News of the Week: Turkey Talk, the Rockefeller Tree Has Arrived, and Nirvana Is Better Than The Who

In the news for the week ending November 18, 2022, are a big Christmas tree, an expensive poster, a pointless ranking, and more.


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You Might Want to Go Frozen This Year

Why don’t we cook whole turkeys the rest of the year? Can you even buy whole turkeys the rest of the year?

I was thinking of that as I read the various stories about what’s going on with turkeys this holiday season. Prices for fresh turkeys are up 6.5 percent from last year, but I’m not worried about that because prices always seem to be “up” for one thing or another (turkey, gas, prescriptions, Halloween candy). It’s not like I’m going to refuse to pay a little more for a turkey at Thanksgiving and get a couple of pizzas delivered instead. But the fact that cases of bird flu are up did catch my eye, and some say you might have to buy a frozen turkey this year (prices are up for frozen this year too, though not as much).

Then again, it’s rare that bird flu spreads to humans. Only one person has been infected in the U.S. this year, and that guy worked at a poultry farm. (If you’re in England it might be a different story.)

Whichever type of turkey you buy, for safety you should make sure you cook the stuffing outside the bird. Of course, if you do, you’ll have to call it something else.

Rockin’ Around the 82-Foot Tall, 50-Foot Wide Christmas Tree …

This year’s Rockefeller Center Christmas tree is a 90-year-old Norway Spruce from upstate New York. Here’s video of its arrival (and here’s the backstory on how they found it).

Uploaded to YouTube by CBS New York

Nirvana Is Better Than The Who (and David Bowie and R.E.M.)

Don’t yell at me! It’s not me saying that! It’s Bill Wyman over at Vulture, who takes on the impossible (and needless!) task of ranking every single artist who is in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

As I’ve said here before, lists are pointless, especially when you’re trying to rank something that has 240 entries. Is number 61 really better than number 84? And when you’re talking music, doesn’t it really just come down to taste and opinion and personal reasons for liking or disliking someone (which Wyman seems to have a lot of)?

All I do know is this: putting The Ramones at number 7 is completely insane.

Buddy Holly Poster Breaks Record

Holly came in at No. 9 on Wyman’s list, and that’s great! I’ve always wondered what he would have done in his career if he hadn’t died at the age of 22. He, along with Ritchie Valens and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson (who was only on the plane because Waylon Jennings gave up his seat) died in a plane crash while on tour.

They were on their way to a concert in Moorehead, Minnesota, after playing in Clear Lake, Iowa, and the only known surviving poster from that concert just sold at auction for almost $450,000. The old record was $275,000 for a Beatles poster for their 1966 Shea Stadium concert.

Christmas Gift of the Week

Do you have someone on your gift list who’s hard to buy for? Someone who likes the latest fashion? Perhaps that someone is Plastic Man? Then they’ll love the Rick Owens Oversize Down Cape Coat. And it’s only $4,500! With free shipping!

RIP Gallagher, John Aniston, Robert Clary, Kevin Conroy, Budd Friedman, Garry Roberts, Fred Hickman, Jane Gross, and Gene Cipriano

Gallagher — real name Leo Anthony Gallagher Jr. — was the standup comic known for smashing watermelons and other things with a giant mallet. He died last week at the age of 76.

John Aniston had a lot of roles over his many years as an actor but is probably best known for playing Victor Kiriakis on Days of Our Lives for almost four decades. He was the father of Jennifer Aniston. He died last week at the age of 89.

Robert Clary appeared in many movies and TV shows but was probably best known for his role as LeBeau on Hogan’s Heroes. He really did spend over two years in two concentration camps. He died Wednesday at the age of 96.

Kevin Conroy did many voices for animated TV shows and movies, but his most famous was that of Batman, which he did for many different projects. He died last week at the age of 66.

Budd Friedman founded the original Improv in 1963 and had a hand in launching the careers of many famous comics. He died Saturday at the age of 90.

Garry Roberts was a founding member and guitarist for The Boomtown Rats, known for such songs as “I Don’t Like Mondays.” He died last week at the age of 72.

Fred Hickman was a sports anchor at CNN, ESPN, YES, and TNT. He died last week at the age of 66.

Jane Gross was the first woman sports reporter allowed in a male basketball locker room. She wrote for Newsday, The Los Angeles Times, and later The New York Times. She died last week at the age of 75.

