Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Paul Lynde Halloween Special

Arguably the most infamous TV special of the excessive seventies, THE PAUL LYNDE HALLOWEEN SPECIAL probably got remembered for its early appearance by KISS. Certainly that's why it was bootlegged so much over the years. But in time, the entire special took on a weird luster it certainly didn't have originally. 

Lynde was one of those singular talents that TV couldn't quite figure out what to do with. He was known and loved as Samantha's Uncle Arthur on BEWITCHED in spite of the fact that he only appeared a little more than a handful of times throughout that series' run. His greatest fame came as the sardonic center square on HOLLYWOOD SQUARES.

But Paul really wasn't a particularly good actor and various attempts to have him play characters who weren't just Paul Lynde failed--often miserably. And Paul Lynde, as himself, came best in small doses.

In 1976, Paul was a regular on Donny and Marie Osmond's variety show and someone decided to give him this special in which the 2 Osmonds cameo. That, of course, makes this the only time Osmonds and KISS appear on the same show.

Other guests included WIZARD OF OZ witch Margaret Hamilton and HR PUFNSTUF witch, Witchipoo (Billie Hayes). Betty White, Florence Henderson, Tim Conway and ABC flavor of the month Roz Kelly also appeared.

It's definitely not the best showcase for Paul Lynde's humor but over time it may well have become the thing most younger fans know him from...and that's all because of KISS, whose fans passed the show around from the earliest days of home video.

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