder" would become a recurring character on the show for several years. Tim Meadows also stands out in this sketch performing a sultry, soulful and innuendo-filled Thanksgiving ballad.
Watch "Thanksgiving Song Auditions" here:

And speaking of Cinder Calhoun, she showed up the next year on Weekend Update to perform another Thanksgiving song. The song condemns the killing of turkeys on Thanksgiving and compares Butterball to Hitler and Stalin! She was joined by musical guest Sarah McLachlan on "Basted In Blood:
Here it is, from 11/22/97:

And just last year, current cast member Jay Pharoh appeared on Weekend Update and wondered what a Thanksgiving rap written by Jay-Z or Biggie Smalls would sound like. Pharoh proceeded to rap about Thanksgiving and it's trappings, from November 20, 2010:

So maybe if you're musically inclined, you'll find yourself leading your family in a singalong of one of these songs tonight after you've finished all the pumpkin pie. Okay, that probably won't happen (considering some of these songs contain outdated references George Wendt and Darryl Strawberry), but these songs are still lots of fun.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

J.A. Morris and Rigbymel

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