George Cipriano was a veteran saxophonist and session musician whose playing can be heard on TV shows like Star Trek, Batman, Mission: Impossible, The Simpsons, The Flintstones, and M*A*S*H, and in movies like Some Like It Hot, The Karate Kid, and Up. He also performed with stars like Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, and Judy Garland. He died Saturday at the age of 94.

This Week in History

Five Sullivan Brothers Die on Ship (November 13, 1942)

The deaths of George, Joe, Frank, Matt, and Al Sullivan aboard the USS Juneau prompted a change in regulations concerning members of the same family serving in the military, called The Sole Survivor Policy.

First Wendy’s Opens (November 15, 1969)

Founder Dave Thomas opened the first location of the chain in Columbus, Ohio. It closed in March 2007.

This Week in Saturday Evening Post History: “Thanksgiving Cherub Sharpening Knife” (November 13, 1909)

This J.C. Leyendecker cover is either completely adorable or the inspiration for Children of the Corn.

Thanksgiving Recipes

Hey, Thanksgiving is next Thursday! It seems like only last week it was 70 degrees and we were wearing shorts (because it was, and we were). So many recipes online, how do I narrow it down to a handful?

Let’s try some recipes you might not think of as traditional Thanksgiving fare, starting with these Sundried Tomato Stuffed Mushrooms and this fall-sounding Apple and Cheddar Crisp Salad, both from Smitten Kitchen.

Once Upon a Chef has these Brussels Sprouts with Bacon, Pecans, and Maple Syrup, which I would try if the bacon, pecans, and maple syrup cover up the taste of the Brussels sprouts. Eating Well has these Baked Parmesan Tomatoes, and The Pioneer Woman has Jalapeño Cornbread.

You can make your usual mashed potatoes if you want — there’s nothing wrong with that! — but how about trying one of these three alternative potato dishes from Claire Saffitz at the New York Times, for Pommes Boulangère, Duchess-Style Twice-Baked Potatoes, and Garlicky Mashed Potato Cake.

You can also try these Cajun Thanksgiving recipes from our own Curtis Stone, and for dessert, check out these recipes from the pages of the Post from the 1800s, including German Hard Chocolate Cake, Chocolate Pudding, and something called Chocolate Mange.

But whatever you do, don’t try to make Popcorn Turkey Stuffing. Just … don’t.

Next Week’s Holidays and Events

World Cup (November 20-December 18)

Thirty-two soccer (sorry, “football”) squads will compete for the title. You can watch it on Fox Sports, Telemundo, and streaming on Peacock.

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and National Dog Show (November 24)

They both air on NBC. The parade starts at 9 a.m. ET and the dog show directly follows at noon.

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  1. When exactly DID the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree arrive anyway?! Seems too soon. With Thanksgiving only days away, I’ve got my own worries about the Holiday. I’d like to send that condescending, snarky little p—- Bill Wyman in my place to get a well deserved face slap from Kathy’s mom after the past few years of nothing.

    Still I do agree with various observations he makes on certain entries on the list. Very stoked to be seeing Gordon Lightfoot again (not on it), next month. The first time was with Gallagher of all people, as his opening act! I co-wrote a record review of his ‘Sundown’ album for the high school paper, then (singularly) Carly Simon’s ‘Hotcakes’ and Cat Steven’s ‘Buddha and the Chocolate Box’. The latter 2 in the HOF, getting a dollop of Bill’s snarkiness.

    At any rate, there’s The National Dog Show. The more dogs the merrier, right? On the Thanksgiving recipes, the Brussel sprouts with bacon, pecans and maple syrup sound great. The cajun recipe sounds good, and I already told Sally the 1800’s Post recipes sounded good.

    Bob, you and this cheese kick you’re on. It was insane last week, yet I never said a word. Now, make it stop! Love the vintage Leyendecker toddler cherub chef cover. Another in his long proud tradition of loveable tykes. If it were new now, he and the Post would be getting criticism over ‘a child with knives’, ‘a child in jeopardy’, ‘part of his bare bottom is showing…’. Get over it! It’s a wonderful cover from the 20th, embrace it. If you can’t, take a chill pill, have a drink, stop at the green plus sign store, set a spell, take your shoes off, stare at one of my lava lamps!


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