Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Tales of TV Halloween Past -- The Paul Lynde Halloween Special (1976)

We children of the 70's lived in a world much different than today....no cable for us, and often just a single color TV in the house. At that time, our programming choices were limited to the three networks, a local station, and a couple of UHF stations to choose from.

So when something came on TV, we pretty much had to watch it. And around the holidays, we pretty much watched variety shows.

It's hard to explain these shows to my kids...they can't seem to grasp the random selection of guest stars, the over-the-top musical numbers, the jokes that no one thought were funny -- except apparently the studio audiences.

It's even harder to explain that we kinda liked them.

So come with me to the night of Friday, October 29, 1976. The Bicentennial Summer was past, I was 12 years old, and life was good. I had likely seen the following promo several times throughout the week and was settled in for a night of awesome Halloween entertainment.

I mean, how could you resist that?! Uncle Arthur, Mrs. Brady, Pinky Tuscadero, and Kiss?!?

But the promo really doesn't do this justice. In addition to the Kiss' first primetime appearance, this includes the only time that Margaret Hamilton dressed as the Wicked Witch of the West after her appearance in Wizard of Oz....and Witchiepoo from H.R. Pufnstuf is her sister!

And of course, Betty White makes an appearance (some things never change). Seriously, some network programming executive is missing out -- can you imagine if ABC reunited Betty White and Kiss in a Halloween special this year? Ratings bonanza!

But as hard as I'm trying...this thing is really indescribable....you have to see it to believe it. I dare you to make it through the entire clip (but rewards await you if you do).

Tomorrow, back to a more....traditional type of Horror....

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