The Puritans

The first Thanksgiving with the Pilgrims at Plymouth is done as a parody of All In The Family. Other parodies include a Batman-like cartoon called ‘Captain Puritan’, George on Seinfeld worrying about whether to emigrate to the New World, and Woody Allen obsessing on the persecution of his people, the Puritans.

A hilarious parody of All In The Family was the spine of our History Bites episode on the Pilgrims first Thanksgiving. Ron Pardo as Archie, Janet Van De Graaff as Edith, Bob Bainborough as Meathead, and Teresa Pavlinek in the blonde wig playing Gloria. So many great lines. “But Archie, the Indians gave us blue and red corn.” “Forget it Edith, I ain’t eatin’ no coloured food.”

YouTube Transcript

Hello and welcome to History Bites I’m Rick Green. nowadays Thanksgiving marks
the start of the Christmas shopping
spree as retailers give thanks for
credit cards but when English Puritans
settled in Plymouth Massachusetts
Thanksgiving literally meant giving
thanks to God after all who could have
given them the food and shelter they
needed to survive in the wilderness of
the new world God or possibly Indians
the Thanksgiving story reassures
Americans that their country has a
tradition of hard-working god-fearing
salt-of-the-earth folks it’s the truth
but it’s not the whole truth the
also carried intolerant religious
fundamentalists and greedy free
enterprising capitalists more
traditional stereotypes good food family
gathering saying grace the only
tradition the Puritans didn’t have was
holiday television programming so loosen
your belt try not to fall asleep from
the turkey and let’s tune into
Thanksgiving holiday programming circa
1620 the way we
looking for replaced a Porsche for
glycol wines Swaraj’s star concern for
window and doctor was the mayflower
products to a free content is what we
got these Indians take we need a plague
I arch boy you’re still here right geez
let me guess the meathead ate lunch like
a starving hob God everyone together and
cause we had such a good office this
year and ain’t nobody died of starvation
they declared a day of Thanksgiving oh
that’s great there if that’s support
there good old-fashioned Thanksgiving
like we used to have back in England
there oh yeah we used to raise them up
to God and say thank you God for letting
us live this year we’ll have new world
food turkey and corn and squash
hey you mind your peas and carrots a
little coil we’re nothing old-fashioned
about joy Kiat Thanksgiving daddy
hey I want to Thanksgiving like we used
to have yeah you know with lots of beef
lots of bread and on the table boys six
so when is this Thanksgiving Sunday whoa
whoa whoa I ain’t having no Thanksgiving
on no Sunday and a good Puritan Italia
Sunday’s God’s day big guys don’t want
no thanks on Sunday he wants his rest we
banged that one what should Jay
everything’s lecture day with achi watch
today’s Tuesday the day the Reverend
gives his election in well I’m just glad
the crops didn’t fail cause if they had
failed we’d have to have a day of
feasting in humiliation
oh geez with the meathead here every
day’s humiliation
city of sin and debauchery Denzil fights
streets of crime
the harlots and pimps who will swoop
down on the thieves and cut verses who
will deal death from above to those who
break the law God that’s who our Lord
will punish these wicked Protestants
after God on lucha’s Armageddon in the
cesspool birds weep pilgrims we’ll be
building a new eating motor in America
sinners anyway yesterday I was having
lunch with this milkmaid she’s very
attractive she looks at me and she says
pureed ham you know not could I have the
pureed hand please it was just like
pureed ham get it straight ham pure
Ratan look if it bothers you so much why
don’t we just go to the New World and
let’s get out of this crazy city and
sail to America Puritans are not
prosecuted to death there oh yeah over
there they just died of natural causes
starvation it’s where some of the best
Puritans are going I cannot move to a
continent where the only cultural
advantages corn on the cob
oh come on you’re always complaining
about London the religious repression I
mean and you know what they say when a
man is tired of London then he’s tired
of life well for me it’s the other way
around I’m definitely tired of life I
just don’t know if I’m tired of London
good on you hate the pilgrims didn’t
celebrate the holidays like you and I do
with football and family bickering the
pilgrims were extreme Puritans they
viewed themselves as the chosen people
and they only celebrated the holidays
mentioned in the Bible the Sabbath days
of Thanksgiving and praise and days of
fasting and humiliation
so no Christmas trees no Easter eggs
they didn’t call it Puritanism for
nothing Thanksgiving you know remember
when we used to celebrate Christmas and
Easter but they ain’t a part of the true
Christian Church you start celebrating
them because they were man-made no I
stopped because a man made me
I just wanted a bowl of soup but he says
no some for you that’s what he is he’s a
super that won’t serve me soup that’s
his loss although America they’ve got
soup in America but no girls okay
captain girls but they’re real Puritans
no sex for you Oh Jerry
what big sex recently I visited the
Netherlands to see a friend of mine
who’s a Puritan she loves the Dutch
because they don’t persecute her for her
unconventional ultra-orthodox religious
