Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Friday, November 12, 2010

Pop Culture on parade for the holidays

One of the best traditions for any major holiday celebration is the annual parade. Whether it's for Halloween,Thanksgiving or any other special day that doesn't require gift giving,parades provide us with music,fun and an excuse to walk around in public dressed in wild outfits on top of floats.

It's also a chance to see some pop culture highlights in action,as certain giant balloon characters go in and out of style and the opportunity for a major moment of glory can be taken by fictional folk. As a warm-up for the merry marches yet to come,let's look at a few parade moments that were show stoppers in more ways than one:

PARTY AT YOUR PERIL: The setting for the big showdown between the Dark Knight and his laugh til it hurts nemesis in Tim Burton's Batman was held at an unofficial parade hosted by the Joker.

Since the Gotham City officials decided to cancel the 200th anniversary festivities due to concerns about public safety,Joker seized upon that juicy opportunity and literally bribed crowds to show up by tossing handfuls of cash onto the streets. While many people eagerly basked in the glow of easy money,they were truly unaware of the death trap being set for them(yes,Batman eventually saved the day but talk about paying the ultimate price there!):

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SHAKING IT UP,BABY: A truly classic this-could-only-happen-in-a-movie moment is the sequence where the title character of Ferris Bueller's Day Off hijacks a float during a parade and lip synches for the delight of the crowd as well as his friends on the sidelines.

While his opening bit is a nifty tip of the hat to Wayne Newton,the real highlight is "Twist and Shout",that seems to infect everyone within hearing distance with the need to bust a move. In the hands of a lesser director,this over the top number would take the plot completely off the rails but John Hughes had a fondness for spontaneous musical scenes there and this bit is one of his personal best:

Thanksgiving episodes on Friends mostly centered around dinner plans but on one occasion,Joey failed to show up for his spot on a Day of Our Lives promotional appearance at the famous Macy's parade.

It wasn't until he was watching it on TV that he realized his error and was in desperate search of a convincing lie. Lucky for him that Phoebe was on hand to help him out because raccoons do not make for the best of alibis:

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BANTERING BUDDIES: On a Christmas themed episode of Frasier,the talkative doctor was granted a chance to fulfill a childhood dream by being one of the commentators for the annual holiday parade.

His partner ,however,was "Dr. Mary",Frasier's unexpectedly popular former radio co-host who, to his everlasting annoyance ,didn't even possess a proper medical degree.

As usual,Frasier was his own worst enemy and turned the crowd against him by knocking Santa down during that pivotal part of the parade. Frasier did get his banter time eventually,from a person who he had more in common with than he knew:

Parades may seem to be goofy kid's stuff but what they really are meant to be is one of those stop and smell the roses pauses that we should take in life. Many times,even a holiday doesn't allow us to slow down and catch our collective breath,especially during stress laden times when we need to the most.

Another advantage of parades,such as the Macy's Thanksgiving Day production,is the chance to check out samples of pop culture that plenty of people don't have readily available to them. Seeing some of them being performed live out in the freezing cold can make a believer out of anyone determined to share their Scrooge sorrows with others-real magic that keeps on giving:

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