Blogs > Tuned in to Pop Culture

They’re not standing around the watercooler, but Cheryl Sadler, Mark Meszoros, Mark Podolski and Nicole Franz are talking about what they’ve been watching, listening to and playing during their free time.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Remembering a Thanksgiving tradition: The original King Kong

There once was a day when my Thanksgiving always got a bit hairy.

With loud roars.

And a beautiful blonde.

Confused? Not if you're old enough to remember a time when the classic 1933 "King Kong" was as big a part of Thanksgiving as the Detroit Lions, stuffing, turkey and pumpkin pie.

No one knows for sure why "King Kong" became a Thanksgiving tradition on WUAB Channel 43 at 8 p.m. We're talking about 30-some years ago in the 1970s. At least that's when I remember watching "King Kong" on Thanksgivings.

I'm not sure when it stopped, but as my 2-year-old son and I get older, I'd like to one day start that tradition again. The reason is simple: "King Kong" is one of the five best movies ever made. The special edition DVD release of the movie in 2005 is a must-have for Kong fans.

For those who've never seen the classic, you might chuckle when Kong first graces the screen, considering the ape was an 18-inch miniature made of a metal frame, rubber and fur, and came to life thanks to Willis O'Brien's ground-breaking stop-action motion photography. Remember, this was 1933 and the world had not seen anything like Kong on the big screen.

Moviegoers were stunned and taken back at the realism of Kong in the picture. So was a young boy who  believed every Thanksgiving Kong was King.

- Mark Podolski


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had no idea that King Kong was a Thanksgiving tradition in Ohio. I grew up watching Kong on WOR Channel 9 in New York. It's even stranger that it was a tradition in two different markets. (I wonder if there are any others.)

Years after WOR stopped showing Kong on Thanskgiving, I realized how I missed the tradition and have reinstated it in my own household. I'd like to think that my potential grandchildren and great grandchildren will one day carry on the Kong/Thanksgiving tradition, but that's probably a bit of a fantasy.

November 15, 2011 at 4:25 PM 

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