The Strangest Evening in TV History

There's been a ton odd moments on the boob tube over the years, so I know it's strong words to single out one as the "strangest"; however, compared to this one, all others simply fall short. I am speaking of The Paul Lynde Halloween Special. What makes this one so wonderfully odd? Let me count the ways:

  1. Florence Henderson (Mrs. Brady) does a rendition of "Ol' Black Magic" to a disco beat in such a way that it simply has to be seen to be believed.

  2. This is the first television performance of KISS; the band does three songs and awkwardly interacts with Lynde - one of the most surreal and off-putting moments in the history of television.

  3. This was literally the first time that Margaret Hamilton donned the Wicked Witch of the West costume since the Wizard of Oz was filmed.

  4. Paul Lynde dresses up as a rhinestone trucker and fights Tim Conway over a scantily clad Pinky Tuscadero.

  5. It features guest appearances by Donnie & Marie, Betty White and Witchipoo from H. R. Pufnstuf... need I go on?

It's now available on DVD, which is great for all of us who saw it when it originally aired and thought maybe it was just a nightmare or some kind of hallucination brought on by lack of sleep. No, it was real, and now we have proof.


  1. strange, indeed .... i'm not sure the 'first tv appearance' claim for KISS would hold up in court - ABC's 'In Concert' and Mike Douglas both had aired the band prior to halloween 1976

    1. From Anonymous 2: I believe the Mike Douglas appearances are the first, but they also appeared on the "Midnight Special" program in April of 1975.

  2. Looks like you can rent this as a streaming download from Amazon.com. I'll have to try it.

  3. I believe Margaret Hamilton appeared as the Witch in an episode of MR. ROGERS' NEIGHBORHOOD before this...

  4. It's also shared by someone on YouTube - I don't think anyone has an interest in having it taken down for copyright purposes, so it should be available there for a long time...