Posted Friday, May 15th, 2020 by Barry

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1984) 1

Cowabunga, dude, today is National Pizza Party Day.

Kinda feel like I need a shower after that sentence. Still, between the surfer slang and announcement of the non-holiday, it should be obvious today is also the day we talk about the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1984) 1

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1984) 1

First, the day.

National Pizza Party Day, not to be confused with National Pizza Day observed in February, is celebrated the third Friday in May. The origins of day harken back to ancient Greece when they smeared oils, herbs and cheese on their bread. The Romans created a sheet of dough topped with cheese and honey, then flavored with bay leaves.

Pizza as we know it began in Italy, a Neapolitan flatbread with only mozzarella cheese. The first pizza restaurant was opened in America in 1905. Service men returning home from World War II also brought back an appetite for the delicacy allowing its popularity to spread.

Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird generated the Turtles as a parody of popular comic book tropes in the early 1980s. Though a sartorial statement, the Turtles were a more mature book in the beginning.

By 1987 Eastman and Laird’s creation had a strong following in the comic book community. Enough so, the two were approached concerning licensing of their product. Mark Freedman shopped the product around and soon had interest from Playmates Toys for action figures.

This being the 1980s, the toys were coupled with an animated afternoon feature acting as a half-hour advertisement. Both snowballed and a plethora of merchandise followed as did a live-action Hollywood offering in 1990.

The Turtles continue to capture and captivate new audiences today as the merchandising multiplies and animated features follow.

To celebrate today, throw a pizza party and pop in some Turtles.

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