Thanksgiving’s unofficial mascot, Tom Turkey finally gets some love.
So here we are. It’s already Thanksgiving – seems like only yesterday was Halloween – and you’re off work, ready to eat copious amounts of food and lounge around the television (or computer) in your most unflattering pair of pajamas because, well, they’re also the most comfortable. Too often, though, we forget the true reason for all the celebratory festivities and it has nothing to do with our ancestors colonizing America. No, in fact, it’s all in reverence to one feathered bird so awesome that Ben Franklin wanted it to be our national mascot: Tom Turkey.
That’s right, this year we’re going to celebrate Thanksgiving the only way we know how… by highlighting some of Tom’s best cartoon appearances. Here’s to you Tom, now pass the gravy!
#5 Disney’s House of Mouse “Turkey Day” (1999)
Of all Tom’s appearances on this list, this one is by far the most annoying. I suppose that the writers figured that giving him a British accent and having him act all sophisticated-like would make him seem more interesting, but all it really does is make me want to punch him in the face. Hard.
#4 Tom Turkey & His Harmonica Humdingers (1940)
Not specifically a Thanksgiving cartoon, this one does feature the closest thing this holiday has to a mascot: Tom Turkey. One version of many that has appeared in animated form, this Tom Turkey is a rowdy “root’n toot’n” harmonica playing fool and… well, that’s about it. The entire cartoon is about Tom trying to play his harmonica with his posse while bringing the house down (literally).
#3 Holiday For Drumsticks (1949)
Ever since the new Looney Tunes Show came to Cartoon Network I’ve found a whole new appreciation for the utter narcissistic stupidity of Daffy Duck. Sure, his morals are almost non-existent and his penchant to go over-the-top with EVERYTHING he does is second to none, but you have to admire his consistent ability to screw things up for himself.
#2 Jerky Turkey (1945)
As much of a jerk as Daffy is, Jerky Turkey has him beat by a good quarter mile and he does it all in classic Tex Avery style. Modeled after comedian Jimmy Durante, Jerky spares no expense in this short to foil his pilgrim pursuer. The best part, though? A bear named Joe (you’ll see).
#1 The Simpson’s Treehouse of Horror XIX (2008)
Brought to life by the imagination of Milhouse this Tom Turkey was born to chew bubblegum and kick some ass! His heroism is short lived, however, when Tom discovers that he is actually the physical manifestation of a cultural mascot whose consumption is the very centerpiece of celebration (breaking out my best Egon Spengler there). Naturally, Tom snaps and begins eating all the children in the room and somewhere Mother Nature is laughing at us all.