Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Anything Can Happen On Halloween

Began my Halloween with short stories and spooky poems from Colliers Harvest of Holidays. "The Blue-Nosed Witch" is a scatterbrained young sorceress who keeps being late for her coven's flight formations. She sets her clock back on Halloween so she can join the rest of her coven, but sets it back way too early and ends up showing off her glowing blue nose to trick-or-treaters instead. Young witch Minx makes "The Water Nixie" appear for her friends, but they're disappointed. They were hoping for a fairy. She's more worried about her veteran witch mother not letting her go to school.

Had breakfast while watching The Woody Woodpecker Show. The only cartoon made directly for the show, "Spook-a-Nanny," was set on Halloween. Woody spends most of the episode blowing up balloons for his boss Walter Lanz. He finally finishes just in time for the big party with Lanz characters like Andy Panda, Chilly Willy, and Wally Walrus, but they play tricks to keep him out. He finally gets in with a ghost rock band, but can't walk through the walls like they can.

Moved to YouTube for The Worst Witch. I go further into this British adaptation of the popular book series with Charlotte Rae, Fairuza Balk, and Tim Curry at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Since it was on YouTube, I watched Garfield's Halloween Adventure next. Garfield and Odie are looking forward to a night of trick-or-treat booty dressed as pirates. The last thing they'd ever expect is to be stranded on a spooky island at midnight where pirate ghosts have buried their treasure!

Went for a walk after that. My brown stockings were the perfect color to match my new light brown strap shoes...but they also ran the second I put them on. This is why I avoid wearing the darn things. I searched Family Dollar and Dollar General and couldn't find any. I'd just wear the darn things and hope they didn't go far enough down to show.

Had a quick lunch while watching the Donald Duck short "Trick or Treat" in its entirety on Disney Plus. Donald would rather play mean tricks on his nephews and keep the treats for himself. Witch Hazel makes sure he gives up the goodies, even if she has to cast spells on him that make him dance until he coughs up the key! 

Prepared my costume after lunch. I was Little Red Riding Hood. The WalMart velvet cape looked shiny and pretty and was actually rather warm, but the hood kept sliding off and it unraveled all night. It was not worth the $9.99 I paid. I was hoping to find a long-sleeved blouse with a lace collar, but I figured my short-sleeved blouse with the crocheted lace collar would do if I wore the cape and a red cardigan. Tied my original red cape around my jean skirt to make it look more medieval fairy tale. Unfortunately, I made a mess putting on the little makeup I needed and had to scrub the shirt off. (Thankfully, it did come clean.) Carried my stuffed Beanie Baby wolf Howl in a flowered Easter basket.

Watched more frightening Sale of the Century episodes while I got everything together. The scariest thing about the first episode was how badly everyone played. Even the champ didn't make more than 50 points. They also bought all the prizes...which admittedly ended up being pretty cool when one lady bought a portable TV, only to get a bonus projection-sized set that went with it. There were also trips to Ireland and Bermuda, a beautiful sleek upright red piano, and a fancy black dress with a huge red lace collar worn by a lady zombie. 

They played much better in the second game. The winner blew away the competition, getting 100 by the end of the Speed Round. He still had trouble with the Bonus Round, though...

Went outside with the Mystery Bags promptly at 3 PM. Kids didn't really start coming around until past 4:30...and when they did, they came in droves. The Mystery Bags vanished within an hour after that. I saw some terrific costumes. There was a Barbie in the pink flared jumpsuit and cowboy hat she wore in the movie. Saw teen girls in blood-smeared leotards and ghoulish dresses. One little girl wore a gorgeous purple and black Victorian-style gown. Another young lady was a pretty Elsa in a blue sparkly dress. There were at least five different Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, an Incredible Hulk, a Black Panther, Jason of Friday the 13th, three Spider Men, and a ninja. 

One kid had an inflatable dinosaur costume. A group of rowdy teen boys mostly wore weird inflatable costumes, except the kid on the skateboard in the powder-blue leisure suit and ugly blonde wig. He took a nasty tumble on the board just seconds after leaving me and my bowl of candy that made him decide to carry it for a while. There was a tiny Curious George with a mom Woman In the Yellow Hat and a Doctor Who group with a boy Tom Baker Doctor, a mom Sarah Jane, and a dad in a Tardis T-shirt. Saw a kid monkey and a pre-teen polar bear leading around her ghoul brother. Two teens were a cheetah and a black cat. A Disney crew family with a brother Mickey, Mom Minnie, baby sister Daisy, and dad Donald asked if we'd seen their orange cat around. 

I received many compliments on my Red Riding Hood costume. Howl in particular was a big hit. The teens thought he was adorable. The little guys wanted to squeeze him. One toddler miss in an Elmo costume cuddled him. A little ladybug gave him a big hug. Even a frisky beagle rubbed noses with him. 

It had been cold, cloudy, and breezy all day. Perfect Halloween weather, but not so great for sitting outside. I read The Hound of the Baskervilles between kids until it got too cold to be sitting around. Not to mention, I was fed up with the stockings. The runs were worse, and they kept sagging. When the candy bowl was down to the last few bits, I went inside, changed the stockings for socks, and threw my heavier cream and sienna sweater with the embroidered flowers under the cape.

Since I left a little early, I had plenty of time for pizza at Phillies Phatties. Some folks had already called trick-or-treat and were having dinner, too. I enjoyed a slice of sausage, a slice of margarita, and a bottle of Diet Pepsi while watching a little Minnie Mouse play with her dad. 

Strolled around the neighborhood next, looking at decorations. Some families here get nearly as into Halloween decorations as they do for Christmas. One house was covered in cheesecloth spiderwebs. Another had a massive, moving inflatable dragon outside, complete with glowing red eyes.

Joined the crowd waiting for Oaklyn's Halloween Parade when I returned to West Clinton. There were some darn good Halloween costumes here, too. One boy was Willy Wonka. Another was a truly scary zombie clown with a terrifying mask. Four hilarious fifth-grade girls were dressed as Teletubbies (and won first-place as a group). Another pre-teen group sported pastel preppy plaid skirts and polo shirts. 

There were at least two Scooby Doo groups, one with a Mystery Machine wagon. There was a dad Freddy Kruger and another who sported massive horns. A little girl kept tripping over her long sequined Elsa train. The girl pumpkin was utterly adorable, dancing around with abandon in her orange tulle skirt. Saw another Iron Man, a Flash, a Venom, and several more Spider Men. A taco, a hot dog, and a hoagie sported nifty printed fabric costumes; their dad was a slice of pizza. A mom Day of the Dead skeleton looked stunning in her makeup and flowered headdress. 

It was slightly after 7:30 when the group finally headed raggedly down West Clinton. Most of our audience was at the block in front of Tonewood Brewery and Phillies Phatties, but it was still fun to walk with everyone. I didn't win anything in the costume competition this year (there were way too many better costumes, including Freddy Kruger and the Horned King), but I still had a good time.

(And for the second year in a row, it's a good thing the Parade ended when it did. It sprinkled a little while everyone was on the last block going to the Fire Hall. It didn't really start to pour until around 9 PM and has been off and on ever since.) 

Took a shower as soon as I got home and put everything away, then spent the rest of the night back on YouTube. After the regular Match Game and Password Plus premiere, Match Game Productions had a short marathon of Halloween episodes from other game shows. To tell the truth, I'd seen all of them, either last year or last night, but that didn't stop me from enjoying seeing Ray Combs of Family Feud dressed as Robin Hood or Paul Lynde as Frankenstein's monster again. 

Here's the marathon, for your own Halloween enjoyment: 

Here's hoping you also had a scary good Halloween with all your favorite little witches and ghouls!

Monday, October 30, 2023

Scary Games

Started off the morning with breakfast and Boo to You Too, Winnie the Pooh! Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore, and Gopher are looking forward to trick or treating and a night full of scares. Piglet, however, finds Halloween to be a little too frightening for him. In deference to his best friend, Pooh finally says they won't have Halloween this year. Tigger and Gopher set out to prove to Piglet that Halloween is nothing to be afraid of.

Switched to Match Game '77 next. This one started off with everyone teasing Charles over his blue and orange satin shirt that made him look like he was racing Secretariat in the Kentucky Derby. Dick Martin, Fannie Flagg, and Patty Duke join in to help the contestant figure out the Audience Match "___ Buds."

Headed out after that to run a few quick errands. Started at Westmont Plaza again to avoid running into kids coming out of school. Picked up coconut milk and more of those Olympus breakfast sandwich cookies at Sprouts. Mainly needed mouthwash and fish oil vitamins at Target. I was hoping they'd have even one Halloween aisle left. Nope. They were just starting to put out the Christmas items. Couldn't find more of those amazing cinnamon cashews, either. I got the donut glazed almonds. 

I had more luck at Starbucks, where I tried a small Vampire Frappucino. It was strawberry syrup mixed into Vanilla Bean Frappucino to look like dripping blood. Watery, yes, but also tart, thanks to the strawberry syrup. Not bad as one-time-only holiday treat.

It was such a nice day at that point, I took the long way across Collingswood to the PNC Bank. Sunny and warm, in the lower 70's, breezy and humid for late October. Even as I stopped at the ATM machine in their drive-through, I could see dark clouds rolling in over the horizon. Heavy, cold winds arrived with the clouds. It must have dropped a good fifteen degrees as I made my way across Newton Lake Park, past Collingswood High School and the Parkview Apartments. I waved at the most adorable little girl whose mother was teaching her to ride her first big-girl training wheel bike on the sidewalk as I headed down the White Horse Pike.

