The Doo Dah Parade, given the added exposure and perhaps respectability of television, ambled jerkily through its 15th occasional edition Sunday as an irreverent preamble to more traditional holiday pageants.
A record throng, estimated at 100,000, lined the route of the revered Rose Parade in Pasadena to laugh and cheer such relatively venerable Doo Dah acts as the Synchronized Briefcase Drill Team and such topical first-timers as the Roseanne Barr National Anthem Drill Team.The latter act featured a heavy-set man, dressed as the raunchy comedian, lip-syncing a recorded version of Barr's now-infamous rendition of the "Star Spangled Banner" at a San Diego Padres baseball game earlier this year. In his wake, walked a line of men in Padres uniforms who winced at the singing and who joined some in the audience in playfully tossing debris at the ersatz Barr.
Among the other entrants: A silently singing Milli Vanilli Marching Band, the Texas Chain Saw Drool Team, a Zsa Zsa Gabor character slapping Saddam Hussein and a group with a tiny Garfield the cat balloon spoofing the giant balloons of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade.
"Dooh dah is what L.A. is about," said one spectator.
The Doo Dah was hatched in the 1970s by a group of Pasadena bar patrons who wanted to spoof the relatively staid, century-old Rose Parade. The Doo Dah offers no judging, no awards and minimal structure.
A measure of the event's growing popularity was the first-ever television coverage of the parade. The broadcast attracted such major sponsors as Nissan, Jack-in-The-Box and Montgomery Ward.