Billy's Thanksgiving Day Parade (With Katie Couric)
The Thanksgiving Parade was an enormous undertaking, particularly for our little show. I grew up watching Katie Couric host the real Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, so we asked her to co-host with me, which really helped to sell it. And she was really good at it – really dry and not winking to the camera at all.
The floats were all made here [in New York]. No one realizes how complicated Billy on the Street is. We've done a good job of keeping it looking kind of raw and low-budget. But we have a whole art department and a whole production studio. We have construction workers and people designing things and building things. Every prize, every costume, every obstacle course, goes through a series of drafts. It's a huge process.
We designed the balloons here, but we found the actual people who make the Macy's Thanksgiving Day balloons, who I think are in Hong Kong. So we had the balloons made there. They don't speak English, so we had to send someone who speaks Chinese over to communicate with them. It was months and months of these people in a random town in China, building a huge balloon of Maggie Gyllenhaal. It's the height of absurdity. It will never get more absurd. But I'm so glad we did it. That segment is one of my favorites. And who else is going to make a United States of Tara float, for better or for worse?