Friday, November 20, 2020

Spending the Day After Thanksgiving With Ozzie & Harriet


One week from today will be the day after Thanksgiving. Usually it’s also Black Friday, but this year most stores will either be closed or keeping their usual hours, which may be the only positive development to emerge from the pandemic.


If you’re lucky enough to have the day off, one way to spend some of that time is with a wonderful episode of The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet called, appropriately enough, “The Day After Thanksgiving.” 




We fade up at the breakfast table in the Nelson home, as the family remembers the delicious Thanksgiving dinner they enjoyed the previous night at the home of Harriet’s Aunt Ellen (Ellen Corby, who played senior citizens on television for more than 30 years).


Eating out means no leftovers, and that suits Ozzie just fine. He launches into an impassioned speech about how everyone enjoys a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner, “and then they have to go and spoil the memory of this beautiful occasion by stuffing themselves with turkey the rest of the week. The whole thing is ridiculous.”


But later that day his neighbor Mr. Thornberry stops by still munching on a drumstick, and talking about the delights of cold turkey the next day: “This is my favorite week of the year.” 




They discuss the right combination of ingredients for a perfect turkey sandwich – and by lunchtime Ozzie is craving more turkey, as are his sons David and Ricky.


The desire becomes so powerful that he heads to the butcher shop to buy a turkey, but not surprisingly that bird is tough to find on the day after Thanksgiving. 



Will his dreams of turkey hash, turkey croquettes and turkey upside down pudding go unrealized?


Those unfamiliar with this series are likely wondering why anyone would enjoy 25 minutes of watching people talk about eating turkey. But that’s what makes The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet so special. For 14 years, it found little moments that are identifiable to most viewers – such as the appeal of turkey leftovers after Thanksgiving – and turned them into clever, relatable and entertaining half-hours of television.


Ozzie’s change of heart and subsequent quest for turkey are comical, yet they are also relatable. Who hasn’t built up their hopes for a particular food, to the point where getting it becomes a crusade? Ozzie would later embark on a similar quest in one of the show’s most famous episodes, “Tutti-Frutti Ice Cream.”


My holiday celebrations are always a little better when I can share part of them with a classic show. If you feel that way as well, you may have already enjoyed the infamous turkey drop on WKRP in Cincinnati, bowed your head in prayer with Jim Anderson in the Father Knows Best episode “Thanksgiving,” and watched Sam, Darrin and Aunt Clara mingle with the Pilgrims at Plymouth on Bewitched. Now you’ve got something to watch on the day after Thanksgiving – and before you start watching your favorite Comfort TV Christmas shows.


“The Day After Thanksgiving” is available on YouTube. 




  1. Haha! This IS an awesome one--I never saw a single Ozzie & Harriet episode until last November, was bedridden for 3 months and wound up watching EVERY Nelson Family episode (in chronological order, complete with original tv commercials), like 15 years worth! Anyway a good reminder of this one, thanks David--hope you have a nice Comfort TV Thanksgiving :)

    1. Love the episodes with the original commercials - Listerine, Hotpoint, Kodak, Coca-Cola - it always adds something to the nostalgic experience. Happy Thanksgiving to you as well.

  2. You mean Ozzie didn't have to go to work the day after Thanksgiving?

  3. Wonder if you knew that the friendly butcher was Arthur Q. Bryan, the longtime voice of Elmer Fudd?