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Paul Lynde Halloween Special

4.1 out of 5 stars 118 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

The Paul Lynde Halloween Special aired only once (on October 29, 1976) and featured a "Who's Who" of mid-'70s TV and film stars; Paul held everything together as the ringmaster of a circus that featured Margaret Hamilton (her only prime time TV appearance wearing the full outfit from The Wizard of Oz), Witchie Poo from H.R. Pufnstuf, Donnie and Marie (who had Paul as a regular on their series), Tim Conway, Billy Barty and in their first prime time TV appearance, KISS. They perform three songs but the on-stage conversation with KISS, Paul and Margaret Hamilton is priceless.

Special Features:

Extensive photo scrapbook containing images from The Hollywood Squares, at home, family shots, young Paul. This includes large quantities of photos provided by his family and heirs

Three stage interactive trivia game based on questions asked on The Hollywood Squares with a bonus feature when consumer answers all 30- 60 questions correctly

Extensive quotes from Paul Lynde about family, entertainment, food and mental health Liner notes by producer and writer, Bob Booker


Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Billy Barty, Margaret Hamilton, Billie Hayes, Florence Henderson, KISS
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: S'more Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: October 2, 2007
  • Run Time: 60 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (118 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000TEUSMC
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #45,363 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Paul Lynde Halloween Special" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Robert I. Hedges HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on November 13, 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This Halloween special aired once on television, on October 29, 1976. It is perhaps the most quintessential 1970's camp classic available on DVD. Starring Paul Lynde, with a bevy of guest stars such as Tim Conway, Billy Barty, Florence Henderson, Donny and Marie Osmond, KISS, and best of all, Margaret Hamilton and Billie Hayes, this show is only 50 minutes long, but what it lacks in length it makes up for in cheese.

It is essentially a sketch comedy show with the faintest of connective sinew: Paul Lynde and his housekeeper, Margaret Hamilton, visit Hamilton's sister, Billie Hayes at her castle. Obviously this is an excuse for Hamilton to reprise her role as the most famous witch in history, the Wicked Witch of the West from "The Wizard of Oz," while Hayes dons her Witchiepoo outfit from "H. R. Pufnstuf." Along the way there are lots of lame jokes, skits, and music.

To capitalize on the then huge song "Convoy" and television show "Movin' On" there is a musical nightmare where Lynde (in a sequin jumpsuit with enormous lapels) and Conway play truckers dueling for the love of Pinky Tuscadero (Roz Kelly). Although that has nothing to do with Halloween and everything to do with the strangely popular CB radio boom, the setting quickly shifts for most of the balance of the show to Hayes' house. I especially enjoyed the interactions of Hayes and Hamilton in the castle where they introduce KISS (their first major television appearance) as chamber musicians who "make such very soothing, quiet dinner music."

There are other diversions, such as when Lynde becomes a sheik who kidnaps Florence Henderson (who he falls for after seeing her milk a cobra). He tries everything to win her heart, even sharing a decanter of hyena wine with her.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I remember watching this as a kid, but never being able to remember what it was. Watching it again brought back memories. Guest stars like Tim Conway, Florence Henderson, and of course, KISS make this a memorable show. It's definitely a slice of the 70's with Disco music and the variety show feel (skits, song-and-dance routines, occasional painfully unfunny jokes), and it's great. The only down side is the fact that it's not the best quality. It looks like an old VHS movie, but that can't be helped because it was thought lost forever and only ONE complete copy has ever been found. I wish they could have remastered it, but I'd rather have it this way than not at all.

The extras here include a "Match the Quote" game (get 30 of them right and there's a little surprise for you), Paul's Photo Album, and a few other notes. No deleted scenes or extra stuff like that, but again, at least we're getting the special out there.

Definitely worth the money!
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The Paul Lynde Halloween Special is a surreal, kitschy hunk of 70's cheese, long thought to be lost for over three decades. Variety show in structure while underpinned with the thinnest of plot lines, it's a virtual text book of trash culture circa 1976: Billy Barty, Tim Conway, Betty White, Florence Henderson (singing "That Old Black Magic" in a dreadful disco number), Roz Kelly (Pinky Tuscadero of "Happy Days), the rock band Kiss, Billie Hayes (as Withchiepoo from "H.R. Pufinstuf"), Margaret Hamilton (gamely reprising her Wicked Witch of the West character), discotheques, line dancing, CB radios, truckers, desert sheiks, neon lights, candy colored sets, canned laughter, rhinestone-studded outfits and probably some shag carpet and olive-colored appliances. All this and Donny and Marie Osmond, too.

Holding it all together (and that's not easy) is the bitter charm of Paul Lynde. His spiky comebacks seem more acerbic on "Hollywood Squares" (blame the writers), but his sarcastic delivery is still dead on and he more or less carries the show. Lynde even gets an opening musical number in the winking "Kids", which sends up bratty children, sentimentality and Halloween altogether. His cackling rapport with pal Margaret Hamilton (one of the few personalities who could stand toe-to-toe with him), is where he truly feels at home and based on his checkered past, suggests a kinship with the Wicked Witch of the West. The cover art more than asserts this notion.

As stated on the package, this may possibly be the Holy Grail for Kiss Kollectors, documenting in entirety their first prime-time appearance on national television.
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Format: DVD
If you are fan of 70's kitchsy camp, be sure to get a copy of "The Paul Lynde Halloween Special", released earlier this month on DVD. Originally (and only, never repeated) broadcast on October 29, 1976, the show was believed to have been lost for almost 31 years, until one of the writers recently uncovered a tape, from which the DVD has been produced (As the DVD packaging cautions, the quality and picture aren't perfect, but it was actually a lot better than I was expecting with that warning up front.)

The cast is like a wet dream of gay camp! Besides Paul (in full-out "bitchy" mode), there's Margaret Hamilton (Wicked Witch of the West from "Wizard of Oz"), Billie Hayes (as Witchiepoo from "HR Pufnstuf"), Betty White, Billy Barty, Tim Conway, and would you believe Florence Henderson ... singing a DISCO verion of "That Old Black Magic"??? Musical guests are KISS, on their first network appearance. The entire cast joins in a disco salute as the finale (which is in itself worth the price to see KISS briefly singing DISCO!)

A friend ordered 30 copies for all his gay friends as Christmas presents! DVD extras include some lots of photos, exerpts from interviews with Paul Lynde, a multiple choice test on some of his "Hollywood Squares" responses, and an interview with that show's host, Peter Marshall, with remembrances of the late Mr. Lynde.
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