The Boob Tube #16: A CHiPs Halloween Episode

Let's take a look at a wonderfully awful enjoyable episode of CHiPs called "Rock Devil Rock".  It was released in its sixth season, it had jumped the shark long ago.  Ponch is still there, but Jon left the show - and we now have Bobby "Hot Dog" Nelson in his place (ugh).

This is a Halloween episode and, I guess to add to the Halloween theme, they had John Astin (Gomez Addams) direct.

The show begins at a Moloch concert - an obvious take off of Kiss; however, instead of Gene Simmons as the scary rocker, we have Donny Most of Happy Days! Yes, you read it right: Ralph Malph plays the Gene Simmons/Marilyn Manson type character.  Mr. Most is listed as "Donald" in the opening credits.  Our little Donny is all growed. up.

I actually took the time to transcribe the lyrics to the horrible "satanic" song he's singing. Enjoy.

Prince of Darkness, Lord of Night
I'm gonna dance with the devil in the burning light
I was born to sin, wild and free
And when I die, there's a devil takin' me
Devil take me
Heaven's the pits
They don't party on the other side
Devil take me, devil take me, [repeat].

Ponch and Jon Hot Dog are tasked with escorting Moloch safely from the concert.  Shit starts to hit the fan when a demonic voice emanates from Moloch's stereo announcing "MOLOCH MUST DIE". Red smoke fills the car and the brakes go out.  Luckily, Ponch and Jon Hot Dog are there to rescue his demonic ass.  Notice his car has the Number of the Beast painted on the doors.Satanism has never been more cheesy.

What could have happened here? Did Lucifer really want to take out Moloch? Ponch seems to think so, but Hot Dog believes this is a bunch of malarkey.  But then how do you explain the fact that the tape recovered from Moloch's vehicle does not say "MOLOCH MUST DIE"? Could Ponch be right and it really was the voice of Beelzebub?

Moloch himself seems extremely troubled by the fact that the devil wants to take him straight to hell.  He wants to quit, but his sleazy manager (played by Hollywood Squares host, Peter Marshall) reminds him of all the fame and fortune he will leave behind.

Suddenly, there's a break in the case! Ponch explains to Sarge (played by Robert Pine, the father of the new Captain Kirk) that when you play the tape backwards, you hear "MOLOCH MUST DIE" in a deep voice (which sounds a lot like William Conrad). 

So, if you're following along, that means Moloch wasn't lying.  The highway patrol officers begin to suspect that this is all a publicity stunt coordinated by his sleazy manager.  They'd better hurry to save Moloch before his manager gets to him first!

Moloch is performing a promotional (they weren't widely known as "music videos" yet), and just as Ponch and Hot Dog suspected, the sleazy manager is busy rigging it to kill poor Moloch.

At the last second, Ponch and Hot Dog are there save Moloch and bust his sleazy manager. The video crew, Ponch, Moloch and Hot Dog stand in amazement as Peter Marshall proceeds to explain his diabolical plot in intricate detail.  Someone should've told him he had the right to remain silent.

The final scene may be my favorite part of the whole show - the CHiPs Halloween party.  It's a surreal scene with costumed adults prancing around to the sounds of a down tempo flute.

Moloch shows up with no costume. When asked why he isn't wearing one, he says he is - he's coming as someone he's wanted to be for a long, long time.... himself.  Isn't that special?

But it's not over yet, ladies and gentlemen.  Guess who happens to be at the Halloween party? None other than Elvira, Mistress of the Dark!

Of course, Poncherello is going to have to make the moves on her.  And of course, she immediately launches into an erotic tango with him while everybody watches disinterestedly.

Somehow, watching Erik Estrada dirty dance with Elvira made this whole damn thing worthwhile. Cheers!


  1. That was horrifying--but not for the reasons they intended--yikes!

  2. Wow, what a bunch of stars! Amazing.

  3. Are we sure that isn't Carrot Top playing the part of Moloch? He didn't even need makeup!

    So where'd you get the vidcaps? Is season 6 watchable online, or do you own the DVDs? I keep waiting for Roller Disco parts 1 & 2 from season 3 to get released on Veoh. Must be some stupid licensing crap preventing it.

  4. I can't believe Peter Marshall has gone bad....what would George Gobel, Paul Lynde, Wally Cox and Charley Weaver think? LOL

    Man I wish CHiPs would return to cable TV, such as TV Land, I remember watching it afternoons on TNT, good times

  5. The Halloween episode with the woman dressed as a ghost robbing gas stations is much better.
    It's funny seeing people from other shows on Chips. I like the one where Peter Brady and Danny Partridge are stealing cars. You would think they were brought up better than that.
    I agree with the above though about waiting for season three. I guess it's not coming any time soon.

  6. I read it. I've seen the pictures. But I still don't believe it.

  7. As soon as Peter Marshall made an appearance, I knew, he was the bad guy.

    By the way, I am proud to say that I probably have not seen more than 10 minutes, total, of CHiPs.

  8. I watched that show all the time. I always remember the punk rock episode (Battle of the Bands).

    I even watched the reunion movie a few years ago.

  9. Looks like most of it was filmed in the local VA hall...

    And, yes, I recall this episode from when it ran.

    Al Bigley

  10. Um... wow.

    You have given me something to add to my Halloween viewing this year.

    As a fan of both Halloween and CHIPS (at least back in the day) I can't believe I haven't seen this.

    Holy crap.

  11. The sad thing is, the episode itself was a rip-off. A few years earlier, the same plotline had been used on, of all places, The Love Boat with Sonny Bono as the shock rocker and Arte Johnson as his sleazy manager. No, really.

  12. Woo weeee, I miss cHips!!

    I couldn't help but notice in the first picture that his "wireless" mic is actually a chorded mic with no chord, could this lip sync thing start catchin' on? LOL!

    I am diggin' this site!

  13. Myrtle, good catch. Usually they plus a cable into the mic and cut it off and leave about 4" of cable attached to the plug so it looks like a wireless antenna. I guess these guys didn't want to waste a good cord on that!

  14. This is a LAME Ripoff of KISS and Ozzy Osbourne.

  15. Gene Simmons and Ozzy Osbourne had to be thinking of a lawsuit over this one