The Paul Lynde Halloween Special (1976)

This is not my video, but I'm putting it here because it fits right in with what Cereal At Midnight is all about. This Halloween special aired on October 29, 1976 on the ABC network. You really have to see it to believe it. Starring the flamboyant comedian and actor Paul Lynde, who I still can't quite believe was embraced by middle-America, this special mirrors his acerbic-yet-silly tone. It also featuring appearances by Margaret Hamilton (the Wicked Witch of the West from The Wizard of Oz), Tim Conway, Roz "Pinky Tuscadero" Kelly, Florence Henderson, Billy Barty, Betty White, Donny and Marie Osmond, and the rock band KISS. The seventies were nothing if not insane, and this is the proof.

I'm not sure how much of a success this special was. While it no doubt was watched by millions, it only aired once and failed to become an annual favorite. Watching it now, it's easy to understand why, as this thing is just incredibly weird (and therefore, incredibly watchable). Amazingly, it actually got a DVD release back in 2007, but that disc is long out of print.

This special is just nuts. Sometimes it actually succeeds at being funny, but most of the time it's just really weird. When you think it can't get any stranger, people start to sing. Having said that, there's a big part of me that wishes we could reconnect with the ridiculous, goofy, campy stuff that used to be so plentiful in our entertainment. We were less angry and cynical then than we are currently, and I miss that wacky innocence. Also, though this is very bad, it's also undeniably fun. Let's bring back weird. We need it.


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