4. The first human-based balloon was of entertainer Eddie Cantor

Top 10 secrets of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade_1934_Eddie Kantor_balloon_human_NYC_Manhattan_Untapped Cities_Stephanie GeierThe Eddie Cantor balloon floating down the parade route in 1940. Photograph Courtesy of Macy’s, Inc.

Eddie Cantor was also the only full-sized novelty balloon to be made in the likeness of a real person. The Marx Brothers had a novelty balloon float, but it was nowhere near as large as the Eddie Cantor balloon featured in the 1934 parade. As the AV Club puts it, the Cantor balloon had “a banjo-eyed” and “ghoulish visage” which was sure to scare kids, not delight them.