The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade plays by a set of rules all its own. Not in the sense that they get to do whatever they want (although if they could run over pedestrians with impunity, that might make for a more exciting presentation). I mean more in the sense that they sincerely believe that they must go about their business in a very certain way, or else.
For instance, they seem to labor under the misapprehension that you simply can’t have a celebrity appear. They must sing. But they can’t just sing a song, either. The celebrity must also play some role, even if they’re not appearing in a Broadway show at the time. That role is, almost invariably, from a nursery rhyme or some other kids’ story. Why? That is a very good question.
Case in point: This clip from 1993, which features Laugh-In alums JoAnne Worley and Ruth Buzzi. They were ostensibly appearing in this event as promotion for a Laugh-In Christmas special that would soon air on NBC. So I wonder why, rather than appearing in outfits or as part of a setpiece that was more evocative of the famous swingin’ 60s sketch show, they had to dress in Little Bo Peep outfits and sing a song about meeting their prince(s).
There’s nothing materially wrong with any of this, of course. Both ladies seem to be into it and are definitely not phoning in their performances. It just leaves me wondering why they had to do it. I’m imagining the OCD-addled head of Macy’s Pageantry informing these ladies, “No, you MUST wear these precious shepherd costumes and you MUST sing these songs. You can not appear as yourselves OR THE DEMONS ATTACK. THE DEMONS IN MY HEAD.”