I love Holland because of the little
balls of fried dough the Dutch called
them Olie cake or or the cakes but I
prefer to call them doughnuts my friend
says doughnuts are filling and easy to
make and they’re round shape
let’s Herbie what every Puritan prays to
be holier than thou wrong every
Thanksgiving there well you could use it
to save the poor
Oh daddy it’s beautiful
yeah it looks kind of native no it don’t
get that much oh I found oh yeah right
there what God left it for me there
don’t you have to dig around for do some
of that Lex vacation in there you know
what it is you need it I had to pull
some dead Indian guy off it you realize
you stole let out if someone’s great now
that we know great good explanation for
that broad wide stuff in the ground here
for us and it uses Indians to mark the
spot you the next
he used an ex Indian now Mary is finding
it hard to cope with her neighbors who
are not devout Puritan separatists
I try to be judgmental Reverend Phil you
know to persecute anyone that doesn’t
follow the strict Puritan way no but I
just can’t
all right now now tell us about these
neighbors of yours because they drink
one time they even played football on
the Sabbath I had to report them to the
town elders for heresy but I’ll let him
play on okay how did that make you feel
Mary awful I was just trying to be good
neighbor so so let me get this straight
neighbors from Hale football on Sunday
my question to you is how is that
working for you
I mean how we supposed to build solar
and peace love and holy kingdom with all
these ignorant godless Rebs kids running
if you ask me that many say they had
that plague come March most of those
people died was a horrible human
geez catastrophe for them free real
estate for us look it up in the Bible
there please them Indians worship is
storm clouds and your rivers and like
that they’re so God’s might attempt
Vegas what so you’re saying they died
because they worship the wrong God well
certainly mate and if they worship the
right God or God would have ejected him
from the small pox do you see me throw
up in Jed’s and smallpox regrettably no
daddy how do you explain that God let
half of our people die of disease and
starvation during the winter oh it’s
very simple there little coil God watch
those people so much she brings him up
into heaven to be with him in now he’s
got his quota for the year the rest of
us are allowed to live in a new holy
Kingdom in yes and for God I give thanks
I invited Squanto and his family Oh
jeez you did one real lunch there goes
the holy kingdom
one of the more enduring myths about the
pilgrims who sailed on the Mayflower was
that they were religious refugees
promoting the cause of religious freedom
for all actually the only religious
freedom they wanted was their own like
other Puritans the Pilgrims were
anti-catholic but they didn’t think
other Puritans went far enough they
wanted to separate completely from the
Anglican Church if you can’t live with a
religion start on new religion and if
you can’t stand England go to New
England he wanted an old-fashioned
Thanksgiving dinner but they know
old-fashioned food yeah okay when he
weet in this soil soap no bread and the
bowls dead so now beef me we’ve still
got turkey corn pumpkins cranberries so
Gloria you follow the don’t approve of
their kind of ethnic food if daddy
doesn’t eat the corn Michael well sure I
eat corn I was raised on corn what the
hell is this corn corn is wheat good
old-fashioned English wheat it’s Indian
corn daddy look it’s really good I got
that away from me
don’t tell me this damn corners are
Thanksgiving dinner
okay we work hard to harvest that corn
even squad our help they picked that
stuff with his bare hands
oh geez thanks a lot you meathead boy
they’re really whets my appetite Indian
corn well first of all they look I don’t
have a look at mr. provided shape here
we’ve got red corn blue corn yellow corn
I see them
banging pepper hanging there’s lots to
eat lots to do you can learn some things
about morals – hanging ever hanging out
back to the heathen hunter on PBS the
Puritan Broadcasting System good thing I
caught this sinner when I did otherwise
our entire village would have to suffer
God’s ranch in the form of plagues
famine and ugly wives that’s why I’m
gonna mark this heathens here to ensure
that our beautiful Puritan land is sin
free for generations to come and
remember it’s up to each and every one
of us to do our part and keep a lookout
for readings so keep your ear to the
ground otherwise I want to keep it Nick
oh yeah watch if we don’t eat that corn
we might starve if I was worried about
starving me that I had to put you back
on the Mayflower when it left
everything here was provided for us by
God and that this dinner was to give
thanks to God and she’s you’re right
little girl I guess we should all be
given thanks to the big guy for
providing us with this wonderful brownie
he thanked the pilgrims saw the Indians
as heathens and therefore the natural
instruments of the devil worse even than
Catholics the only educated and baptized
Christian among the Wampanoag people was
Squanto so he was ok actually he was
more than ok
the pilgrims figured Squanto was an
instrument of God set in the wilderness
to provide for the survival of his
chosen people the pilgrims good sport
let’s squat oh come to dinner I mean he
gave us food so we could survive the
