Old School Americana & Nostalgia


The Funniest 70s Sitcom Thanksgiving Episodes

The Funniest 70s Sitcom Thanksgiving Episodes

TV shows used to find ways to incorporate holidays into their schedules and the results were pretty funny all the time. In the 70s, a number of them decided to take advantage of Thanksgiving. Not every show decided to spend its air time on a holiday, especially Thanksgiving. Yet when they did, the results were just so hilarious.

“The First Thanksgiving,” Happy Days (1978)

On Happy Days, Marion Cunningham (Marion Ross) is tired of seeing family members gather around the TV set for NFL football on Thanksgiving. What happens? We end up seeing every cast member dress up like a Pilgrim. The episode is a beautiful reminder to be grateful for everything in your life. Henry Winkler and Ron Howard also show up.

“Over the River and Through the Woods,” The Bob Newhart Show (1975)

This is one of the funniest episodes of The Bob Newhart Show. Emily (Suzanne Pleshette) is out of town as Thanksgiving rolls around. What will Bob do? Hey, he spends Thanksgiving with Jerry (Peter Bonerz) and Mr. Carlin (Jack Riley) at home. Of course, they are watching a football game. In addition, they get drunk. Watching them order Moo Goo Gai Pan from a Chinese restaurant when drunk is so funny. Would it pass in today’s world? Who knows.

“The Un-Underground Movie,” The Brady Bunch (1970)

We get down to the basics of Thanksgiving history with the beloved 70s sitcom, The Brady Bunch. Greg (Barry Williams) decides to do a documentary about the First Thanksgiving. In order to do so, he calls on everyone to take part in it. We get to see Carol (Florence Henderson) and Mike (Robert Reed) dress up as Pilgrims. There is some craziness where family members are OK with doing the movie; others are not. Greg takes the bull by the horns.

“Thanksgiving Story,” Barney Miller (1977)

It definintely is not a quiet holiday time around the 12th Precinct on Barney Miller. Three mental patients end up making a mess at an automate for Thanksgiving dinner. All three get hauled up to the squad room. Detectives do their best to handle the situation. Hal Linden stars in this classic 1970s sitcom.

“Turkeys Away,” WKRP in Cincinnati (1978)

What would Thanksgiving me without this classic 70s episode from WKRP in Cincinnati. Originally airing in ’78, newsman Les Nessman (Richard Sanders) is out on the street. He’s covering a stunt put together by station manager Arthur Carlson (Gordon Jump). This idea? Throw turkeys out of a helicopter. As they are thrown out, Nessman is broadcasting and leaves everyone in the lurch. “Oh my God, they’re turkeys!” he yells.

Back at the station, Dr. Johnny Fever (Howard Hesseman), Bailey (Jan Smithers), Andy (Gary Sandy), and Venus Flytrap (Tim Reid) are all listening in on this broadcast. At the end of the episode, Carlson comes out of his office, turkey feathers all over him, and says that he thought turkeys could fly.