Music Monday: The Paul Lynde Halloween Special

Why don’t I remember watching this as a kid? Was I out trick-or-treating, or did I repress the memory?

The Paul Lynde Halloween Special aired on October 31, 1976. In this clip, Lynde sings special Halloween lyrics to the song “Kids,” which he sang in the 1963 film “Bye Bye Birdie.” Because nothing says “Happy Halloween” more than a gay man singing about how he has candy for children while a bunch of adults in unintentionally creepy costumes dance maniacally around him.

The show featured appearances by anyone who was anyone in the 1970s, including Tim Conway, Betty White (when she was hot the first time around), KISS (bizarrely) and a special cameo by Donny and Marie Osmond. I like how the opening credits bill Roz Kelly as Roz “Pinky Tuscadero” Kelly, using the actor’s character name in quotes between her real name a la the Enquirer, because nobody knew her real name. Lynde also name-checks other topical Seventies people such as movie character Bugsy Malone and shock-rocker Alice Cooper. Veteran actor Margaret Hamilton appears as Lynde’s fictional housekeeper. Hamilton is best remembered for playing the Wicked Witch of the West in The Wizard of Oz, but in the Seventies she achieved new popularity as Cora the Coffee Lady in commercials for Maxwell House.

Have a safe and happy Halloween!

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