The Cabbage Patch Kids appeared in virtually all of the 80s Macy's Parades, and though the costumed characters remained the same, the performances were always unique. The '85 edition featured Brian Bloom (the blond "Family Ties" son) and a really terrible song about Chinese kids, so I've chosen to give you a clip from the '86 edition instead. This time, Joey Lawrence makes his triumphant return after a yearlong hiatus, and he's got that little brother with him. The Lawrences have the honor of tap-dancing alongside a tuxedo-wearing baby Cabbage Patch Kid who topples in at about nine feet tall. I really don't get the fascination -- these things are just creepy and lifeless, and I can't imagine many dolls being sold because of their parade appearances. Were kids really into this? Scary, mutated wildebeests all competing to see who can survive the longest performing on one foot? I'd understand if CPK was a weird boy fad -- then they'd just by ugly alien warriors, and everything would be fine. As dolls, they looked harmless enough. As singing characters, they're the stuff of the nightmares.

You'll notice that I kind of cut the clip off prematurely. You'll thank me for it.

The Cabbage Patch Kids, with Matthew and Joey fucking Lawrence. (1986)


Ah, here's another gem from 1985. Remember how miserable and wet it was? This impacted the parade in a huge way -- some of the acts were shortened, others changed entirely, and as we'll see later, not even the famous balloons were safe from Mother Nature. Incidentally, of all the years for Pat Sajak to sign on to have people throw fire at him, 1985 was a bad choice. Up to this point, Pat's been doing his best to remain cheerful. He's freezing his ass off, and not even the biggest NBC umbrella could keep him dry, but he's really got his game face on. You know he'd rather be dead than hosting the parade, but he's not dropping the smile. Until, of course, people start juggling fire around his head...


Now that I think about it, I'm pretty sure Sajak stopped hosting the parades after 1986. Willard Scott was handed the reigns in '87. This should come as no surprise...between dealing with Stepfanie and Bert "Baggies" Convy, Pat's personal limit was certainly being pushed. Now he's gotta have fire thrown at him in the middle of a hurricane on Thanksgiving Day for all of the nation to see? There's only so much a person can take -- and only so many times a celebrity guest can make a clever joke about Vanna White before Pat ups and blows their head off. I don't fault him for leaving, not one bit. It's not like he needed the money. And he definitely didn't need fire in his face.

He survived, barely, but the damage had been done. The holiday spirit had literally been burnt from Pat's heart. He fulfills his obligations to host the remainder of the show, but from here on out, he's on autopilot. Pat Sajak on autopilot is like seeing something die twice. It's not his fault though, it's really not. Some people just don't like having fire thrown at them.

Pat Sajak doesn't enjoy being surrounded by fire. (1985)


1986 was a brighter year for Ronald Reagan. He was still president, and he still remembered how to piss. During both the '85 and '86 parades, a "HI HOW ARE YA" video package starring Reagan aired, filled with all sorts of goodwill and bathroom breaks for the viewers at home. He did a good job of making the Macy's Parade feel more important than it actually was, and an equally good job of reminding me of every school principal I've ever had. Admittedly, I was a bit young during Reagan's tenure, and admittedly, I haven't spent any time learning about his tenure since. I remember liking the guy, though -- he was always talking about Star Wars, Alex Keaton loved him, and his wife was friends with Arnold Drummond. That's a whole lot better than Bush I or II. Clinton gets a pass because that whole cigar thing was way too funny.

The Prez of the States has an important message. (1986)


Snoopy's balloon is far different from the one seen more recently. This time around, he's carrying a list containing the names of good boys and girls. Not shown in the clip, and I swear I'm not making this up, is Snoopy dropping the list and a bunch of hired help running into the crowd to make sure nobody was injured. While you won't see that, the clip gives you a chance to hear some terrific banter between Bert and Phylicia. Bert Convy sucks.

Check out Snoopy's big big big balloon. (1985)


There's the Betty Boop balloon, from 1986. Betty's balloon debuted a year prior, and to celebrate, she's brought a friend. Instead of floating down Madison by her lonesome, Betty is accompanied by a moon guy who thinks he's a banana. The balloons in general weren't as much of an attraction during these two years, at least when compared to 1984. They seem fewer and far between, and a bit later, we'll get to see a few who couldn't quite handle the adventure. Betty didn't fail, so she gets a video clip...

Betty Boopdeeboopdeeboopdee. Boop. (1986)


Guess who??????????????????????

I like Chilly Willy better. Always have.


Ah, that's more like it. Another Care Bears float. It's the same one we saw in '84, with the same giant bears running around shitting love and sweetness all over New York City. The only difference this time around is the chosen singing partner for the fuzzy freaks -- it's Susan Atkin...Miss America 1986! Man, she passed up on cutting the ribbon at the new K-Mart for this? She does about as respectable a job as anyone could in her position, looking not at all miserable while having to share her song number with approximately four dozen four-hundred pound beasts. The Care Bears themselves have a very small role -- they're just background noise this time around. Also of note: keep a close eye on the clip, and you'll spot some of the infamous "Care Bear Cousins." Same deal as the regular ones, but these guys were fashioned after lions, rabbits, and other assorted cute creatures who lent themselves to top selling plushies.


Right after the Care Bears finished up, there was a huge Disney float that only received three seconds of screen time. I guess it's because nobody was singing on it. Kinda sucks to be in a Macy's Parade if you can't sing. Pat just won't give you the time of day. The Disney float had the usual suspects, plus a bunch of those "Gummi Bears" guys. Pat didn't mention any of them by name. Because they weren't singing.

Miss America and the Care Bears tear it up. (1985)

So yeah, nothing too terrific on this page. By now you must be wondering what could be left in these two parades to make them even remotely compare to what we saw in '84. I think you'll have better faith when you see what's on the next page. In 1985, there was a Masters of the Universe float. In 1986, there was a Masters of the Universe float. And coming up, you'll see 'em both...


















 


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