Sunday, October 31, 2021

Anything Can Happen On Halloween

Started off a sunny Halloween morning with Pumpkin Pancakes and grapes for breakfast. Watched Raggedy Ann & Andy and the Pumpkin Who Wouldn't Smile while I ate. The doll duo bring a glum pumpkin to a lonely boy whose aunt forbid him from trick-or-treating or having a jack o' lantern. They then focus on the aunt, reminding her of all the fun she had on Halloween as a child.

Switched to the episode of the 60's Woody Woodpecker Show included as a bonus on the Woody Woodpecker & Friends Classic Collection Vol 1. "Spook-a-Nanny" is the only cartoon created directly for the show. Woody wants to attend a Halloween party with all his friends from the Walter Lantz Studios. Trouble is, first his boss Walter Lantz keeps him blowing balloons between shorts, and then his buddies won't let him in. He finally joins a ghost rock band to scare his way into the party, but he can't walk through walls like they can.

Went online after I finished the dishes. Sam Mitchell, one of the many people who post vintage game show episodes on YouTube, put together a marathon of Halloween-themed episodes starting at 11 AM. I saw most of them on Buzzr or last year on YouTube...but there was a show I never encountered before. Whammy! The All New Press Your Luck ran on Game Show Network for a little over a year from 2002 to 2003, but it did manage to fit a Halloween episode in. It's pretty much the same as the original show, only this time, they start with 1,000 and spin first, then collect more spins. Host Todd Newton posed as the Grim Reaper; the guy dressed as basket ball player bride won. 

Here's the full marathon, for your own Halloween enjoyment!

It rained briefly around 11:30, making me wonder if they'd still have trick-or-treating. Called Rose. Yes, trick-or-treating was still on. She even intended to stop by with Craig and the kids later to pick up their Mystery Bags.

The fairy wings I ordered on Amazon over a week ago never did come. I switched to being a Roma gypsy queen instead. My cousin gave me a lovely paisley woven shawl years ago, but it's hard to wear it when you're constantly riding a bike. It went very well with my new dark gold blouse, the brown, gold, and blue floral skirt I bought for my Little Red Riding Hood costume a few years ago, and a pile of beaded necklaces and gold sequin star tiara I kept as part of my princess/movie star outfit. Tied my Red Riding Hood cape around my waist for more flair. 

Went out to greet trick-or-treaters around 1 PM. I'd be in and out for the next couple of hours, including going in for 20 minutes around quarter of 2 to have a smoothie for lunch. Settled down to read The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and other spooky Washington Irving stories between kids. Heard the occasional burst from the Eagles-Lions game at the party along with spooky songs like "Someone's Watching Me." (Incidentally, in a Halloween miracle, the Eagles mauled the Lions 44 - 6.) Jodie's friend Sandy brought over Halloween cupcakes; I chose the chocolate with coconut icing topped with a candy corn. 

We had a lot of kids this year, even more than last year, likely thanks to two big parties taking place on the same block. I actually gave away all of my Mystery Bags, plus some of the candy Jodie had as well. The kids next door helped me drum up kids until they headed out for their own trick or treating fun. Ryan was a secret agent in a black trench coat; Savannah was a Ravenclaw Hogwarts student. Savannah's friend Annabelle was the Queen of Hearts in a heart-shaped tiara and fancy tulle dress. 

I love how creative the kids get with their costumes around here. A mom Ash brought over her adorable daughter Charmander and tiny infant Pikachu. We had a family of skeletons, one a baby. Saw a group of teens that included a cowboy, a witch, a unicorn, and a skeleton. Another older boy at least wore a mask while he rode around on a bike. A grown-up witch and huge pink unicorn gave out candy. The first kid to come was a ghoulish Jason Voorhees in a mask and carrying a cardboard chainsaw. Ran into two generic princesses in tiaras and poofy pink dresses. The two older girls from around the corner were a pastel ghoul with bright neon blue pigtails and a horned monster. Kids from the party across the street included a pumpkin, Iron Man, Spider Man, a family of Rockford Peaches from League of Their Own (including a mini toddler Peach), a baseball player from a local Little League team, and Chase the police dog from Paw Patrol. Later on, I saw two more Spider Men (one a Spider Girl), two Black Panthers, a pretty ghoul in a fancy costume, and another baby skeleton.

Rose and Craig arrived with Finley and Khai in tow around 3:30. Khai wore a Jurassic Park t-shirt, but his real costume was a nifty inflatable tyrannosaurus. The rest of the family's costumes revolved around Finley's Bee Queen outfit. She wore a crown with gold "feelers," tiny striped wings, yellow striped stockings, and a black tutu and leotard. The kid was less happy about the huge frilly yellow hoop skirt and ruffled gloves that were also a part of her costume, especially after she tripped and skinned her palms. Her father wore a beekeeper's net-covered hat and carried sunflowers. Her mother just had a t-shirt that said "this is my beekeeper's costume." 

I never saw The Great Pumpkin today, but he did leave me a wonderful gift. He gave me time to think between kids. I haven't had time to just sit down and read and think in weeks, if not months. Even when I was on the trains, I was ready to run to the next train. I felt content for the first time in ages. I know I won't be in this neighborhood or sitting on the porch of Jodie's house next year, but it felt really good this year. I know I really do prefer giving to getting. 

