It's a safe bet that most of our US readers aren't at work today. They're not likely to be out on video shoots, hard at work in the editing room, or taking client meetings to brainstorm viral ideas. Because it's Thanksgiving, which means most Americans will be eating lots of food, watching lots of TV, and most likely arguing with in-laws, parents, and extended family members.
Thanksgiving is all about being thankful, and I'm definitely thankful for online video. It entertains me on a regular basis. It pays the bills, since I make most of my money from writing about video, making video, and consulting with businesses about video.
Since I know many of you will, at some point today, get tired of your family... and likely head online to see what kind of distractions you can find... I thought I'd use the holiday as an excuse to cobble together a collection of Thanksgiving-themed videos. Some are touching. Some are fun. Some will have you feeling nostalgic. But they'll probably all remind you of some of the reasons why Americans take time every year to be intentional about being thankful.
We'll have plenty of news and other articles coming the rest of the day, but I wanted to start things off on a lighter note for the holiday.
First up... a new video. Just a week old. And it comes from a teacher we've featured on our Friday viral video round up articles a couple of times. He uses clever video integration to hold his class's attention and make his lessons memorable. Here's a special Thanksgiving lesson:
Epic Meal Time--now practically a household name among YouTube viewers--was just getting their popularity going with last year's Thanksgiving special, The TurBacon Epic:
Then they returned this year with an even-harder-to-pronounce dish, called the TurBaconEpiCentipede:
In one of the silliest traditions (in a country with plenty of silly traditions), President Obama recently pardoned two turkeys. Awesome. Good to know that while millions of turkeys are eaten today, these two that had the ear of the President will be safe and sound.
FPS Russia is another channel that went from launch to superstardom in under a year. The channel boasts a lot of cool firearms being tested, along with a charming host whose Russian accent is almost certainly not real. Here's their Thanksgiving Massacre (which contains a lot more "massacre" than "Thanksgiving"):
Aside from the new stuff, YouTube is full of other great Thanksgiving videos. In a scene from one of my favorite shows ever, Bart gets to make the cranberry sauce:
If you don't mind a really poor-quality TV-to-Internet video transfer, you can watch the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving special--it's not the Christmas special, but it's still Peanuts:
Planes Trains & Automobiles is technically a Thanksgiving movie--I'm not sure you knew that, but it is. The main character's goal is to make it home in time for Thanksgiving. And here's a famous scene where John Candy tells off Steve Martin:
Mad About You had its time as one of America's favorite sitcoms, and here's a pretty funny bit from a Thanksgiving episode where multiple turkeys are made and ruined:
Friends had numerous Thanksgiving episodes, and many of them are hilarious. In one Thanksgiving episode, Brad Pitt co-stars (sadly, this video doesn't have embedding allowed so you'll need to click through to watch it on YouTube):
And in my personal favorite, Joey gets a turkey stuck on his head (this Friends video also has embedding disabled):
If movie clips and sitcom scenes aren't your thing, maybe you're a sports fan? Maybe you'd like to see a Thanksgiving memory from last year, when Ndamukong Suh sacked Tom Brady in one of the two annual Thanksgiving Day NFL games?
This Thanksgiving, I hope you have a great time with loved ones, great food, and a renewed appreciation for the power and opportunity online video provides.