Wednesday, November 26, 2014
TMFW 64 - Adam Sandler's "Thanksgiving Song," Annotated
Happy Thanksgiving to my tens of readers! I've got a turkey in the oven, and my research taught me that somebody has already done the work I was going to, so today's post is an easy one.
In November, 1992, Adam Sandler appeared on Saturday Night Live's "Weekend Update" segment, where he first performed his now-famous "The Thanksgiving Song." Sandler was in only his second full season with SNL, and was not yet a full cast member. Though it's a little harder to remember after movies like Little Nicky, Jack and Jill, and That's My Boy - watch any of those trailers and marvel that they made over $150 million combined - at that point in his career Sandler's falsetto goofiness made him charming and loveable.
The song was an instant hit, and appeared on Sandler's 1993 album They're All Gonna Laugh at You!, helping to drive the record to double-platinum status and a Grammy nomination for Best Comedy Album. It is an undeniably catchy song, and you can count on hearing it each year on holiday radio or from friends sharing it on Facebook. It's a sure-bet for tonight's SNL Thanksgiving special.
Sandler's song is full of intentionally-forced rhymes and goofy pop culture non-sequiturs, and after 22 years many of them are pretty dusty. So for the benefit of those born after 1992 (there are more of them every day, it seems like), both Rolling Stone and The Week had writeups this week annotating Sandler's tune to explain the references. I like The Week's better, if you are inclined to follow one of those links.
BONUS FACT: For those who are a bit more cynical, Loudon Wainwright III's "Thanksgiving" is perhaps a more appropriate song for the holiday. Sample lyrics: "On this auspicious occasion /
this special family dinner / if I argue with a loved one, Lord / please make me the winner.
BONUS FACT 2: Mostly for TMFW readers Danny and Greg, here's another SNL Thanksgiving dish: The Californians enjoy a Thanksgiving with romantic drama, sequoia seating arrangements, and traffic on the 101.
BONUS FACT/FUN FOLLOW-UP: Last week's TMFW had a bonus fact related to Waylon Jennings earning his GED by studying videotapes made by the State of Kentucky while out on tour. Loyal TMFW reader and grad school buddy Porgy wrote in to let me know that those tapes were hosted by his mother! She is a Kentuckian and was a TV/radio/voiceover presenter in the 70s and 80s. That's an excellent story, but Porgy was understandably a little bit ambivalent about his mother spending so much time with Jennings on his tour bus...