The Paul Lynde Halloween Special

 I love watching this from time to time. Yes, it’s bad…really bad but it’s so bad it’s good. All the celebrities who are in different phases of their careers, cross paths in this epic of a show. First, let’s go through all of the stars. It’s probably remembered most for KISS’s first television appearance. 

Paul Lynde of course,

Billie Hayes (Witchiepoo from H.R. Pufnstuf)

Margaret Hamilton (The witch from Wizard of Oz)

Tim Conway (No seventies variety show was right without Tim Conway)

Florence Henderson (Brady Bunch mom)

KISS (their first TV show appearance)

Billy Barty (was in many films)

Betty White (and still going)

Roz Kelly (Pinky Tuscadero from Happy Days)

Donny and Marie Osmond! (just to top it off)

The plot… which really doesn’t matter.

I always thought Paul Lynde was wickedly funny. In this, he was watered-down and could not be his Hollywood Squares best. He had a quick campy wit at times and the writers probably toned it down for prime time. I first noticed Lynde on Bewitched as Uncle Arthur and he was great in that role. It was his delivery that made everything work in his comedy.

This special has comedy bits and music…oh yes the music. You have KISS, you have the disco and you have Florence Henderson singing “That Old Black Magic…” Most of the comedy bits fail but the real comedy is how bad it is… The only thing missing from this extravaganza was a guest appearance from Harvey Korman and/or Don Knotts.

The main reason many people have watched it since it aired is it was KISS’s first TV show appearance…not including concert material.

It is a train wreck but one I like watching over and over again. At no other time could a show like this have been aired. It only aired once…for good reason.

What other show does Paul Lynde play a trucker who wants to marry Pinky Tuscadero?

The complete show is second one down.

If you have time…here is the complete show

 

 

 

Author: badfinger20 (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

31 thoughts on “The Paul Lynde Halloween Special”

  1. never heard of this but it popped up in my youtube suggestions yesterday – I loved Paul Lynde in Bewitched, sort of anti-establishment rebel, but funny with it. Tim Conway was genius, his Carol Burnett Show monologues and leg-pulls are still hilarious, as is anything Betty White is involved in. Throw in Margaret Hamilton and I must check out how bad it is, cos it ought to be genius! 🙂

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      1. Yes, watched it now, pretty bad! Talking of Hollywood Squares, the UK version was Celebrity Squares and a quick flick through the guests shows a few US surprises – Vincent Price was on 5 times, Micky Dolenz twice, Gene Pitney but not many others, mostly it was UK actors and comics, singers, DJ’s, presenters… I didn’t watch it unless forced to!

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  2. Wow, I don’t remember that at all but I might have to check it out…a whole lot going on in it apparently! I sometimes wonder ‘who WERE all those Hollywood squares types?” Man, I mean Paul Lynde, Soupy Sales, Professor something (Irwin?), Rosemary… all these people who seemed to be regulars there but seemed to do little else. Fascinating.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Only in the seventies could you have a show like this…they just threw every generation in there…Paul Lynde and KISS…yes it was important to them…it’s probably known more for them.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I spent two years at Northwestern, of which Paul Lynde was a graduate. There was a big story about him verbally abusing a professor at Burger King during Homecoming Weekend. As I had been one of said professor’s victims, my estimation of Mr. Lynde went up a hundredfold after that…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is a great story John… I always liked Lynde. He had a razor sharp wit and could make the weakest script funny.
      I’ve read the story of him getting pulled over and asking for a milkshake and cheeseburger.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I watched this on YouTube last week. I was always a Paul Lynde fan after discovering him on Bewitched. It’s a shame he didn’t have a chance to do a stand-up special or at least a better tv special. The guy was a comic genius. I agree, it was such a train wreck that it was great entertainment.

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  5. Pretty bad, mainly due to the weak writing, but still fun to watch for its historical context. Paul Lynde had an unusual type of humor that was hilarious in some settings, but not so much in others. I’ve heard he was not a nice person.

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    1. He could be cruel if crossed. His wit was something else. I’ve read some about him…Some fans that came up to him say he usually was alright but he could flare up.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I always liked Paul Lynde and remember him as Uncle Arthur and for being on Hollywood Squares. I have no idea if he is gay but he sure seems gay. The campiness worked for him. He reminds me somewhat of John Ritter. Not sure if I ever saw this Halloween Special. Quite a who’s who of guest on it!

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    1. LOL…it’s a really good show….well let me rephrase that…a good bad show. Just seeing Florence Henderson singing That Old Black Magic is worth it.

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      1. I enjoyed most of that. Some parts of it were cringe-worthy but, WOW what a piece of history. I lost it when Gene Simmons told Lynde “We aren’t wearing any make-up” and Lynde made the elevator comment. 1976…trucker madness, disco, KISS, Donnie & Marie, Roz, election year (poor Ford)…what a retro flashback.

        Florence, Tim, Betty & Margaret are all timeless…even Billy Barty to a degree.

        This is an interesting write-up:
        https://filmthreat.com/uncategorized/the-bootleg-files-the-paul-lynde-halloween-special/

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes it’s so bad it’s good. Only in the 70s could something like this could have been made. All of the generations thrown together.

        That article is good. I’m glad they released it on dvd…what a strange piece of TV.

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      1. You delivered…Amazing how they were promtoing themselves big time back in 1976. I mean they released two albums that year plus toured and did a shit ton of promo!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It’s funny that they picked THAT show to be on. I read where they refused to be on TV…but it was smart actually…with that cast…it was vast enough to have some of their audience…it was many people’s first view of them

        Liked by 1 person

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