Stopped at Dollar General next. Last year, we gave away a ton of candy along with the Mystery Bags. I bought Halloween ring pops as my contribution to the candy pile. Figured they were something different that the kids would get a kick out of.

Wanted an adult treat for tomorrow, so I stopped at the Mexican bakery on the way home. Oddly, they didn't really have much for the holiday. Thought I'd try some shortbread tarts with chewy jam in the middle. Not bad. Crumbly and not too sweet.

Had a sandwich and strawberries for lunch at home while watching The Halloween Tree. Ray Bradbury adapted his 1972 book as this spooky animated special in 1993. Four kids - Jenny, Tom, Wally, and Ralph - await the arrival of their best friend Joe "Pip" Pipkin so they can begin trick-or-treating. When they arrive at his house, they learn that he's having his appendix removed. He leaves a note to begin without him, but they don't think it would be fair to leave their buddy behind. 

When they see what looks like his ghost, they follow it to a forbidding black mansion. The owner, a shriveled man named Moundshroud (Leonard Nimoy), shows the children a "Halloween Tree" with pumpkins representing those who have passed on. He can't believe that the kids don't know why their costumes - Jenny's a witch, Tom is a skeleton, Wally is a Quasimodo-type monster, and Ralph is a mummy - are so significant to the holiday. Pip takes off with the pumpkin that has his face, prompting Moundshroud to recruit his friends to help recover it. They follow him through ancient Egypt, medieval Ireland, the building of the Notre Dame de Paris, and a Day of the Dead celebration in Mexico, learning how the customs pertaining to the dead and the changing of seasons in each time period contributed to Halloween traditions and lore.

Bradbury wrote and narrated this himself, and it's a dark, yet touching look at Halloween customs and traditions that aren't as often covered as those for Christmas. It's truly sweet to see not only how much Pip means to the kids, but what they give up for him in the end. Nimoy makes a great Moundshroud, too, pushy and spooky as he explains each time period and their significance to the kids. Highly recommended if you want to show your older kids and pre-teens how many Halloween customs got started.

Moved to the original Ghostbusters as I cleaned up from lunch and took my laundry downstairs. After paranormal scientists Peter Venkman (Bill Murray), Egon Spengler (Harold Ramis), and Ray Stantz (Dan Acroyd) are fired from their jobs at Columbia University, they go into business as professional ghost-catchers. They don't have much luck until classical musician Dana Barrett (Sigourney Weaver) goes to them insisting she's seen a spook in her icebox, and then the guys have to clear a certain hungry little green ghost out of a fancy hotel. Suddenly, the phone is ringing off the hook and ghost sightings are popping up all over the city. They're so swamped, they hire Winston Zeddmore (Ernie Wilson) to help out. 

Their receptionist Janine (Annie Potts) worries that something is going to go wrong...and it turns out she has a good reason. After EPA executive Walter Peck (William Atherton) orders the containment unit with the ghosts shut down, it bursts open, sending ghosts flying all over New York! The Ghostbusters are arrested...but they may be the only ones who can save the Big Apple from an otherworldly menace on top of Dana's apartment building determined to turn the town into the world's largest charred marshmallow.

I did hear good things about Afterlife, don't think Ghostbusters II is all that bad, and still believe the all-female remake from a few years ago has an undeserved bad rap, but this is really still the only Ghostbusters film most people will need. The entire cast is a delight, with Murray the stand-out as smarmy Venkman, throwing out some of the funniest one-liners of the 80's while backed by special effects that look good to this day.

Worked on writing after the movie and putting my laundry in the dryer. Cora and her father are surprised to see a pair of velvety brown eyes peering around a corner. They belong to an ugly hunchback with a misshapen face, spiky whacked-off hair, hairy ape-like arms, and loping legs, who shyly gives Cora a flower. She thinks he's a dear, but Stephen would rather she not pal around with his servant...

Watched the two horror episodes of The Muppet Show on Disney Plus during dinner. Horror movie legend Vincent Price lent his elegant spookiness to one of the best episodes of the first season. He and Uncle Deadly give Fozzie and Gonzo a fright in a haunted house, Kermit bites him in the neck after they discuss acting during an interview segment, and we see one Muppet monster eating another while singing "I've Got You Under My Skin." Price finishes off the show by serenading the Muppet monsters with "You've Got a Friend." 

Alice Cooper was one of the earliest "shock jocks," known for his crazy makeup and scary songs like "Welcome to My Nightmare" and "School's Out." In his third season episode, he tries to tempt various Muppets in to selling their souls, but Gonzo is the only taker. Meanwhile, teeth complain of a toothache, and the crew of the Swinetrek turn invisible after Captain Hogthrob contracts a space disease in "Pigs In Space."

Finished the night at Buzzr and YouTube with Halloween game show episodes. Buzzr's been running Halloween episodes all weekend as part of their second annual "Halloween Spooks and Frights" marathon. Sale of the Century really got into the holiday during Halloween week 1988, with pumpkins that matched the set and vampiresses and mummies introducing scary prizes that included a trip to Transylvania. 

To Tell the Truth has had many a frightening liar on the show during its 70-plus year run. The first episode from 1974 began with three female pilots who survived a horrific plane crash in the snow. The second guests were a lot more florid. Three men in costumes based around famous movie villains claimed to be a major horror movie buff who had set up a museum of horror movie props. Gene Rayburn, of course, couldn't resist trading bad Dracula accents with the guy in the vampire costume. 

The 1990 episode of Truth kicked off with a Bride of Frankenstein who found her perfect Frankenstein monster while working at Universal Studios Hollywood and married him in a ceremony attended by other Universal ghoulies. The second group were three women who claimed to be part of a project searching for intelligent life on other planets.

Moved to YouTube for other favorite Halloween game shows. Sale wasn't the only NBC show taking part in Halloween fun during 1988. Super Password had Edie McClurg and Christopher Hewitt pulling out a bag with "treats" - useful little items - for winners and "tricks" - little Halloween or horror-themed dollar toys - for losers. 

Halloween goes back a long way on game shows. Peter Lorre turned up during a 1960 episode of I've Got a Secret with a most unusual "secret." He shows the panel how to discern different scents without seeing them, then pulls the haunted-house thing by letting them touch objects without seeing them and guess what they're touching. Garry Moore probably found the squirmy two-year-old in the opening whose "secret" was he owned a lamb, a goat, a monkey, and nine dogs to be far scarier!

Though the Storybook Squares spin-off had long ended by 1977, Hollywood Squares still did occasional themed weeks with families and kids playing and everyone in costume. Paul Lynde lumbering into the center square as Frankenstein's monster makes this episode especially appropriate for Halloween. Other celebrities included a sweet Big Bird, Soupy Sales trying as Thomas Edison trying to perfect his latest record player, Pat Harrington as Leonardo DiVinci, Jo Ann Worley as Martha Washington, George Gobel as King Henry the 8th, Connie Stevens as the Queen of Hearts, and a hilarious Florence Henderson playing against type as tough outlaw queen Belle Starr. 

Hollywood Squares' comedy panel rival Match Game didn't get to a Halloween show until 1990, but it's the best episode of that series. Host Ross Schafer makes an especially handsome Dracula, while Vicki Lawrence wishes her Little Red Riding Hood dress wasn't quite so short. Charles Nelson Reilly is an unlikely Superman with inflatable muscles. His favorite drinking buddy Brett Somers reprises her little girl costume from Christmas 1978. It's Ronn Lucas and his dragon puppet Scorch who manage to come up with the most terrifying Halloween costume of all.

The Price Is Right has done a Halloween episode every year since Drew Carey started hosting. His first Halloween show in 2007 had him trying to explain pricing games through a mouthful of plastic vampire teeth. The models, dressed as a vampire and a mummy, have a somewhat easier time showing off Showcases filled with trips and prizes that would drive off a vampire and make a mummy happy. 

Family Feud also does annual Halloween episodes. John O'Hurley hosted the one from 2008 as a rather unhappy giant teddy bear. The families costumed as a farmer and his cow, pig, chicken, and penguin and a demon, priest, monk, and angel seemed to have a lot more fun. 

Run these delightfully frightening episodes at your Halloween party this year!

And here's even more vintage Halloween specials to tide you over until trick-or-treating!

Sunday, October 29, 2023

That Old Matching Magic

Began the morning with breakfast and Raggedy Ann & Andy and the Pumpkin Who Wouldn't Smile. The rag doll twins bring a glum, unwanted jack o'lantern to a little boy whose aunt won't let him go trick-or-treating. They then remind his aunt that she was young and celebrated Halloween herself once, too.

Headed out to work soon as the cartoon ended. It was busy when I came in, but that's because the Eagles played at 1 PM today for the last time until New Year's Eve. After the Eagles began, the customers ended. We were off-and-on steady for the rest of the afternoon. I had plenty of help gathering carts. Was in and out with no trouble again. The weather was windy and cooler, in the lower 60's. It started out sunny, but got cloudier as the day went on. To date, it hasn't rained, though. 

(And the Eagles barely managed to outrun the Washington Commanders, 38-31. As a few customers mentioned, it wasn't pretty, but it got the job done.)

