Paul Lynde Halloween Special

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Talk about “trick or treat!” Wow — we watched “The Paul Lynde Halloween Special” over the weekend, and I’m still not sure if this is the single biggest cause in the downfall of “variety” show specials so famously mocked since then (Simpsons, anyone?), or a mega-awesome cheese-fest to be cherished every October. Probably both.

The premise: Paul Lynde is kidnapped by his maid, Margaret Hamilton – yes, THAT Margaret Hamilton – and taken to her sister’s haunted mansion. Her sister is none other than Billie Hayes – yes, THAT Billie Hayes. Margaret reveals herself to be none other than The Wicked Witch, looking as frightful and fun as she did nearly 40 years prior to this 1976 show…and she and Billie – in full Witchiepoo mode – give Lynde three wishes. One of his wishes is an homage (really) to the mid-70s CB-radio/trucking craze, featuring Roz Kelly (remember Pinky from Happy Days?) and Tim Conway.

Oh, and be on the lookout for a VERY brief Donny & Marie appearance. Florence Henderson show up, too, and does a hideous, ghastly, terrible version of “Disco Lady.”

And in what I believe is their first prime-time TV appearance: KISS. Seriously. They do three songs, and the lip-synching must be seen to be disbelieved.

Folks, this kind of cheese just can’t be seen on TV anymore. Draw your own conclusions.

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