The Paul Lynde Halloween Special (1976)

TV Special  |   |  Comedy
7.5
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Witchipoo and the Wicked Witch of the West give Paul Lynde three wishes for Halloween. KISS performs three songs. Florence Henderson sings a disco version of "That Old Black Magic."

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(as Sidney Smith)

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(writing supervisor), (writing supervisor), 8 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview:
...
Himself / Big Ruby Red / Sheik
...
Dynamite Dan / Long Haul Howard / Seymore
Roz Kelly ...
Herself / Hinky Pinky (as Roz 'Pinky Tuscadero' Kelly)
...
Billie Hayes ...
...
Gallows
...
Herself / Cecily Westinghouse
...
Miss Halloween
...
Themselves
...
Himself
...
Herself
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Storyline

Paul Lynde attempts to celebrate Christmas, Easter and Valentine's Day before his housekeeper, Margaret, gives him the bad news. It's Halloween: the time of the year when a kid can carve up a pumpkin and Lynde's sports car at the same time. Lynde is no fan of ignorant youngsters, who seem to know more about Alice Cooper than Alice Faye. Margaret drives her employer to her sister's house, so he can escape the little pranksters. Unluckily, the sister turns out to be Witchipoo; and Margaret herself is the Wicked Witch of the West. The two witches believe witches in general have a bad rap. And so they want Lynde to be their spokes-human. In return, they give him three wishes. Lynde uses two of them to become a rhinestone trucker and a romantic sheik. Meanwhile, KISS performs three songs and Florence Henderson sings a disco version of "That Old Black Magic." Written by J. Spurlin

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

What better place to spend Halloween than in a haunted house with Paul Lynde?

Genres:

Comedy

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

29 October 1976 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

After Betty White (as Miss Halloween) departs, Paul Lynde cracks: "She has a striking resemblance to Betty White. But then so many witches do." This special was made when White's best-known role was the bitchy Sue Ann Nivens on Mary Tyler Moore (1970) See more »

Goofs

As KISS converses with Paul Lynde Paul Stanley's arms are at his side, suddenly folded, then at his side again. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Paul Lynde: [singing] # We wish you a Merry Christmas, / We we wish you a Merry Christmas. #
See more »

Crazy Credits

Donnie and Marie Osmond are given verbal credit only. In his closing speech, Paul Lynde mentions them among his guest stars, the rest of whom are credited in the opening titles. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Initiation (1984) See more »

Soundtracks

My Funny Valentine
(uncredited)
Written by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart
Sung by Paul Lynde
See more »

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User Reviews

The casting alone make this one a guilty pleasure to watch!
29 May 2014 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

If there was some sort of award for the weirdest casting ever for a TV special, surely "The Paul Lynde Halloween Special" would take it! Think about it….Lynde's guests were Margaret Hamilton (of The Wizard of Oz fame), Billie Hayes ('Witchiepoo' from "H.R. Pufnstuf"), Florence Henderson, Billy Barty, Betty White, Donny and Marie Osmond…and KISS!!! It seemed as if some producer simply closed their eyes and picked celebrities out of a hat!! So is this strange mélange any good? Nah… it's pure crap!

I have nothing against the host, Paul Lynde. In his own may, he had a niche—whether as the center square on the American TV show The Hollywood Squares, as the befuddled father in Bye, Bye Birdie or playing the deliberately annoying Uncle Arthur on Bewitched. However, no one would say that he was a man who could do it all. Yet, oddly, here in the special Lynde was given EVERYTHING to do—from comedy, singing, stand-up and playing the great, straight lover. None of them worked very well but the worst was definitely his attempt at stand-up at the beginning of the show. This routine wouldn't have worked even if Jerry Seinfeld or Henny Youngman had delivered it—and having a non-stand-up guy like Lynde deliver it was downright painful—especially since the laugh track was horrid. EVERYTHING he said was unfunny and every line he delivered resulted in loud guffaws from the laugh track! It was a combination of embarrassing and awful at the same time.

There were a few skits as well—all of which were painfully bad. The most difficult to watch had Lynde playing a rhinestone bedazzled trucker who inexplicably was stuck on a trashy waitress and had to battle against Tim Conway and Billy Barty for her love. Seeing him in this jumpsuit was simply amazing…and hard to describe in its awfulness. You just have to see it to believe it!

Did it get any better? Mostly, no, it didn't. There was a lot of singing and Lynde's singing range was very, very limited—and he's clearly out of his range with "Kids" and "Disco Baby"! Florence Henderson, who possessed a nice voice, wasn't much better with "That 'Ol Black Magic" because the song and style just weren't suited to her talents. As for Donnie and Marie, they inexplicably didn't sing(!) and only KISS came off well—and sang some of their best tunes ("Detroit Rock City", "Beth" and "King of the Nighttime World"). In fact, that is why I was generous enough to score this one an F+--their tunes, though inappropriate for this lame show, were definitely the highlights and hold up pretty well today. Even if you hate KISS, I can't see anyone disliking the song "Beth".

Overall, the humor and entertainment in this tacky confection were just dreadful—even by 1970s standards. I would place this in the same category as "The Brady Variety Hour" (once "The Brady Bunch" was canceled the network execs decided to give them a variety show) and "Pink Lady and Jeff" (Pink Lady was a musical duo who didn't speak English) as among the worst of the era. The only worse and more painful excuse of a show I can recall from that same time period was the god- awful "Star Wars Holiday Special". It's all just too weird, disjoint and awful to be believed—and that's why I'd love you to see it! And, if insist on treating yourself to this mess of a show, it is available from Amazon.com.


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