Three essential Thanksgiving videos
It's been a while! If you're a long-time subscriber or only just joined us after Snack Cart was featured alongside other food newsletters in TASTE, howdy! I'm sending out a special edition to wish you a happy Thanksgiving and to ask you to help me with something. More on that in a second.
You may have noticed there hasn't been a Snack Cart in a while. My job took a turn for the busy at the end of last year. With the onset of the pandemic, it took a turn for the completely insane. I miss writing Snack Cart very much, but it's been hard to find the time and energy. I'll be thinking over the holidays about how I could get back to it.
For now, I'm recycling a vintage Snack Cart that most of you haven't seen and I think you will enjoy. I'm also asking you to join me in donating to City Harvest and No Kid Hungry.
I'm not with my family, but I'm lucky enough to have a lot to eat and a stable job this year. That's not true for a lot of people. For many, the holidays are going to be really hard. Food banks are stretched thinner than ever. If we really care about food, surely our first responsibility is to ensure our neighbors have enough to eat.
Take a few minutes out of your day to donate to one of New York's largest food-based charities. Not in New York? Donate to a local food bank or charity. I'll be personally matching $300 in donations (just reply with a proof of donation) to any charity that fights hunger.
We're all feeling a bit out of control this year. Giving a bit, even $5, will help. You'll also feel better and can truly relax and enjoy some funny videos. On to the newsletter.
Thanksgiving is full of pauses. Especially if you are cooking, there are times you are sorta just trapped there while you wait for a pot to boil or a timer to get to 00:00. Those small breaks are good for running down to see 30 seconds of the parade or to check the score of the football game. They are also great for watching a short video on your phone. I'm including three videos that I find myself watching just about every Thanksgiving. I suggest you leave today's Cart in your inbox and watch (or rewatch) each one when you you need it.
Perfect for: When it's not actually worth walking away from the oven.
The West Wing was always great with Thanksgiving episodes. They were a perfect hook for the mix of shmaltz and seriousness that Sorkin really loves. There are a lot of great clips like "Shibboleth" or "Pilgrim Detectives," but none compare to this one. I start laughing as soon as President Bartlett says, "I'm a citizen" pretty much every time. OK, fine, here's the one of President Bartlett giving Charlie the knife if you want to cry instead.
Perfect for: Just about the time it takes to boil six quarts of tap water.
The song is weird and way, way, way too long. It's also only nominally about Thanksgiving. Still, it's fun, funny, and worth a listen at least once during the day. The world is kind of a dumpster fire right now. This song has a weird kind of counter-cultural hopefulness to it that we could all use. It's nice to imagine a world where sheer collective absurdity can overcome bureaucratic evil.
WKRP in Cinncinnati - "Turkeys Away"
Perfect for: When you just need a break from everything, you know?
My parents love nothing as much as they love 70s and 80s television. That's why, about ten years ago, they started making me and my sister watch this every Thanksgiving. I'm glad they did, because it is one the funniest scenes in television history.
"WKRP in Cincinnati" was a show was about a struggling radio station that has just switched formats from easy listening to rock and roll. In this episode, the station manager, feeling left out by the new staff, tries to get more involved. He comes up with a secret Thanksgiving promotion that he says will make history. All he needs is 20 live turkeys.
If you want to skip to the climax, click here and watch the classic ending. However, I recommend watching the entire episode so that the final line really lands. Once you've watched, read this oral history of the episode. It's based on real events!