You might think this is a bit more elaborate than the usual Halloween page here at the Bleat.
Possibly because there’s rarely a Halloween page here at the Bleat.
I mean, it’s fun and all that, but it’s just not a big deal around here. Once your kid’s past the trick-or-treat age, it’s just a big commercial things that rolls around for a month and makes awful, unfunny puns. As I’ve noted before, that’s all thanks to the host of the “Inner Sanctum.” Thef irst was Raymond, who was appropriate grim, but his replacement - Paul MGrath, known only as Your Host, perfected the gruesome, unfunny pun.
Here's a minute of opening patter. He was the only guy who could ever carry it off, really.
See what I mean about a bounteous, generous Halloween edition? Barely started, and there's already media to ignore, if you wish.
Of course there's Halloween themed material on TV Tue. The bad news: true to the old days of TV, it's a repeat. The good news: I've added some clips.
They're short. Don't worry. You know how much I hate to guilt people into FF something I think is important or interesting.
They are short and they are horrible.
For Halloween, I give you:
Oh, Mr. Lynde just has his holidays confused. Really. After the HILARIOUS! opening where he tries on various seasonal costumes, we cut to the titles, where we see four words that rival “Star Wars Holiday Special” for seventies-strength pop-crap that would make the Sphinx wince:
Paul Lynde could be a very funny man. This, however, is painful. First a monologue with all the bitchy mincing and sneering America had come to expect . . .
. . . and then a musical number, where Paul is tormented by kids. He hates kids. The kids repay the sentiment by jabbing him in the ass with plastic pitchforks.
Not to say the ending is as 70s as possible, but it is as 70s as possible:
The action moves to a place with two witches:
The one on the left had her makeup done by the Sid & Marty Kroft company, apparently; the one on the right is doing the classic Classic Oz Witch Type. They spin various fantasy scenarios for Paul, which unfortunately provides a window into his imagination:
It’s like Arthur Godfrey as a milkman on Fire Island.
Could it be more 70s? It can always be more 70s:
Even though he’s flaming the set so hard they had to spray asbestos foam on everything, they still have to pretend he’s a ladies’ man:
That’s Roz “Pinky Toscadero” Kelly, as she’s billed in the credits. I'd forgotten all about her. According to wikipedia, she was a photographer for New York magazine before getting into acting. Also, in 1998, she fired a shotgun into the front window of a neighbor when his car alarm woke her up. Probably not the first time.
Hamina hamina! When you grow up in North Dakota, that's ethnic. This scene leads to a disco square-dance number involving trucks and CB radios because it is 1976 and this was the law. And as we all knew back then, truckers were into square dancing because they were all Southern.
Afterwards there is a musical interlude with some special guests. It was their first time on television, I believe. They were intent on rocking every night, and following it with a daytime interval of partying - a novel take on the diurnal cycle.
Yes. The reason all the guys had to sit through this crap. So how do you follow the hard-rockin’ KISS? With the Dark Mistress of the Night:
If you freeze the right frames, Flo-Hen is frightening enough:
There is additional dancing at the end, in the disco manner. Pinky gives a lesson.
It cannot be described. It can only be experienced.
Everyone thinks they’re living in the WORST cultural period when everything is cheap and false, with the old icons of pop culture chewed up and used just to give a modern moment some gravity it doesn’t deserve. Well, it’s been that way for a while. Here:
See the Wicked Witch character standing next to Ace Frehley, who’s probably so drunk there’s someone off camera holding him up? The one I described earlier as the Classic Oz Witch Type? Let me play you a clip from earlier in the show.
Yes. It's her:
She brought the character back only once.
And it was for this.
Well, we'll leave you with this warm sentiment:
Loopy! Say to it everyone you meet today.
PS It has Betty White, too.
This week's look at old products and advertising turns its attention to mid-60s monster mags. They didn't have many ads.
The Novelty Company took a big buy, though, figuring that the kids who liked to see heads ripped off would enjoy tormenting peers with annoying gag crap:
Won’t you be surprised when he doesn’t laugh or seem upset but is confused, then concludes he has been given gag cheese by someone with a juvenile sense of humor. Likewise for all the rest.
The French Mustache has “A Jiffy Rubber Nose Clip” so you know it’s super comfy.
Fools ‘em every time, and makes them think their furniture is ruined! Their house now looks as if careless vandals live there.
“Boy he fell for it,” that sap who just wanted to look through a tube and see a girl without a lot of clothes on, and now he has a mark that won’t come off for days, and everyone will know he was trying to sneak a look at some pron.
“Oh Boy wait until he bites into it,” and its unyielding texture makes him think the casing is quite strong. It would be worse if the hot dog fell apart into a mealy slurry with a few flecks of bone, wouldn’t it?
Terrifying! Note: no one will be terrorized.
What you will learn, though, is how the chemical smell of the plastic soon gives you a headache, and that the only thing worse than the smell is the realization that you own breath isn’t something you want to spend a lot of close-up time inhaling. No wonder girls don't like you.
“Loveable monsters for you to command to your every prank”
“One really flies in the air with a loud thunder and roar.” This I doubt. They were cheap, though - seven for a buck, even though they were just balloons with cheaply painted pictures. The disappointment these people doled out every day was quite remarkable.
Imaginative names, though:
REBREG is Gerber backwards; ETTELOC is Colette. Someone in the office had a new kid.
DIMETRON is odd; the “Tron” suffix was usually used for mechanical things.
Remember what I said before about the bottom of any monster franchise is the “comedy” eps? Well:
They did four of these crapfests. Then again, I find Abbott & Costello tiresome. Amazon reviews:
THE MEET THE MONSTERS COLLECTION WITH ABBOTT AND COSTELLO IS A MUST HAVE FOR FILM BUFFS. ABBOTT AND COSTELLO, THEN THROW IN LON CHANEY, NANCY GUILD AND BORIS KARLOFF AND YOU HAVE FUN.
NO YOU DO NOT HAVE FUN
“Bill, I need a picture for the terror teeth.”
“I can’t draw”
“I don’t care”
Get it? GET IT?
Again, your friends will not shriek.
No self-respecting "Mani-Yack" would think he had play clothes.
Finally: something from 1915.
This was the sum total of Halloween advertising in the entire paper for Oct. 30.
That'll do; see you around.
Oh, and just to spare someone the trouble of putting it in the comments: