Why the Gobbledy Gooker is Thanksgiving To Me

November 22, 2018

 

Every year, the closer and closer it gets to the last Thursday of November, I get so excited. THANKSGIVING! This holiday, more so now than ever, is my favorite time of year. Some might prefer Halloween or Christmas, but this holiday, which is right smack dab in the middle of those other “exciting” celebrations on the calendar, means so much to me personally.

 

For starters, it’s the time of true blessings. Being thankful for everything you have, whether it be health, happiness, shelter, food on the table, money in the bank, or any other reason you’d have, this is the time to have that. Sometimes, people never could find a single thing to be happy for. For me, that is sad. Always be thankful, if for nothing else, but to be alive.

 

Secondly, it means the one day of just absolute laziness. First thing in the morning, you watch the Thanksgiving Day Parade and wait for the awesome Snoopy balloon. Then, you throw on Laurel and Hardy with March of the Wooden Soldiers (or Dodos, as Uncle Jimmy would say). Afterwards, you get Fox on TV and get the Detroit Lions to play their noon time Thanksgiving game. Following that, you gorge on turkey, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, and God knows whatever else onto 3 or 4 plates, gaining 4 to 5 pounds. Finally, you get a Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and pumpkin pie and you just push through and suffer with the ‘itis. An ABSOLUTE glorious day.

 

Finally, it allows me to prepare and watch my all-time favorite early 1990s pay-per-view, WWF Survivor Series 1990!

 

Every year, especially since the advent of the WWE Network, I get pumped up and put on this pay-per-view. There are many reasons on why I do. Of course, the last appearance of Demolition Ax, the debut of the Undertaker, the awesome war between the Hulkamaniacs and the Natural Disasters, and the Ultimate Match of Survival. So much quality stuff on this show that I cannot advocate enough.

 

But, unlike everyone else, I watch for one reason and one reason only: the hatching of the egg. What was born at Survivor Series 1990?

 

THE GOBBLEDY GOOKER, of course!

 

For those that don’t know me, I am the absolute biggest fanboy of the Gobbledy Gooker. Originally portrayed by Hector Guerrero, the inaugural run of the Gooker only lasted three weeks on WWF television. For starters, the hype for the hatching of the egg was pretty big. A lot of rumors were abound, from Miss America to Ric Flair, onto what was actually going to hatch from it. Instead, an actual bird creature came out...to a reaction that was like a fart in church.

 

To be honest, there was logic behind it. A bird hatched from an egg. It MADE sense.

 

The next week on WWF Superstars, a whole mess of talent, ranging from Tugboat and Koko B. Ware to the Bushwhackers, put over the glory of the Gooker to the fan base across the world. One week later, he was gone, never to return again.

 

Not until WrestleMania X-Seven, when the Gooker returned and made a surprise appearance in the Gimmick Battle Royal, where, despite losing a lot of feathers, he looked in fighting shape. Despite the loss, I hoped for the return of the Gooker in the Attitude Era, with a hint of rebellion. Sadly, that did not happen.

 

Besides for a few one-off appearances and a short lived YouTube series about his desk job inside of Titan Towers in Connecticut, the Gooker was practically eliminated from WWE folklore forever. Yet somehow, as it comes to Thanksgiving, the Gooker lives on as a true icon and beacon of the holiday.

 

For starters, it’s the look. The Gooker looks like a turkey. Feathers, the gobble, the hair, and the beak all combined. Mix in the fact he was born on Thanksgiving, it’s a perfect fit. Although Bruce Prichard made the statement that the Gooker was supposed to become the San Diego Chicken of the WWF, I think a straight up mascot for Survivor Series would have been perfect.

 

Also, it was just FUN. The Gobbledy Gooker just personified a good time. Dancing and bobbing around, doing cartwheels with Mean Gene Okerlund, and jumping all over the place made for a fun time. In a world where there’s always so much seriousness and anger, especially with the rivalries of WWF 1990, the Gooker brought a different vibe, even if for a short time.

 

Finally, the Gooker makes me nostalgic. It takes me back to days of sitting down in front of the TV on and the day before Thanksgiving and just watching wrestling with my old man and family. Just spending time and BSing and eating while wrestling on the background was nothing but greatness. I miss doing that. I miss my old man. That 1990 Survivor Series was one we watched a few times over together and loved. And as much I loved the Gooker, my Dad didn’t. But he did always pop over Mean Gene doing the cartwheel.

 

Thanksgiving will always be my favorite holiday. Always. To me, the Gobbledy Gooker personifies Thanksgiving. And as I finish watching the Gooker hatching from the egg, I smile. It makes me realize how much I love this time of year. With food, family, friends, and the Gooker, there is no doubt how amazing the last Thursday in November is. I’m thankful for all of it.

 

Now, if you don’t mind, time to put on the Gobbledy Gooker t-shirt for the fourth straight year and eat.

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

Jon Harder
thejonharder@gmail.com

 

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