TV conventions on Thanksgiving have typically included the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day march and afterward long stretches of football, however as of late, another has risen: The National Dog Show.
Facilitated by entertainer John O’Hurley, the yearly march of pooches has gotten one of the most prominent shows of Thanksgiving week.
In any case, as indicated by O’Hurley, it nearly didn’t advance toward the little screen.
As O’Hurley tells it, the then-head of NBC Sports was fascinated with the pooch show spoof great “Best in Show” and concocted the plan to do a genuine show to fill the hole between the procession and football.
“They have all laughed him out of the office. But by the end of the day, he had the National Dog Show license from the Kennel Club of Philadelphia, Purina had come on as a presenting sponsor,” O’ Hurley recalled. “He called me and I was in L.A. I picked up the phone and I said, ‘Hello.’ And he said, ‘Woof, Woof.’ And that’s how it all started 18 years ago.”
For O’Hurley, best known for their time on “Seinfeld,” it was a characteristic fit.
“Well, I’ve had a dog ever since I was 4 years old in my lap,” said O’Hurley, as he sat next to Dyson, a Shetland sheepdog on the cusp of two who is training to be a therapy dog. “I always said I’m a better person with a dog in my lap; dogs have a tendency to round out the edges in our lives.”
O’Hurley is joined by Johnny Weir and Tara Lipinski, the figure skating analysis team known for their portion of camp, and sports pundit Mary Carillo. David Frei, who is an authorized judge for the American Kennel Club, fills in as the examiner.
“(There’s) enough money that the team has grown. Well, you know, we want to create more of an entertainment spectacle around a dog show. It’s not just (the) Westminster (Kennel Club Dog Show), which is very kind of sober. And, you know, it’s a very we want to create the feeling of, ‘It’s fun.’ And dogs are fun. They round out the edges in our lives and they’re the greatest companions we have.”
To give it all the more a games feel, handlers are now and then mic’d, similar to professional game players and mentors, so watchers can hear what’s happening on the floor and behind the stage.
“It’s so much fun what’s going on, how they’re actually talking to the dog backstage and the things that they’re saying because the communication between the handler and the dog is irreplaceable,” TheY said. “I mean, ultimately, the handler must look invisible.”
There are likewise kid handlers, which O’Hurley says shows that canine rivalries are “truly a family sport. And it’s a wonderful way of growing up in the world of a sense of discipline, of a sense of presentation, a sense of confidence. It does so many wonderful things for young people that we love to see young people come into this entire world of dog shows.”
The two-hour appear, which is pre-taped in the Philadelphia region, will air Thursday from early afternoon to 2 p.m. Eastern. It definitely attracts correlations with that other pooch appear — the admired Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, held every February. O’Hurley focused on that they are “two completely different shows and two very prestigious titles.”
They included: “We’re very proud of what we’ve achieved in such a short amount of time. We haven’t had the history of Westminster, but we certainly are, without a doubt times 100, the most watched dog show in the world.”