Went straight home and into Young Frankenstein, which certainly suited the gloomy weather. Renown doctor and professor Fredrick Frankenstein (Gene Wilder) travels to Transylvania to inspect the castle owned by his late grandfather, who was notorious for his experiments in reanimating the dead. The castle comes complete with Helga the comely assistant (Terri Garr), Igor with the hump that keeps changing sides (Marty Feldman), and Frou Blucher the housekeeper (whinny) (Cloris Leachman). After he finds his grandfather's diary that details his work, he becomes determined to reanimate his own monster. Trouble is, Igor accidentally gives the creature (Peter Boyle) an abnormal brain. Now Fredrick has to civilize his creation, convince the hook-handed Inspector (Kenneth Mars) that he's harmless, and dodge his fiancee Elizabeth (Madeline Khan), before the villagers storm the castle and destroys them all!

One of Mel Brooks' best spoofs is both hilariously funny and wonderfully atmospheric. The latter comes from the use of the real sets from the original Universal Frankenstein, the former from a terrific script. Everyone had such a great time making this, they added extra scenes just to keep going! It's still as much fun to watch as it was for them to make. 

Worked on writing for a while after that. Cora wishes she didn't have to stay. She hates balls and thinks there's something seriously wrong with Stephen. Stephen, however, is quick to send her parents on their way, to her annoyance. He basically brushes them aside.

Put on Witchcraft...! while I worked. This spooky jazz album from the 50's features songs about witches, magic, or spooky nights. My favorites include "Old Devil Moon," "Spellbound," "Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered," "That Old Black Magic," and "The Night Has a Thousand Eyes."

Finished the night after a shower and a quick leftovers dinner with today's Match Game Sunday Classics Marathon. Character actress Edie McClurg first appeared during the show's syndicated run early in 1980. She would be a frequent panelist not only on the syndicated show, but on Match Game-Hollywood Squares Hour and Match Game '90 as well. Her goofy imitations of divas and valley girls and excellent playing made her a favorite with many viewers. 

She flitted around with a boa in her idea of being a diva during a week in 1981 with McLean Stevenson and Sharon Farrell. She sported a tiara in one episode of Match Game-Hollywood Squares Hour, saw cheerleaders do a routine after a game ran short, and was there for the episode McLean spent complaining about marker on his pants. Ron Lucas and his puppet Scorch flirted with her during Match Game '90, and she got to see the return of Betty White and the start of the feud between Vicki Lawrence and host Ross Schafer. 

Bring your tiara and boa to this wild marathon in honor this favorite of viewers and Ferris Bueller!

Saturday, October 28, 2023

Too Warm for Autumn

Started off the morning with breakfast and Doc McStuffins. It's a "Hallie Halloween" when Hallie sees a child dressed as her for trick-or-treat and wanders off. She gets caught on a witch's broom and dragged around the neighborhood. Doc takes her to the clinic and cleans her up, but she's too scared to leave. Doc and the others remind her that if she follows Halloween safety and stays with the others, she'll be fine. Gustuv the Gulpy Gator says "Don't Fence Me In" when he gets stuck in a fence while chasing a marble. Doc has to figure out how to release him without hurting him.

Went to work right after the show ended. Pushed carts the entire day, and I wouldn't have wanted to do anything else. It was much too nice to be inside, sunny, breezy, humid, and hot for this time of year, probably in the lower 80's. Besides, they had a teenager inside doing the sweeping. Off-and-on busy, but not too horrible. I was in and out with no trouble whatsoever.

Went straight home and upstairs. Watched Monster High 2 while I had lunch and rested. I go further into the sequel to last year's big Halloween hit on Nickelodeon at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Worked on writing for a while after the movie ended. Cora and her father don't trust King Stephen. He's charmed her mother, who thinks he's adorable, but neither Cora nor her father appreciate how he chatters on about the huge wedding he and Cora are going to have and the parties he's going to throw without any thought of how the money will have to come out of the peasants' pockets. Cora agrees to stay and find out more about what's going on and what happened to the real Stephen. 

Broke for dinner at 6 PM. Watched The Lawrence Welk Show while I ate. You may think this sweet show and Halloween wouldn't work together, but some of their Halloween episodes are surprisingly fun. My favorite number from '65 has Jo Ann Castle in a Phyllis Diller fright wig and Jack Imel as Frankenstein scaring two Lemmon Sisters with "Trick or Treat" from the Donald Duck cartoon. Aladdin as a ghostly knight joins Janet Lemmon as she "Whistles a Happy Tune," while fairy Natalie Nevins insists "Wouldn't It Be Loverly?" The Lemmons wriggle about "Dem Dry Bones" as skeletons; Barbara Boylen and Bobby Burgess are bats dancing "In the Hall of the Mountain King."

1975 kicked off with Superman Larry Hooper and the rest of the costumed cast singing about "This Old House" at a haunted house party. Dashing pirate Tom Netherton admits "I've Grown Accustomed to Your Face." Guy and Ralna are cowpokes telling stories about those "Ghost Riders In the Sky." Bobby Burgess is joined by Cissy King as devils prancing through "Satan Takes a Holiday." Stunning Victorian senorita Anacani croons about that "Blue Moon." Three girl singers are witches straight out of Hocus Pocus encouraging everyone to "Put on a Happy Face." Princess Ava Barber and Musketeer Jimmy Roberts wonder "Have You Ever Been Lonely?" Scarecrow Norma Zimmer wishes she was "Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered," while mad scientist Dick Dale creates himself a "Real Live Girl."

The 1981 Halloween Show would be Lawrence Welk's last. Arthur Duncan joins his friend Ken Delo as valet to Frankenstein's monster in the Young Frankenstein spoof "Puttin' On the Ritz." Werewolf Jack Imel and his vampiress Mary Lou Metzinger enjoy a night at home in "Me and You In the Mood." Bride of Frankenstein Kathie Sullivan admits "I Enjoy Being a Girl," mile-high hair-do and all. Ava Barber is a witch here, joined by a costumed quartet for "A Shanty In Old Shanty Town." Arthur doesn't need a costume to have a great time dancing on that "Lonesome Road." Bobby Burgess is a vampire claiming "All I Need Is the Girl." 

Join Lawrence Welk and his Musical Family for their merry and spooky Halloween bashes!

Stayed on YouTube to finish the night with tonight's Match Game Saturday Classics Marathon. Richard Moll never appeared on the 70's show, but he did do three weeks late in the run of Match Game-Hollywood Squares Hour in 1984. By far his funniest episode was the time he turned up shirtless, with just a tie and jacket on. He also got to witness a mini-MASH reunion with Larry Linville and McLean Stevenson.

The other game show Richard appeared frequently on was Super Password. He did great on that show, whether he slapped his shaved head because he missed an answer or fell out of his chair in shock after he and the contestant won the Super Password bonus round at the very last possible second. He did get to take part in a Halloween episode, showing up in cat masks with host Bert Convy. He also played with his then-Night Court co-star Florence Hallop and future co-star Markie Post before the latter joined the show. 

Richard was an absolute riot on two weeks of the charades show Body Language. He could twist his long, lanky body into all sorts of contortions. This served him well in the first episode, but Laurie Handler of Gimmie a Break answered the questions better in the second. This also came in handy during the hilarious Wordplay in 1987, where panelists try to describe an unusual word and contestants guess which one was right. Richard actually got quite a few of them right, including "Hoo Doo" and "Turgid." 

Honor everyone's favorite TV bailiff with this utterly hilarious marathon!

Friday, October 27, 2023

Ghosts, Spooks, and Night Courts

Began the morning with breakfast and The Backyardigans on Paramount Plus. Austin wishes his monster friends weren't "Scared of You" when Mad Scientist Tasha tells him to round up Mummy King Tyrone, Pablo the Vampire, and Were-Uniqua for a party. They're so afraid of each other, they keep running off. Austin's more concerned about it being his birthday and no one noticing.

Even swashbucklers get spooky in the wacky historical action show Jack of All Trades. When Jack's alter ego the Daring Dragoon is accused of desecrating sacred burial grounds, his partner Emilia takes a potion that turns her into a "Dead Woman Walking." Unfortunately, her ruse goes over too well with French Governor Croquey, who has her cremated! Even after she and Jack get out of that, they still have to get Croquey back for accusing the Dragoon...

Put on Match Game '77 as I made my grocery list. Today was the infamous episode 1005, aka the School Riot. Things didn't get really crazy until the end of the episode, when producer Ira Skutch wouldn't accept Richard Dawson and Debralee Scott's answer of "finishing school" for the contestant's school. (Or a terrified Patti Deustch's "night school.") Richard and Deb protested loudly, the contestant got the audience in on it, and Gene Rayburn couldn't keep order. Charles turned up on Gene's entrance stairs as "the victim of the school riot," but the damage had been done. The lower tier kept their answers up in protest for what little remained of the episode.

After all that, I figured I was safer on the road. First stop was lunch at a fairly busy Genova Pizza on Cuthbert Road. While cloudy and humid, it also remains fairly warm for the time of year, probably in the lower 70's. I enjoyed my square "grandma" slice, regular cheese slice, and Diet Coke outside on their patio.

Took the long way through Audubon and down Crystal Lake Road to the stores on Haddon Avenue in Westmont. I haven't checked out Salvation Thrift in a while. They close at 3, and I keep missing them. They were open today, and really busy with people looking for bargains and bringing in donations. I eventually ended up with a small pillow printed with a pretty fall scene, a cute felt bat with googly eyes, and a CD as a Christmas present for Lauren's parents. 

Westmont Party is next door. They're one of the few party stores left in Camden County, and as such, were really busy too. I will absolutely be checking them out for Mystery Bag trinkets next year. They had bags of every little Halloween toy you could think of hanging on the walls of their narrow aisles, and lots of paper decorations I never see anywhere else. I did see some costumes, some for as little as 99 cents, but nothing for Red Riding Hood.

Made a brief stop at Walgreens across the street next. They usually have a terrific seasonal section, but while they did have some Halloween items left, they're mainly down to candy. I just moved on. 

I was mainly out to do a grocery store run at the Westmont Acme. I'm not going to get to the farm market tomorrow, so I bought grapes, apples, and strawberries on good sales with online coupons. Restocked my yogurt and bought Kind bars on sale. They were expensive, but a container of small pumpkin-shaped spice sandwich cookies looked so intriguing, I thought I'd try them. 

Took the long way home across Newton Lake Park, up the hill, and past the Haddon Township Environment and Historical Society. The leaves are finally starting to turn colors here. Some of the trees are very pretty shades of rust, scarlet, and gold. The sun had tried to come out, but gloomy clouds would be in and out for the rest of the day.

Went straight home and into Disney's Halloween Treat while I put everything away. Mom originally recorded this special off The Disney Channel around 1988, and I've watched it at least once almost every year since. It's basically a combination of spooky shorts like "Lonesome Ghosts," "The Old Mill," and "Trick or Treat" and segments from the various versions of The Wonderful World of Disney. There's one on the cat's contribution to the horror genre, and another with Hans Conried as the Magic Mirror discussing Disney's most famous villains up to that point. (If you know Disney, it's easy to tell the segment is from 1977. Madam Medusa from The Rescuers, which was released that year, is the most recent villain seen.) 

Worked on writing after Halloween Treat ended. Cora and her parents are greeted on arrival by what appears to be King Stephan and a small platoon of servants. While Stephan vaguely looks like the paragon Cora was promised, he acts like an obnoxious creep, criticizing her plain dress and trying too hard to ingrate himself with her parents. Cora suspects there's something not quite right here...

Oh, and I got my schedule at this point. In good news, not only do I have Halloween off, but I'm off the day before as well. I'll be able to get a lot done for the holiday, give out candy, and take part in Oaklyn's parade. I also have slightly more hours than I did this week. That 12 to 4 shift on Saturday means I'll be able to hit the farm market, too. However, I work the rest week after Tuesday, including another early shift Wednesday.

Broke at 7 for dinner and Match Game '79. The episode began with Daryl Anderson of Lou Grant showing off his long putty nose and ended with him and Charles admitting they swapped glasses. In between, we got a contestant whose very funny quips and bantering with Gene were a lot funnier than her answers.

Speaking of Anderson, I moved to Lou Grant on YouTube after a shower. Reporter Billie Anderson learns more about "Ghosts" than she ever wanted to when a man claims that the ghost in the haunted house they own pushed his wife off the stairs to her death. Her psychic sister holds a seance in the house to prove that the ghost of a girl previously killed there still exists...but a very living little girl is the one who eventually revealed that the real culprit is definitely flesh and blood. 

Moved to Amazon Prime for the first two Night Court Halloween episodes in honor of Richard Moll, who passed away tonight. Bull, the show's towering ballif and strange comic relief, was probably my favorite character on the show along with Harry. We get an idea of why in the third season episode "Halloween, Too." While he has his own method of making a jack o'lantern, Harry is delighted to fall for a beautiful woman who shares his bizarre sense of humor. He's not so thrilled when she's dragged into his courtroom after she was found doing bizarre rituals in Central Park. She's a witch...and he can't handle the existence of any kind of magic.

"Halloween II: The Return of Leon" brings back the orphan Leon whom Harry had taken an interest in. He's worried when the boy is brought in for stealing food, then tries to run away. His fear and desire to help the boy leads him to being more than a little harsh, or so it seems. Meanwhile, Dan Fielding would do anything to get invited to his very short boss' Halloween party.

Finished the night back at YouTube for the other really bizarre Halloween variety show, Boo! This Canadian special from 1980 features various famous Universal monsters in very short blackout sketches ranging from Frankenstein being used as a charger for Dracula's shaver to a hypnotist making the Werewolf go crazy whenever he hears the word "flowers" instead of "moon." Rip Taylor tries to sell gags and props to an uninterested audience of monsters and aliens and turns up in a few super-short skits as one of two prisoners in a dungeon. Dionne Warwick performs a lovely "Deja Vu" in a soft-focus sequence and assures the Frankenstein monster that she loves him "Just the Way You Are." 

Thursday, October 26, 2023

Spirits of Autumns Past

Began my day with breakfast and the first Halloween episode of Happy Days. Ralph's holding his big Halloween party in a supposedly "Haunted" house. Joanie is convinced that anyone who goes in the spooky old house will lose their head. Richie's scared at first, until Fonzie convinces him that there's nothing to be afraid of. Well, nothing but the annoying local gang who plays pranks at the party. 

Karen picked me up at 10 AM. I wish I knew exactly what job I want. What I really want to do is write, but data entry seems to be easier to break into. Editing and proofreading require more experience than I have. We did quickly apply to a local home construction firm, but I'm not sure I have enough experience for them, either. I wish I was more like my sister Rose, who has known she wanted to be a lawyer since high school, or Keefe, who was 13 when he decided he wanted to join the Navy. If I really knew what job I should have, I'd do more research on companies...but I don't know what job I want, or what I should be doing. 

Went back inside briefly to use the bathroom, then called Uber. My October trip to Woodbury last year went so well, I decided to repeat it. The guy picked me up in less than 5 minutes. We hit no traffic coming down the highway, but he had more trouble when he got to Woodbury. For some reason, he thought the Goodwill was in the downtown area. It's actually further down the highway. I looked it up this morning on Google!Maps. 

Ironically, after all that fuss getting there, I didn't find much at the Goodwill. I was hoping to find a more flowing, ruffled top for my Little Red Riding Hood costume, but I didn't see anything I liked. I did find a nice jean skirt for $6.49, though. 

The Goodwill is dumped in a building smack in the middle of a long sea of car dealerships and fast food chains. As I hiked down the road, I did see a small restaurant situated in one of the older shopping centers. The tiny combination Mexican/pizza joint had tables painted with scenes of old Mexico and The Day of the Dead in astonishing rainbow hues. I ended up having a sandwich-salad combo meal. The turkey hoagie was just a basic sandwich, nothing special. The capri salad with greens, tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and balsamic vinaigrette was much better. 

I originally planned on taking the bus down the highway, but it was such a nice day, I walked. It remains gorgeous here, in the 70's with a blue sky and a fresh cool breeze. I think I did the right thing. It was barely 10 minutes before I found myself coming up to the edges of downtown Woodbury. 

Stopped at a Spirit Halloween near Woodbury's downtown area. I'm surprised they were so well-stocked this close to the holiday. I saw everything from Pokemon and Stitch costumes for adults to Harley Quinn and Batman to your basic pirates, doctors, flappers, kings, queens, witches, angels, and devils. Unfortunately, the adult Little Red Riding Hood costumes all fell into the too-short and sexy variety. No way I'm doing that. Their wildly detailed ghouls and spooks decorations were neat to look at, but too scary (and expensive) for me.

Next stop was On the Record, a small music shop further downtown. They're more expensive than Phidelity Records or Innergroove - the cheapest album I found was $5 - but I did make some good finds. Grabbed Christmas presents for Lauren, too.

Next stop was the thrift shop next-door. They're a lot like the thrift shop of Marlton, with a narrow hall connecting rooms filled with vintage finds. At least their CD and book room was far better-organized than it was when I went there last year, with books, CDs, and records actually on shelves instead of piled everywhere. Picked up a CD set for myself and a CD for Lauren's parents and moved on.

2nd Chance Boutique was across the street and a block down from the thrift shop. It's more like the Barrington Antique Center, small sections of antiques and other older items sold by various collectors and local businesses. Two long rows of wooden shelves flanked boxes and crates of records. Found really cute gifts in a basket up front for Lauren and Amanda. 

Between the three stores, in addition to the skirt and magnets and CDs for Lauren and her parents, I ended up with: 

The original cast albums for the all-black revue Bubbling Brown Sugar, the Ethel Merman vehicle Happy Hunting, and Into the Woods. I've been looking for the last-named in particular at a good price for years.

The original London cast of The Phantom of the Opera. (This was the CD set.)

Soundtrack album for Easter Parade

Bruce Springsteen - The River

Walt Disney Presents Best Loved Fairy Tales (This collection of six retellings of Grimm's Fairy Tales was listed as "rare.")

Happy Holidays Vol. 13 (This one was still sealed!)

Paddington and Friends (Kid's album from the early 80's with songs based around Paddington Bear's adventures.) 

By the time I got out of 2nd Chance Boutique, it was past 3:30. The traffic had already begun to pick up in town. I decided it was time to pack it in. Hiked down the road, looking for a place to buy a drink. I passed beautiful old homes and buildings that dated back to the 1700's and a glittering creek, tip-toeing along the rutted sidewalk near the river they were about to replace. 

For some reason, the Woodbury CVS is hidden down a long dusty road behind their McDonald's, across from the brand-new Inspira Health buildings. It's also huge, twice the size of the CVS in Oaklyn. I used the bathroom and bought sparkling water here. Also saw bags of Halloween novelties I wish I ran into earlier in the season. I'll have to remember CVS when I'm buying trinkets for the Mystery Bags next year.

Tried to pick up Uber at CVS, but it was just too far in the back. Luckily, I caught sight of the car across the way at McDonald's. No trouble after I got in. All of the considerable traffic was going in the opposite direction towards Gloucester Township. The man pulled in at Oaklyn within 15 minutes.

Put on a couple of spooky Mickey Mouse black and white shorts while getting organized. "The Haunted House" from 1929 is Mickey's earliest foray into horror. When he takes shelter from a storm in a frightening haunted house, the Grim Reaper forces him to play the organ for a pile of grinning skeletons who give the ghouls from "The Skeleton Dance" a wiggle for their money. Mickey has an even worse nightmare in 1932 when he dreams that "The Mad Doctor" has kidnapped Pluto. He tries to save his beloved pup, then wonders who's gonna save him when he ends up on the operating table, too...

Worked on writing for a while after that. Cora only hopes that King Darrian will like her. She does like her father emphasizing him being a quiet scholar who prefers nights at home to parties and studying to making merry. She just wants a friend, as she's lonely among the court due to her preference for books over suitors.

Broke for dinner at 6:30. Watched Match Game '76 while I ate. Ace Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Don Sutton made his first appearance this week, joining Mary Wickes and Fannie Flagg. Buzzr skipped to the last episode of the week, as Charles and Brett wished Charles' mother a happy birthday in the opening. Brett and Fannie spend the episode trading quips, while Richard and Fannie showed off their Laurel and Hardy imitations.

Moved to Reefer Madness: The Movie Musical on Tubi after dinner. I go further into this musical adaptation of the 1936 anti-drug exploitation film at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Finished the night at Amazon Prime with Murder She Wrote. In "Fire Burn, Cauldron Bubble," residents of Cabot Cove are definitely anxious after locals reported sightings of someone dressed as a witch who was burned at the stake 300 years ago. A major author wrote a book about the incident and is planning to release it soon. Meanwhile, librarian Mildred Terhune is shocked when her long-dead sister Irene somehow turns up on her doorstep. She's even more upset when Irene is found dead inside a burned barn. Jessica and the Cabot Cove police try to sort through the web of deception set up by the book author, the actor working for him, and a rabble-rousing witch-hunter to find out just who had been dressing as a witch...and who wanted Irene dead.

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Night of the Spooky Sitcoms

Began the morning with breakfast and Sheriff Callie's Wild West. Three bandits commit "The Great Halloween Robbery" when they steal the giant pumpkin full of the town's treats. They think they're being smart by hiding it in a field, but then Farmer Stinky uses that field for his corn maze. Sheriff Callie and her deputies have to figure out the maze to catch the bandits and find the treats. Peck's story about "The Ghost of Scary Prairie" turns into a wild ghost chase when Toby and the entire town think it's real...and they they see a "ghost" riding on the plains...

Headed out to work soon as the cartoon ended. Work was even quieter than yesterday. It started out a little cloudy, but by the time I finished, it was sunny, breezy, and warm for late October. Things probably won't pick up until this weekend, when a lot of people will be having Halloween parties and the Eagles play at 1 PM (for the last time until New Year's Eve). I spent the day sweeping, pushing carts, and gathering trash with no trouble whatsoever. 

Once again took the long way home down Nicholson Road. No wonder we weren't busy. There was a little traffic around the entrance to the mall, but otherwise, no trouble here, either. Even Nicholson and the White Horse Pike were fairly quiet. Everyone must be out looking at the fall foliage. The larger trees are finally starting to turn colors here. The smaller ones are already stunning shades of scarlet, bright gold, and pale green.

It was so nice, I went back out after I changed into a t-shirt and shorts. Took a brief walk to the pretzel shop down the street to buy a can of Diet Coke, a pretzel, and a cheesesteak-stuffed pretzel for lunch. I wasn't the only one, either. Two girls came in just as I left.

Had lunch while watching the Laverne & Shirley second season episode "Haunted House." Hoping to score a cheap couch, Laverne and Shirley check out the aging Ramsdale Manor, which is about to be demolished. Shirley's convinced that some huge monster will take their heads off. Laverne insists that there's no such thing as ghosts and they need furniture...but even she starts to wonder when they hear spooky noises, the doors lock suddenly, and Lenny and Squiggy disappear.

After that. I went down for a long nap. I'm just not used to getting up early anymore. I was so tired, I was out from 3 PM until past 5:30. 

Went into writing when I did finally emerge. Re-wrote the opening. Cora is a princess, but she's not a flashy or stunningly gorgeous type. She is smart, though. Her father has engaged her to King Darrian, ruler of the largest and wealthiest kingdom in their world. He's said to be a good man, fair and just with his people, and quite handsome besides. Cora just wants someone to talk to, as she's very lonely. 

Broke for dinner at 7 PM. Watched Match Game '79 as I ate. Gene scolds Charles for eating cookies in the opening, after which Charles discusses National Vision Week. Later, Paul Williams comes up with lyrics to the show's instrumental theme song.

Finished the night after a shower with more vintage Halloween or horror TV show episodes. It's the "Night of the Wolf" on The Wild Wild West. Jim West and Artemis Gordon are supposed to guard a Balkan nobleman who is about to be crowned king. Evil nobleman Talamantes assigns his huge wolves - supposedly werewolves - to attack his men and kidnap his daughter Leandra. His scheme is to control the daughter and kill her father, so she controls the throne. Artemis uses his disguises to confuse Talamantes, while Jim figures out how to break his hold on the new queen.

"Trick or Treatment" in the 11th season of MASH is their only Halloween episode. Most of the members of the 4077th are gearing up for their Halloween party when they get wounded from the front and another party. Winchester isn't happy about dealing with a guy who got a pool ball stuck in his mouth (George Wendt) and another who drove through a chicken coop (Andrew Dice Clay). Meanwhile, Hunnicut helps a young soldier who won't eat after witnessing his troop get killed during a big meal and the others discover a soldier isn't as dead as he seems.

The ladies on The Facts of Life are having their own spooky "Halloween Show." An old man in a loud plaid coat shows up at their door and claims their building was once owned by four sisters, one of whom killed the others. When the girls find a knife and a slipper in Mrs. Garrett's room, they wonder if she might be possessed. Natalie, however, may know more than she's telling...

Samantha has her own spooky goings on during the second season of Bewitched. When Darren won't let her go on a Halloween trip with her mother Endorra and one of his clients sends them stereotypical witch decorations, Endorra uses "Trick or Treat" to turn Darren into a werewolf. While Darren tries to hide his transformation from their new novelty company client, Samantha locks her now-child mother in a room until she performs the spell to change him back.

Finished the night back at Amazon Prime with the Halloween episode of Perfect Strangers. Larry is the only one who stays up on Halloween night to watch a 12-hour horror movie marathon. He ends up having a strange nightmare that Balki and their girlfriends are "Aliens" from the planet Mypos who are bent on taking over the world! 

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

A Beautiful Day In Fall

Got a quick start with just enough time for breakfast and the 2018 Muppet Babies. It's a "Happy Hallowacka" when Fozzie, who's tired of his Swiss Alps costume getting laughs, tries to scare the other Babies. Animal's the one who ends up being really scary when he turns into a ghost to help Fozzie out. Summer tells "The Teeth Chattering Tale of the Haunted Pancakes" to Kermit when he won't try the ghost-shaped pancakes Nanny made. Kermitbod makes the Witch of Trying New Things appear and turn the pancakes into real ghosts, until he finally tries them.

Dashed out to work. Riding as fast as I could, I made it just in time. As it turned out, that was the worst thing that happened all day. We were a little busier than we have been, but that's probably because it's Senior Discount Day. I did have to put away hot dogs at one point and dump recycling in the baler, but I mostly spent the morning sweeping, pushing carts, and enjoying the sunny, warm, blue and gold day.

Went straight home after work and into lunch and Halloween Hall of Fame. Johnathan Winters stars in this 1977 Disney special. He's a security guard on their lot who runs into a jack o'lantern (voice of Winters) hiding in a crystal ball. Seems Jack doesn't think Halloween is very scary these days. Winters directs him to "Pluto's Judgement Day," "Trick or Treat," and most of "The Legend of Sleep Hollow" to prove otherwise.

Watched Billy the Kid and the Green Baize Vampire next. I go further into this truly original British horror snooker (billiards) film at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Pulled out the parts for my Little Red Riding Hood costume while the movie ran. I opened the package with my red velvet cape from Wal Mart...to discover part of the hood had somehow separated from the cape. I ended up sewing it back together. Switched most of the plastic bags in the bag I use for the costume pieces with some of the smaller cloth bags I've acquired recently. I've been wanting to order a good pair of strap shoes anyway, so I did that this evening. Pulled the flower-trimmed basket out of the bag with the Easter baskets. 

Started something different after I finished with my costume. I wanted to actually type down at least one of the original fairy tales I came up with in my offline journals. In this one, a princess is promised to a king she's never seen. He's said to be handsome, kind, and a fair ruler...but while the man she meets at the castle is handsome, he's self-centered, uncaring, and elitist. He's not at all like the king she heard about, the one whose picture she finds hanging up in the castle...

Broke for dinner at 7 PM. Watched Match Game '79 while I ate. The first episode of the week with Paul Williams, Guich Kotch, and Debralee Scott is currently the only missing show from 1979. We picked up on the second day. Williams gets a little wild when he answers "__ Towels" during the Head-to-Head, while Gene jokes about the lions embroidered on Betty White's shirt. Debralee doesn't have nearly that much luck with "Very __" in the Head-to-Head in the next episode. 

Finished off the night at Flex with The Cat and the Canary as I worked on my review. The Ghost Breakers was far from the first time Bob Hope got involved with horror comedy. Here, he's radio actor Wally Campbell, who is called along with his distant relatives to the spooky home of eccentric millionaire Cyrus Norman. Norman has left his home to his niece Joyce (Paulette Goddard), if she can stay sane for 30 days. If not, a second will states it will go to someone else. Not to mention, a guard claims that an insane murderer who walks like a cat when angry escaped from the asylum and is now prowling around the area. 

No one's happy when they find themselves stranded at the house overnight. Joyce tries to talk with the lawyer Crosby (George Zucco), only for him to vanish. She and Wally find a priceless diamond necklace, but that disappears too when a hand reaches out of a panel and grabs it out from under her pillow. Wally's the only one who believes Joyce when she explains everything...and he and the caretaker Miss Lu (Gale Sondergaard) are the ones who end up saving her when the Cat follows her through the many secret passages in the house.

Probably the best-known of six versions of this oft-adapted play. Hope once again gets to play someone slightly less cowardly than usual, and a little bit smarter, too. Sondergaard also gets to relish a rare non-villainous role. The creaky sets, with their hidden panels and creaky doors, really add to the ghoulish atmosphere. If you enjoyed The Ghost Breakers or are a fan of Hope, you'll want to check this one out. 

Monday, October 23, 2023

Mysteries and Games

Finished off How to Murder Your Employer (which I did enjoy, though it was a bit macabre), then had a late breakfast while while watching the Halloween episode of The Cat In the Hat Knows a Lot About That. The kids want to learn some tricks to earn treats. The Cat takes them to a spider monkey, a fruit bat, and a coconut crab who teaches them about the "Trick or Treat" they do to get the fruit they love. "King Cecil the Seahorse" teaches the kids that watching children can be an adventure when they help him find a home for the baby seahorses he carries in his pouch.

Switched to Match Game '77 while getting organized. Interestingly, Anita Bryant and orange juice came up again, and this time it wasn't skipped. It was an answer to whose blood gave Dracula lots of Vitamin C. (I love how Brett proudly said "I love all the people Anita Bryant hates!" Especially considering one of them was her best friend.)

Headed out to run some quick errands after the episode ended. Picked up coconut milk and Kind bars at Sprouts; the latter were buy one, get one 50 percent off. Target had Planters cinnamon cashews for 2 for $5. Grabbed those, my favorite glazed donut almonds, and yogurt. Bought glow stick bracelets and mini Moon Pies for the Mystery Bags at Dollar Tree. I needed new underwear; got that at Family Dollar, along with chocolate Moon Pies and a diet Dr. Pepper.

At least it was a gorgeous day to run quick errands. Sunny, without a cloud in the sky. The wind that had plagued our area all weekend had faded with the cloud cover. It was warm, but not ridiculously so for the time of year, in the lower 60's. 

Put on the Cat In the Hat Knows a Lot About That Halloween special as I had lunch, took the laundry downstairs, and got everything organized. This time, the Cat takes the kids to the Ooky Makooky Closet to find the perfect costumes for them. They have to explore spooky woods, a noisy thunder storm, and a scary haunted house to find it. The kids are frightened, until the Cat tells them that the thunder is just the sky making noise, the house can be fixed, and the woods are full of animals that might give you a legitimate reason to be scared. The Cat won't admit what he's afraid of, not for anything...but he seems mighty desperate to avoid the pumpkin patch they fly over...

Switched to Wallace & Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit while I put together the Mystery Bags. Everyone's favorite stop-motion British inventors are currently in the pest control business. They use suction to remove rabbits from the gardens of everyone in town. Wallace (Peter Sallis) is especially worn out after they capture the many rabbits living at Tottingham Hall, but he does think Lady Campunela (Helena Bonham Carter) is sweet for not wanting to kill them. 

His dog Gromit wishes Wallace would stop eating so much cheese and uses his new "Brain Wash-O-Matic" to try to make him love vegetables. Unfortunately, he ends up switching his mind with that of a rabbit. It does stop the cheese cravings, but it also turns Wallace into a gigantic vegetable-ravishing rabbit. Their entire village is up at arms when some massive critter attacks their gardens right before the big Vegetable Festival. Wallace thinks it's the brainwashed rabbit, but Gromit knows better. He has to save his owner from dastardly hunter Lord Victor Quartermaine (Ralph Fiennes), before he takes down that giant bunny once and for all.

Hilarious and touching full-length adventure with England's two favorite eccentric cheese-lovers. You could spend a viewing just enjoying all the references to classic horror cliches, including the giant creature run amok and the (not-so) heroic hunter who comes to the rescue. This won an Oscar in 2006 for a reason. Highly recommended, especially for fans of the Wallace and Gromit shorts. (Oh, and I read online that Aardman is preparing a sequel for release next year.)

Moved to another semi-horror animated film, The Black Cauldron, after I cleaned up the mess from the Mystery Bags and put the laundry in the dryer. Taran (Grant Bardsley) lives in the Welsh kingdom of Prydain as an assistant pig keeper to Dauben (Freddie Jones). After he discovers his pig Hen-Wen can tell the future, Dauben sends boy and pig into hiding. Hen-Wen falls into the dastardly claws of the Horned King (John Hurt), who wants to find the Black Cauldron and create an army of the undead. Taran does manage to save Hen-Wen, but is caught himself. He finally escapes with spirited Princess Ellonwy (Susan Sheridan) and minstrel Fflewfdor Fflam (Nigel Hawthorne). Along with always-hungry critter Gurgi (John Byner), the quartet search the underground Fairy Realms and the land of the ever-bargaining witches for the infamous Cauldron. Even when they do find it, it'll take an act of true sacrifice to end its evil powers and the Horned King's reign for good.

I don't think anyone - including Disney - knew what to make of this when it came out in 1985. Disney has always been hard on it, ever since it flopped and almost destroyed their animation department. (Apparently, it did better overseas, especially in Europe.) Hopefully, it being readily available on Disney Plus means they've finally gotten over that initial failure. While yes, this one has a lot of problems, including a disjointed plot and dull characters, it also has sensational animation, an appropriately eerie Elmer Bernstein score, and a spooky performance by John Hurt as the Horned King. And there's that sequence with the Army of the Undead that's so terrifying, Cauldron was the first Disney movie to be rated PG.  

Not for fans of the Chronicles of Prydain books (it made a lot of changes) and too scary for little ones, but if you have older kids and pre-teens who are fantasy or horror fans and think they've seen every Disney movie, try this one on them. 

Worked on writing for a while as the movie ended and I retrieved the laundry. Joyce is worried about what they'll find down the path. It's still pretty dark, and she keeps hearing noises. Richard assures them that he could deflect anything the Warlock of the West sends their way. Charles isn't sure, especially once he hears a lion's roar...

Broke for dinner at 7. Ate leftovers while watching Match Game '79. Gene started off the episode by comparing the height a tall, handsome young man from Maine with the almost-as-towering Barbara Rhodes. Maine native Brett is just happy to hug a hot guy from her home state. 

Finished the night on YouTube after a shower honoring game show and TV pioneer Arlene Francis, whose birthday would have been Friday. Arlene had been acting in movies since the early 30's, but she's best known today for her radio and TV work. She became one of the first women to host a game show with the radio and TV versions of Blind Date. In this early Dating Game from 1951, Francis directs dads in skits as they try to decide which good-looking guy is right for their daughters. The skits can be a little awkward, but Francis is clearly enjoying helping them find their right match.

That wouldn't be the last time Francis hosted a game show. She took over for Bill Cullen during a week of Price Is Right episodes in 1961, and did very well, too. She sounded enthusiastic and elegant, even when she was encouraging people to bid on something as outlandish as a submarine or a home in Florida.

Nowadays, Francis is mainly known for her 25 year stint on What's My Line? She was so associated with the show, she would be the only regular panelist to appear on the black-and-white CBS and syndicated color version. She first joined the panel during its second week in 1950 with another eventual regular panelist, Dorothy Kilgallen. The episodes I have here are an especially funny 1954 show with glamorous Mystery Guest Elizabeth Taylor showing another side to her talents as she manages to perfectly disguise her voice and one of the earliest syndicated shows from 1968 with Arlene getting to show off her talent on the trombone. 

Francis occasionally turned up as a panelist on other game shows, too. She did Match Game from the 60's through 1978. She was on the very first pilot of the 1973 series, sitting in the third seat. She occupied the fourth "ingenue" seat in her later appearances. She was better at guessing occupations than matching contestants, but her dry wit and delight in flirting with Gene Rayburn made her a lot of fun to watch. In the 1975 episode we have here, she gets to help contestant Carol Bartos become the all-time money winner on the show at that point.

She tended to do better on Password. In this 1961 episode, she plays alongside then-host and future game show creator and executive Merv Griffith. Things get really wild when the duo try to get their contestants to guess the word "haystack"...and then "needle" comes right after it...

One of her last game show appearances was on The Match Game-Hollywood Squares Hour in 1984. She joined fellow game show host Chuck Woolery, along with Arsenio Hall, McLean Stevenson, Paula Kelly from the first season of Night Court, and Jamie Farr, to match contestants, then try to guess true or false questions on the Hollywood Squares board. I know a lot of people don't think much of this show, but I find it to be very underrated. Arlene clearly had a grand time that week, especially during the Match Game first half.

Celebrate the life of a true TV pioneer and a very funny lady with these forays into media past!

Sunday, October 22, 2023

The Eagles Leap Over the Dolphins

Overslept this morning and barely had enough time for breakfast and writing. Didn't help that the typewriter pendent I usually wear broke off my necklace last night. I had to find it, then slipping on the teddy bear pendent that replaced it took forever. Rushed out and was almost late.

I could have been indefinitely late. The weekend morning bagger was training two teenage boys. They did the sweeping and pushed the carts until three. I cleaned up a spill, put away items left laying around, and wandered around bored, wondering what to do. Spent the rest of the day after they left sweeping and pushing carts. I wouldn't have wanted to be anywhere else. It was an absolutely gorgeous fall day, pale blue, sunny, and very windy and chilly. 

Had just enough money for a Propel and to try something different. I saw On the Border "Halloween Chips" on a shelf as you entered the store and grabbed them on the way out. Yum! They were blue and yellow corn chips, the latter colored orange. They didn't look fancy, but they still tasted good.

Went straight home for dinner. Ate leftovers while listening to the soundtrack from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang I found the other day. This is one of the Sherman Brothers' best scores for a non-Disney film. The sweet lullaby "Hushabye Mountain" is my favorite song, but I also like "Truly Scrumptious" as the kids sing about their new lady friend and "Posh" and "The Roses of the Success," comedy numbers for Grandpa (and a bunch of scientists in the latter). 

Spent the rest of the night watching the Match Game Sunday Night Classics marathon on YouTube. Tiny blonde comedienne Sarah Kennedy went from Laugh-In to being a semi-regular on this show. She was a welcome sight in the fourth "ingenue" seat from 1974 through 1977, where she dodged ogling from Gene and Richard. Gene learned not to mess with her when she was actually able to pick him up after he picked up her easily and nearly ran off with her! (And then Betty picked up Richard!)

Sarah was there for the wild week with Hans Conried, and to admit to a young aspiring lawyer that she also had legal training. One day on the week with her and Bobby Van in 1975, Gene said they were going to use the German nonsense words "Schnick Schnack" in place of "blank" like they do on the German Match Game. That led to a round of German accent jokes, especially from Richard, who knew real Germans and Austrians working on Hogan's Heroes. Richard happily drooled over at least two blonde beauties, while Johnny Olsen gave a male contestant a kiss and read a question about the name of the first game show, with Cleopatra and the word usually associated with her on the show. 

We bet your bippy that you'll have a great time with the blonde sweetheart of Laugh-In in this hilarious marathon!

Oh yes, and the Eagles played the Dolphins in Sunday Night Football. Both teams came into the game with excellent track records, but the Dolphins couldn't get anything going tonight. The Eagles, playing in their "throwback" green jerseys, ran rings around the Dolphins. Jason Hurts threw three touch downs even with his leg in a brace. The Eagles went on to swim past the Dolphins 31-17.

Saturday, October 21, 2023

Windy Harvest

Began the day with breakfast and the Halloween episode of The Busy World of Richard Scarry. Billy Dog thinks one of "The New Neighbors" is a witch, due to her old-fashioned outfit, peaked black hat, and broomstick. The other kids think he's crazy at first, until they keep seeing the lady at different places all over town. They think it's magic, but there's a less-fantastical explanation. The kids learn about "The First Halloween Ever" when they discover how two peasants inadvertently dressed as monsters to ward off spirits. Sally refuses to let anyone help her learn numbers at first. She's finally able to say "Now I Know My One, Two, Threes!" when Huckle and Lowly show her how much fun learning can be.

Hurried out after that. Wanted to hit the Collingswood Farm Market quickly this morning, since I won't be able to make it next week. It was cold, cloudy, and gale-force windy, but that didn't stop the crowds. Cucumbers and peppers are gone, but I saw the first cauliflower, broccoli, and cranberries of the season. I bought cranberries, grapes, apples, Asian pears, and whole wheat bread, along with one of those super-soft pretzel rings for a snack. 

Headed right home and into Monster High: The Movie on Paramount Plus. I go further into the first live-action film for this much-loved horror-based doll franchise at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

The movie ended just in time for me to rush off to work. Work was busy when I arrived. I had a hard time keeping up with the carts at first. It slowed down later in the day as the Phillies game began and dark clouds started rolling in. Once again, no trouble whatsoever.

Watched the Halloween episode of Jem on Tubi as I ate dinner. In "Trick or Techrat," Jem and the Holograms hold a benefit concert on Halloween to repair and pay the back taxes for a splendid old opera house. One of the girls from the orphanage they run wishes they wouldn't. She's easily scared by everything. She's the one, however, who eventually learns why the old man who owns the building is trying to push them away. The Misfits complain that they're being neglected and hold their own Halloween concert across the street, just to show they can.

Finished the night on YouTube with this week's Match Game Saturday Classics marathon. Greg Morris was one of the first African-Americans to have a prominent role in a major drama series - in this case as the man who created the tech used on Mission: Impossible. He started on Match Game in early 1974 and continued to appear occasionally through late 1978. His good-natured sense of humor and laid-back wit made him a nice contrast with some of the goofier or more frantic panelists. He even took a crack Gene made about him going to the "back of the bus" well. (He did, but Buzzr and GSN didn't. That episode is now banned from the airwaves, though thankfully someone was able to record it before GSN pulled it.)

He wore oversized bright greens sunglasses during the start of one 1978 episode. He was there in early 1974 to witness sweet contestant Marlena get so excited when she won money, she actually lost a shoe running to hug Morey Amsterdam. He joked with the others about Fannie's fluffy gray fur coat in 1976 and was around for the week with Price Is Right model Anitra Page in 1977 when pretty blonde Darlene kept winning money and flirting with Richard Dawson.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to honor the tech man of Mission: Impossible and Vega$ with this wild and wacky marathon!

Friday, October 20, 2023

Nights of Fright

Started off the morning with breakfast and Halloween Is Grinch Night. When a sour sweet wind stirs up the animals in the pond near Mount Crumpet, the Grinch goes a prowlin' with his cart full of wild psychedelic scares. Little Eukeriah Who is lost in the mountains when he runs across the Grinch and takes it on himself to ensure that the Grinch will never reach Whoville. 

Went for a walk after the cartoon ended. It looked like it rained earlier in the morning. Part of the street remained damp, and there were a few puddles. The rain was long gone by 11:30, though. It was the same as it had been all week, partly sunny, windy, and a little humid. I just wanted to hit Dollar General to buy candy for the Mystery Bags. The "Child's Play" assortment with Tootsie Rolls, Dots, and Tootsie Pops worked out well last year. Found a smaller bag of Kool Aid Popping Candy that looked unique. Figured the kids would get a kick out of those.

Went straight home and into writing. A squadron of bees swoops down and attacks Joyce! Richard gets in front of them, letting the bees break their stingers on his body. Joyce thinks he's wonderfully brave, but Richard considers it his duty. Charles is just grateful none of the bees got stuck in his straw.

Listened to the soundtrack from That's Dancing while I worked. I mainly bought this for two songs that can't be found anywhere else, the jaunty title tune and the very 80's dance pop "Invitation to Dance." While the other songs have likely been released elsewhere, it's still nice to hear the title number from 42nd Street and Fred and Ginger singing "Pick Yourself Up" from Swing Time

Broke for lunch at quarter after 2. Watched the 2003 Strawberry Shortcake while I ate. In "Ginger Snap's No-Light Night of Fright," Ginger Snap is afraid to tell her friends she's afraid of the dark while they're on a camping trip. When she loses all her flashlights and the fire goes out, Ginger Snap wanders off to find them...only to learn that the noises in the night she was afraid of aren't so scary after all.

Headed off to work even before the cartoon ended. Work was...pretty much the same as yesterday, just later in the day. We were slightly busier during rush hour, and I did have to get the overflowing outside trash later. Otherwise, I swept and pushed carts the entire night. The night bagger and I did so well with the carts during the last hour, I had a little time to return unwanted items. 

Treated myself to a slice of carrot cake to get money for the farm market tomorrow. Also finally found the new Y3000 Coke Zero flavor. I've been looking for it all over, but I've only seen the regular until tonight. It's...not very good. Coke says it's supposed to be "artificially fruity," which seems to mean "fruity cough syrup." If I want cough syrup, I'll take cough syrup. 

Oh, and I got my schedule. In good news, three days off and two early days means I'll have tons of time to get my costume together, fill the Mystery Bags, and explore Woodbury. However, I have slightly fewer hours and a long seven-hour day on Sunday. Not to mention, an early day on Saturday means no farm market next week. 

Watched Match Game '79 while eating dinner and my cake when I got home. This episode kicks off with Barbara Rhodes discussing the show she was supposed to be appearing in, Mr. Dooley. The title was changed to Mr. Dugan shortly after this. It was a sitcom about a black congressman that so offended real ones, it never made it to the air. Meanwhile, Charles complains about Gene paying attention to Barbara and not the upper tier. Gene is so amused by his histrionics on the Audience Match, he gives him his question holder podium as an "award." 

Stuck to Buzzr for Trivia Trap on the last day of their "Bob-tober" marathon. I wish this show had gone over better. The trivia is interesting, and it's fun to watch the older and younger people play each other. The "Juniors" got nowhere near the "Seniors" in the first episode. They beat them by a wide margin, though they had less luck in the bonus round. In the second episode, things were reversed. The Juniors were the big winners...and they did better in the bonus round, too. 