winner and then he gave us seeds that
helped us grow it yeah and he showed us
what poisonous plants to look out for
and how to help the crops grow by
planting fish in the ground oh yeah well
I still ain’t seen no fish trees little
his land this land in his land this land
is my land
just like in good old England oh wait
then why did this Plymouth used to be
called Pawtucket I don’t know what do I
look like an encyclopedia people used to
call this town before they all buy to
the plague that’s right new Mandaeans
ain’t from and this land no more their
coming this fall on BFT to cause one of
those by the book the good book the
other is a losing wenching mare do well
by the seat small that must tell us what
how knowest oh I’ll talk to him we must
vanquish these paper scoundrels I care
they are agents approaching Spain I care
not have wine
they’ll toss my language don’t miss the
diverting fortunes and misfortunes of
the god-fearing Puritan gentleman who
falls in with the base road Mary
understand I’m not here to judge you
okay because that that is God’s job
you’ve got to see your neighbors for who
they really are
unrepentant sinners who will burn in all
I have to say is that you better enjoy
it while you can because you know a
couple of generations those Indians are
going to repopulate and they’re going to
want the land back yeah well they can’t
have it back it’s not like a treaty with
them or anything sweetie huh
oh I’m just drawing up a treaty there
little girl just like me had suggested
that will get Squanto over here for
dinner fill him till he can’t eat no
more and then when he’s all tired out
from the feast then we’ll get him to
sign a little piece of paper saying this
town is ours all on the up-and-up oh gee
just give me that this is just wrong
well me that there’s an old saying
desperate times call for despicable
you’ve probably been taught that the
pilgrims invited the native people to
their Thanksgiving dinner because they
had so much food to share in fact the
pilgrims had just enough food to make it
through the winter and that was only
because the Indians had showed them how
to farm native crops squanto’s people
ended up bringing most of the eats the
pilgrims probably asked the Wampanoag
natives to Thanksgiving dinner not out
of Christian charity but to finalize a
real estate deal one where the Indians
would hand over the village of Plymouth
Thanksgiving did you see how much food
squanto’s family Deer and fish and beans
and say oh Jesus if you ask me them
savages should have brought over more
food yeah
why the guy’s family over for dinner you
don’t expect me to show up where every
aunt uncle grandparent cousin they got
his family did before dinner in the air
with their hands washing yeah that was
weird circle scene 18 years ago in his
first book of Madrigal and following up
with his scintillating sequel second
book of madrigals and proved he wasn’t
just a one brief lyrical poem in strict
poetic form wonder by producing a series
of top-ten hits with his third book of
madrigals and then as you know turn the
Madrigal world on its ear two years ago
with what he called his fourth book of
madrigals he’s here tonight to play a
selection from his enigmatic li titled
fifth book of madrigals the Madrigal
mystery tour is waiting to take you away
period mr. Greenhill yes what do you
care huh Oh at least you got just stupid
treaty fine oh ho ho I certainly did
mate look at that you know it’s like
that squirrel I actually wanted me to
have his land well of course if we were
living here another tribe but move in
and take it we squat Oh seize it at
least his ancestors are happy the lands
being put to use you know it wasn’t like
I just took the land I mean I gave him
something rejoin that copy of the treaty
didn’t even say thank you Oh what you
wanted to say thanks I will
thank y’all he’s watching here say thank
you for giving us this great land here
and also for the good grub real English
Thanksgiving but I know you work in
mysterious ways
yeah sure oh yeah God if we ain’t asking
too much we could use another one of
them plagues here to get rid of that
Squanto boy and shut that up once and
for all thank you in advance go on amen
a generation after the natives and
pilgrims shared a peaceful Thanksgiving
dinner their children were tearing each
other to pieces in King Philip’s War by
the time the muskets went silent most
New England Indians had either been
exterminated fled to Canada or sold by
the Puritans as slaves in the Carolinas
sadly slave trading proofs so profitable
that several parrot and ship owners in
Boston began raiding Africa for black
slaves starting another more odious
tradition in 1898 Thanksgiving was
declared a national holiday in the
United States by then the melting pot
theory was in full swing and Americans
wanted a national origin myth that
everyone could enjoy but the historical
facts proves that like a mouthful of
Turkey real history bites now if a
raccoon was rooting around in your
garden when you try to be a good
neighbor to it will you chuck some rocks
at throw rocks how about a magpie that
ate all your blueberries 9 throw rocks
how about an Indian whose ancestral land
you were living on would you throw rocks
no I’d have to go get my husband’s
musket right right because they are
Puritans huh just as your neighbors are
Puritans they’re not gonna go to heaven
there’s still people aren’t they Oh Mary
Mary Mary