New York knows how to put on a good parade. The New York City Department of Records has some photos to prove it. There is no better parade ground than the Canyon of Heroes.
But the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is not one of the city’s good parades. You have to get up before sunrise, when it’s typically below freezing outside, to get a half-decent spot along the parade route. The crowd is 65 per cent crying children. Adults mutter to one another “we’re never doing this again.” Their misery is only heightened by the roughly three per cent of parade-goers who seem to be enjoying the gigantic floating corporate logos a little too much.
Still, the parade is a storied New York City tradition, and like many storied New York City traditions, there are cool old photos to look at. And, in doing so, I discovered that, for some reason, Thanksgiving floats used to be veritable nightmare fuel.
This is Captain Nemo from the 1929 parade, but it’s also going to murder you in your sleep.
The AP describes this float as “a big cat,” which is surely correct, but it’s also the last thing you’ll see before a giant claw gouges out your eyeballs while you’re being held down by its army of slave clowns:
With the US population halved from previous parade floats, this Deadly Maître D’ was off to finish the job in 1933:
Have no fear, though, in 1940 this scraggly, wrinkly Superman protected this Metropolis from the murderous floating hordes.
The 1945 parade was probably more joyful than the ones during the 1930s, what with the war being over and the economy not in the worst depression in the history of mankind, but apparently they hadn’t had enough of vicious murder, because this bear is about to get down to business:
This float from 1946 going to do some serious killing with that deranged face and it accurately represents the geometric proportions of baseball players at the time:
Floats got significantly less creepy starting the 1950s. I don’t have any explanation for this. Another thing I don’t have any explanation for is why in 1961 people were marching in the parade with these serial killer pig masks:
But shit got weird again in the 1980s. From the NYC Municipal Archives, this giant doll is about to rack up a kill count worthy of any Doom player: