TV Special Of Doom:



Back in the mythical year of 1976, ABC broadcast a one-shot Halloween variety special hosted by America’s favorite center square panelist, Paul Lynde. Don’t recognize the name? You would probably recognize his voice: I know him more for his reoccurring role as Uncle Arthur on the Bewitched reruns I grew up watching on summer afternoons. For you fans of retro animated shows and movies, he was the voice of Templeton in Charlotte’s Web, and The Hooded Claw on The Perils of Penelope Pitstop. Or, you know, that snarky guy in the original run of Hollywood Squares. That guy had a Halloween special back in the day.

In this special, the titular Paul Lynde is planning a Halloween episode for his show, and for reasons visits Witchiepoo from H. R. Pufnstuf, where he’s trapped by the Wicked Witch of the West and granted three wishes. Wackiness ensues, as various guest stars show up in the vignette, including Tim Conway, Roz Kelly, Florence Henderson, Donnie and Marie Osmond, and for some reason the band KISS, performing “Detroit Rock City”, “Beth”, and “King Of The Night Time World”, and engage in some comic banter.

While it’s quite dated (which, honestly, adds to the charm of this thing), it still was rather amusing. I’m pretty sure the suits were banking on the inclusion of KISS for drawing in the young hip kids. For whatever reason, they released this special on DVD in 2006 or 2008 or somewhere around that time (I’m a bit too under the weather to do the proper checking, I’m afraid), after decades of trying to secure the rights necessary to do so. It’s also available on YouTube, which is how I watched this, personally. However you do so, have yourselves a campy little time there.