Originally planned on making dip and chips for dinner, but by 5:30, when the kids started winding down, I decided I was too tired. Plus, I wanted to see if there was going to be a parade this year. Ended up buying two slices of cheese pizza and a bottle of Wild Cherry Pepsi at Phillies Phatties. The place was hopping with fathers and sons enjoying slices of pizza after trick-or-treat and watching the Saints-Buccaneers game. (Saints thankfully handed Tom Brady his rear 36 - 27.) I eventually ate outside, watching princesses and pandas and Spider Gwens go by. 

Strolled around the neighborhood to look at lights and decorations...and when I returned, the Halloween Parade was ambling down West Clinton. That was a surprise. They're usually late; this time, they were 20 minutes early. What was even more surprising was Rose and her tribe joined us, with Cider in her own doggy bee costume tugging Craig along. Usually, Rose's kids pass out well before the parade. Among the niftier costumes I saw at the parade were Pennywise from It (complete with balloons),  Belle, a tiny Tinkerbell, another Spider Man in a more elaborate costume, a toddler ladybug, a black cat, and a small cop with handcuffs. 

For some reason, the firemen did give out candy when everyone arrived, but there was no judging. Everyone just sort of stood around in front of the closed fire house. Rose and her family finally gave up after about 20 minutes. I gave it another five minutes, then did the same.

Made pumpkin muffins when I got in while finishing up the Halloween episode of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, "Mickey's Treat." Mickey and the others are excited to travel to Trick or Treat Tower for Pete's Halloween party. First, though, they have to find something to complete Goofy's knight costume, make their way over the giant Candy Corn, and Mickey the magician has to perform a trick for Pete. 

Slid the muffins into the oven and did the dishes during It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. Linus insists that the Great Pumpkin rises out of a sincere pumpkin patch on Halloween night to bring toys and goodies to all of the children in the world. He insists on sitting in a pumpkin patch to see for himself. Against her better judgement, Sally joins him. Meanwhile, Charlie Brown has trick-or-treating problems, and Snoopy skips ahead to Veteran's Day for a fight with the Red Baron.

The full version of the Donald Duck "Trick or Treat" short is on Disney Plus. Donald would rather keep his candy for himself and play mean tricks on his nephews, until a kindly witch takes pity on them. Donald swallows the key to keep it from her, making her cast a spell on him to dance it out! 

Finished the night on YouTube with more spooky Halloween game show episodes. Price Is Right made their third try at a nighttime version in 1994. The fun of their Halloween episode was limited to the one Showcase Showdown, which offered a collection of Universal monster movies, several trips to famous horror locations, and a fancy car. Doug Davidson was the eager host here.

Sale of the Century and Classic Concentration took part in NBC's "Trick or Treat Week" in 1988. Concentration went a little further, with Alex Trebek dressed as a king in a huge crown and Marjorie Goodson as his queen, and the contestants in costume as a showgirl and a jester. Sale settled for Halloween-themed Instant Bargain skits and decorations that matched the gold and orange backdrop.

The original Win, Lose, Or Draw also took part in that week. Horror icons Linda Blair of The Exorcist, Zelda Rubenstein of Poltergeist, John Astin of the original Addams Family, and David Naughton joined host Vicki Lawrence figure out what their contestants attempted to sketch. The ladies won big and won fast here; they played so quickly, there was time to draw with the audience in the end. 

Super Password in 1986 settled for messing with Halloween witch toys, a few frightening Password Puzzles, and a crack from announcer Gene Wood telling host Bert Convy to take his mask off. (He wasn't wearing one.) The late 80's - early 90's Family Feud got more into the holiday. Ray Combs borrowed a less-lacy version of Finley's bee costume to ask contestants dressed as queens, Lady Liberty, Sherlock Holmes, a Chinese lady, and Alice In Wonderland spooky survey questions.  

While the original Hollywood Squares didn't do Halloween episodes per se, they did do occasional "Storybook Squares" weeks with everyone in costume, even long after the Saturday morning Storybook Squares show ended. Peter Marshall presides over an episode from 1976 that features Sandy Duncan as the devil, Mel Brooks as his Silent Movie character Mel Funn, Steve Landisberg as Wise King Sullivan, Tammy Wynette as Madame Pompadour, Denise Nicholas as Queen Tut, John Bider as Rasputin, George Gobel as a stereotypical Confucius, and Paul Lynde in the center square as golden-curled Narcissus. 

My favorite episode of the underrated 1990 version of Match Game is their hilarious Halloween show. Charles Nelson Reilly comes as Superman, his old buddy Brett Somers does her last week of the show as a little girl, host Ross Schafer is Dracula, and Vicki Lawrence returns as Little Red Riding Hood in a super-short dress. It's wisecracking dragon puppet Scorch and his handler Ronn Lucas who manages to come up with the scariest costume of all. 

Celebrate Halloween with these forays into game shows past! (Most shows come with either their original commercials or the ones from their Game Show Network runs.)

And here's hoping you had a safe, happy, and game-filled Halloween of your own! 

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