Today We're Thankful For Exploding Fried Turkey Videos

On this Thanksgiving Eve, we’re thankful for many things, but most of all we’re thankful for that sweet, sweet Turkey Day tradition of watching people dunk a frozen bird in a vat of hot oil and see their dreams go up in smoke. For those not in the know, deep frying a turkey is sensationally dangerous, particularly if the bird is frozen. And where there is an easy way to cause an explosion, so too are there hundreds of morons on YouTube seeking out these explosions.

There is probably no story more perfectly suited to the genre of local television news than exploding fried turkeys. The prospect gives news producers frissons of glee as early as October because it hits all the local TV news sweet spots: there’s timeliness as the story is pegged to a beloved national holiday, there’s genuine public safety interest, and most important, there are explosions, flames, and misery. Mmmm.

There have been many efforts to assemble the best of this footage. There’s Eater’s “7 Best Deep Fried Turkey Disaster Videos,” The Atlantic Wire’s week-long “Exploding Fried Turkey Footage Contest” of 2011, or Coed Magazines’s “22 Best Deep Fried Turkey Fire Videos.”

These videos usually fall into three categories. While there are plenty of amateur videos like this one:


… local news stations typically go a more serious route, either sending a frightened cub reporter into the fried turkey fray or, like My Fox Boston, highlighting a PSA video put out by the Department of Homeland Security last year. (That video actually won the Atlantic Wire throwdown.)

And then there are the corporate PSAs from insurers like State Farm who know they need to send a video viral to get their message out, lest they end up paying for the charred remains of our back porches. This sounds like a job for … William Shatner?