Syncopated Rhythms

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is broadcast on both NBC and CBS. The official telecast on NBC is too scripted while the coverage on CBS isn’t scripted enough. The hosts of “Today,” who work together every day, recited the banter that had been prepared for them. It always has the same feel as the forced repartee of co-presenters on an an awards show. Meanwhile, two correspondents from “The Insider” were given the freedom to ad-lib on CBS. Unfortunately, they spent much of their time talking over each other. It was a downgrade from last year’s CBS telecast.

A guy dressed as a baker on the Morton Salt “Home Baked Goodness” float looked more like Santa Claus than the Santa on the North Pole float. Macy’s Santa had a forked beard. The celebrity on Morton’s float was “American Idol” winner Scotty McCreery. He got caught off-guard by his own song and raised the microphone to his lips after his pre-recorded voice had already started singing. The same thing happened to Avril Lavigne on the Cooking Channel’s “Tom Turkey” float. A little later, seasoned pro Neil Diamond showed how it’s done while aboard the South Dakota Tourism float. I wrote on Twitter: “Neil Diamond doesn’t wait for the lip-sync track before lifting his mic. The lip-sync track waits until Neil Diamond is ready!”

My favorite marching band performance was by the Dobyns-Bennett High School Marching Band, which covered the song “Dynamite.” One of the band members received the Bob Hope Band Scholarship Award.

NBC fills the first hour of their broadcast with performances outside Macy’s while they wait for the parade to arrive. Daniel Radcliffe showed off some impressive dance moves with the cast of “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.” I was surprised to learn that a version of the movie flop “Newsies” is coming to Broadway as a musical. The costumes from “Priscilla Queen of the Desert” were bizarre, as I’m sure they were intended to be.

My friend Jessica commented on the parade via Facebook. She responded to another of her friends by writing, “you weren’t kidding about the Priscilla number being a little outré for family TV. Also, I was playing the ‘which one of those dancers is in drag; and which one is a female made up to look like a man in drag?’ game.”

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