As part of the inevitable commercialization of holidays, nearly every event will inevitably get it’s share of themed comedies. Maybe the worst offender is Christmas, but there are plenty of themed comedies about Halloween, Easter, New Years, Valentine’s Day, and so on.
One notable exception seems to be Thanksgiving. Research regularly finds it to be one of the most popular holidays in the United States, and yet Thanksgiving related comedies are few and far between. You struggle to think of some and can probably drop a dozen Christmas movies before you can think of one Thanksgiving one. Granted, we’ve made our share of lists on Thanksgiving comedies and we can tell you that there is a lot less to choose from. After Planes, Trains, and Automobiles and Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, the list starts to get sparse. Again a topic we’ve covered in the past.
Still, there is one popular comedy show that regularly features a Thanksgiving episode. Not only that, these episodes are often ranked by fans as some of their favorites. That show is Bob’s Burgers. Since its third season through to its latest 12th season, the show has delivered a Thanksgiving episode. From the very first episode about Thanksgiving, writers established that it was the Belcher family patriarch’s favorite holiday so it inevitably became an easy topic for the show to cover each season.
In an interview with Cracked, several people involved in the show talk about the creation of the seasonal Thanksgiving episode. “I think it works because people really identify with it,” explained Wendy Molyneux, a writer for the show. “No matter how much you idealize a holiday, the potential for it to unwind in disaster is part of the tension and happiness of the occasion. We’re all always teetering on the brink of a holiday apocalypse.”
It shows the one element of Thanksgiving that perhaps curses it in comparison to other major holidays. There’s very little magical mythology surrounding the holiday. Any humor derived from it has to come from a more realistic place than those holidays with exciting fictional backstories. Halloween has ghosts and vampires, Christmas has elves and Santa. Thanksgiving has none of that.
So while we hold out hope for more humor surrounding the holiday, for now we will have to be content with the many Bob’s Burgers episodes to scratch this itch.