Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade: Best and worst moments

Macysparademrpanut_lParticipants in the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade are supposed to look insanely cheery no matter what, but with temperatures in the low 40s and plenty of sun this year, they didn’t have to fake it. I was up at 9 a.m. to catch every corny second of this holiday mainstay, and after three hours of overdosing on scarves, brass sections, and lip-synching, here are some of the moments that stood out.

The parade gets Rick-rolled: While the monsters of the Cartoon Network were in the middle of a song, the one and only RICK ASTLEY burst out of their float out and broke into "Never Gonna Give You Up." My life is complete! All Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parades will pale in comparison now that Astley has put his footprint on this one. Did anyone else burst out laughing at the end of the song when the monster/puppet shrieked “ILIKERICKROLLING”?

The Radio City Rockettes have a fashion moment: The Rockettesbroke tradition from their red and white outfits and donnedchampagne-colored mini-dresses. Finally, a fashion choice as sexy astheir chorus-line kicks!

In The Heights makes Broadway look good: The cast of the 2008 Tony winner for Best Musical (including a clearly psyched composer and star Lin-Manuel Miranda) looked pretty awesome as they performed the title song from the show, managing to pull off the only Broadway performance that wasn’t cheese-tastic this year.

The Nutmobile remains totally awesome: Mr. Peanut, head honcho of Planters, drove his hot ride through Herald Square, and it was worth it just to hear Matt Lauer announce the arrival of the Nutmobile (and also to hear my mom call out from the kitchen that she knows a few people she’d like to put in it).

Al Roker shamelessly plugs NBC shows: Listening to Roker talk up the struggling network’s non-hits as if they were American Idol-level successes proved absolutely painful. Next to a grinning Justin Bruening, the star of Knight Rider, Roker said, “Some kid growing up will have a Justin Bruening lunch box.” Umm, I don’t think so.

Harajuku Girl balloon heads sully the festivities: Donning enormous balloon heads onnormal human-sized bodies, performers bounced around on a float asHarajuku girls. Did we really need to cross this line? On Thanksgiving?

White Christmas makes Broadway look bad: Are these people for real? The performance from this holiday-themed Broadway show was stickier than the pecan pie I broke into last night. And not in a good way.

A tradition of bad writing continues: It wouldn’t be the same old parade if it wasn’t filled with terribly written zingers. Here are some of the greatest hits: “A bear-hug is understood in any language.” “There they are, the unofficial marshals of the parade — pilgrim man and pilgrim woman.” “We await the arrival of superstar Miley Cyrus.”

All right PopWatchers, I’m gonna go seek out the mashed potatoes that have been haunting me the past couple weeks. What did you think about this year’s parade? Did it still hold the magic it did when you were a kid? And what were the best and worst moments for you?

addCredit(“Yana Paskova/Getty Images”)

Comments (83 total) Add your comment
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  • CMan

    I was rolling on the floor when they rick rolled the parade. Classic. Truly classic.

  • Heather

    Too bad the rickrolling was spoiled for me when I saw “Ricky Astley” in the opening credits.
    NBC! The point of rickrolling is completely catching people off guard.

  • A-list

    haha yeaa. “we await the arrivel of superstar Miley Cyrus.” Had to be the most I’ve laughed in my parade watching days. I did like her coat, though three other chicks had the same thing. This parade has gotten worse and worse every year i watch it. But once and i while they get some good acts. (Rockettes new look, Chees the crazy rick-rolling puppet)

  • Kacey

    Andy Williams is still alive.

  • Caroline

    Thanks to my little brother watching that Cartoon network show, I know (unfortunately) that the yellow puppet’s name is Cheese, and his catchphrase is “I like chocolate milk!” Why do I remember these things?

  • Carol Alfonso

    It was odd to see Rick Astley doing the “Rick Rolled” 80’s hit Together Forever. I thought it was only a You Tube idea, but to do this on the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, takes out the credit of a family tradition. Yet, the little ones are not familiar with Rick Astley, but some You Tube fans, already knew what was all about. However, the idea of doing it at the expenses of Macy’s and Cartoon Network, was out of context. My 2 cents! Cheese: “I love Rick Rolling!”

  • Knight203

    Best moment? The parade got RICK ROLL’D! what in the world could be better!?

  • Groovy Chainsaw

    What happened with the Keith Haring Heart balloon ? I got the impression that it nearly collided with the broadcast booth, but how bad was it ? Any damage to the (debuting) balloon or the booth ?

  • robin

    Rick Astley was awesome. I am such a kid when it comes to the balloons. Loved the new Smurf and I love seeing Kermit.
    But I just love to laugh at the bad lip syncing all around. And some of the balloons are dated – Beethoven????

  • Craig

    The Buzz Lightyear balloon was AWESOME

  • Louie Q

    Did anyone notice the girl singing on the Ecko Unltd. float stumble twice? How can i get footage of that?

  • Mavis

    I’m so glad the parade got Rick Rolled! Awesome!

  • Leif Eric

    I will say that Kermit the frog was the best of all. His performance made me wish to be a kid once again.

  • Ali

    By far, the worst piece of banter was Meredith’s “I’ve just received word that the Energizer Bunny balloon has escaped and is floating down 34th St. It’s just going and going and going…”
    For a second I thought we were going to have a rogue balloon story reminiscent of the “Underdog balloon” episode of Friends.

  • Crystal

    Although the RickRolling as obviously planned it is still cool that someone even thought to do that!
    I will still LOVE to be one of the people that holds a giant balloon – how do folks get that job?

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