9. The first and only balloon based on a real-life person was of entertainer Eddie Cantor

Eddie Cantor balloon at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
The Eddie Cantor balloon floating down the parade route in 1940. Photograph Courtesy of Macy’s, Inc.

Eddie Cantor 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 actually scared kids, and didn’t delight them.

There have been many human characters made in balloon form since the Cantor balloon such as Ronald McDonald, Spider-Man, a generic baseball player, a fireman, and others. Still, Cantor holds the honor of being the only real-life personality crafted in balloon form.