(Incidentally, Buzzr's ads indicate that their next marathon will be running Halloween weekend. I saw episodes of Sale of the Century, To Tell the Truth, I've Got a Secret, and Family Feud, among others. I really enjoyed last year's Buzzr Halloween horror marathon and hope this year's will be just as much fun.) 

Finished the night back at Kanopy for another short lesser-known B horror film. The Vampire Bat has a lot in common with The Devil Bat, including creatures that kill by drawing blood and a supposedly-kind doctor who may know more than he's telling. In this case, it's a German village that's being terrorized by bats that drain blood from their victims. Police inspector Karl Brettschinder (Melvyn Douglas) doesn't believe these bats are vampires. Slow-witted Herman Glieb (Dwight Frye) likes bats and doesn't think they should be blamed. Dr. Otto Von Niemann (Lionel Atwill) may seem like he's merely checking who's alive and who isn't...but he's a lot more than he seems. Karl will have to keep his wits about him if he wants to save his sweetheart Ruth (Fay Wray) from this mad physician! 

Fay Wray sure got caught up in a lot of strange flicks. Between this and King Kong earlier in 1933, it was her year for horror. Wish she had more to do here. The movie mainly belongs to Atwill as the doctor who knows more than he's telling and Douglas as the suave police detective. The use of sets from The Old Dark House and Frankenstein, along with torches colored lurid red-gold during the otherwise black and white scene when they're chasing Glieb, add to the spooky atmosphere. Worth checking out if you're a fan of the Universal monster movies from this era or older horror tropes. 

Thursday, October 19, 2023

Spooky Tales on a Sunny Day

Started off the morning with breakfast and Charlie and Lola. Lola laments that "Everything Is Different and Not the Same" when they return to school in the fall. She has new tights that sag, and Lotta has a scarf she finds to be itchy. They're dismayed when they have a new teacher and a desk they're not used to and the leaves fall off Lola's favorite tree. After the girls make a mess of their school leaf project, they're ready to hibernate until spring. Charlie finally coaxes them out to help gather things for his fall time capsule and to remind them that change is a part of life, and they're not so bad once you get used to them.

Karen picked me up at 10 AM. We decided to give Monster.com a shot, since Indeed hasn't been working out very well. The only thing I saw that remotely interested me was a "content specialist" working on an online catalog. I don't think I have enough experience with data entry for them to want me, but it's something.

Went straight home and into Hillbillys In a Haunted House. I go further into this bizarre tale of three country singers who take refuge in an old house and get mixed up with spies at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog. 

Headed to work even before the movie ended. Work was pretty much the same as yesterday - dead all night. I did end up gathering trash inside and out later, but once again, I mainly swept the store and pushed carts. Fine by me. No wonder we were dead. Though clouds gathered and the wind had picked up, it mostly remained sunny and warm. It was too nice of a day for shopping.

Took the long way home again down Nicholson Road. I'm not sure this was a great idea. They were busy as heck by 5:15. I managed to get on newly-laid sidewalk by the new electrical plant they're building. Oaklyn was, once again, a lot less noisy. The leaves are just starting to turn colors on most trees here. I saw a bush with the last roses of the season, too.

Did the dishes, then put on Match Game '76 while I ate leftovers for dinner. Dr. Joyce Brothers was on fire tonight, matching both contestants. Patti Deustch is less thrilled about a "Dumb Donald" question (her husband's name was Donald, and he could be pretty strange). 

Finished the night online after a shower, starting with The Devil Bat at Kanopy. Angry when all he gets is a $5,000 bonus for his work while his partners make millions, Dr. Paul Carruthers first creates an aftershave with an especially strong smell, then enlarges bats and encourages them to attack anyone wearing that aftershave. He manages to kill off one of his partners (Edward Mortimer) and his two sons before he's discovered by a tenacious reporter (Dave O'Brian) and his goofy photographer (Donald Kerr) who are determined to figure out what he's up to. 

Nifty little B horror film with an effective performance by Lugosi as the kindly doctor driven to murder for not receiving what he sees is his due. 

Moved to YouTube for the closest Rankin-Bass got to a Halloween special, the Festival of Family Classics episode "Jack O'Lantern." Jack is a leprechaun who lives in a pumpkin shell. He emerges when a little boy carves his pumpkin into a jack o' lantern. The kids recruit him to help get rid of a witch and her husband who have been stripping their land bare.

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Angels of the Morning

Began the morning with breakfast and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Big Pete is holding a part at Halloween Tower, but he doesn't think anyone will come. Mickey and the others have to get over a giant candy corn and retrieve the trash can lid shield for Goofy's knight costume before full moon comes out, or the gates will close and they'll miss "Mickey's Treat." 

Headed to work after the cartoon ended. No trouble here. It's the middle of the week and the middle of the month. Sports are the only things going on right now. Not to mention, the weather was just about perfect. Sunny and warm, with no clouds or even wind around. I swept the store, gathered the few carts around, and enjoyed the gorgeous weather. Grabbed a bottle of oat milk I had a free digital coupon for on the way home. 

It was so nice, I took the long way home down Nicholson. They were a lot busier than the Acme, especially around the mall entrance. Maybe a lot of people had late lunches. Once I got off Nicholson and went over the hill and into Oaklyn, the traffic ended. It was a little bad on the White Horse Pike, but I got across.

Watched Garfield's Halloween Adventure while changing and eating lunch. Garfield is thrilled to dress up as a pirate and get all the candy he could ever want for free. His Halloween takes a turn for the spooky when he and Odie end up stranded on a remote island where ghostly pirates are coming for their treasure!

Headed back out after the cartoon ended. I needed callus remover. I've had a callus on my left pinky toe for ages now, and it hurts like heck. I checked Family Dollar first, but there was nothing there. No little toys to put in the Mystery Bags, either. I swear I got some trinkets from them last year. 

Hiked down the White Horse Pike to CVS instead. In addition to the callus remover, I found bags with little orange and purple vials of bubble solution and tiny wands. They'd be something different for the Mystery Bags. They also had Cherry Coke Zero, which I've seen nowhere else in this area.

Also made a quick stop at the pretzel shop on the way home. I ordered two pretzels for a snack. When I peered in the bag, the guy gave me two more. They were a half-hour from closing. He probably wanted to clear out his inventory.

Watched Son of Paleface when I got home. Peter "Junior" Potter (Bob Hope) arrives in Sawbuck Pass, California to claim his late father's fortune. Turns out there's nothing in he chest he left him, his father owed money to the entire town, and his girl at Harvard was a fortune hunter who dumps him the moment she finds out his father wasn't a millionaire. Old-timer Eb (Paul E. Burns) claims to Peter that his father did have gold, but he hid it. Peter's more interested in courting Mike (Jane Russell), the singer at the local saloon. 

He's not her only suitor. Government agent and singing cowboy Roy Barton (Roy Rodgers) is also interested in the lovely lady and the gold. Mike has her own secrets, including her involvement with the gang of black-clad outlaws lead by "The Torch" who have been stealing gold from stagecoaches. The local natives aren't happy about the son of the man who killed many of their braves (accidentally) being in town, either. They attack the town just in time to reveal the hiding place of the gold and let Junior show that the Potters may be cowards, but they're also heroes...somehow.

Think I enjoyed this one even more than the first. Frank Tashlin's direction turns this into even more of a live-action cartoon, with Peter's head disappearing into his body turtle-style after he drinks a particularly potent brew, him fitting up his newfangled horseless carriage with old-style wheels after the stable owner hides the tires, and Hope stumbling around in spurs as big as his head. There's also some very funny spoofs of Rogers' usual B-singing vehicles. Russell makes a great outlaw, too. If you love any of the three stars or are looking for a good comic western, you'll want to meet the Son of Paleface, too.

Did some job searching after the movie ended, then worked on writing. The woods grow more and more dark as Richard leads them further down the path. Richard's not concerned about him being damaged. He's made of metal. Charles fears that there may be something that eats straw out there, and Joyce is worried, too. And then they hear the roar...

Broke for dinner and Match Game '79 at 7 PM. Marcia Wallace is very nervous when she has to help the contestant with "Cookies and __" for $10,000 in the Head-to-Head in the first episode. The second one features some very interesting answers for a question about what wouldn't be a hundred years old then.

Stayed at Buzzr for Trivia Trap. Turns out the soap opera week was for Valentine's Day, which explains the hearts all over the place. General Hospital once again ruled. One Life to Live couldn't touch them. Stuart Damon saved their bacon by being the only person to make it all the way to $10,000. 

The second episode reverted to the show's original format. Three twenty-somethings played one man about my age and two elderly women. The seniors were ahead for most of the game, but the juniors made a comeback after hitting a few big questions towards the end.

Finished the night on The Roku Channel with Charlie's Angels. "Haunted Angels" is the closest this series gets to a Halloween episode. Bosley is convinced that a friend of his is being swindled by a psychic institute who claims they can contact her nephew who was killed in a motorcycle accident. Sabrina and Kris poses as a psychic and professor studying her to get into the institute, while Kelly and Bosley do more research on the young man...and discover his reputation wasn't nearly as sterling as his aunt wanted to believe. When a psychic at the institute dies with everyone watching, Sabrina and Kris try to figure out who would want her dead and why they swindled Bosley's friend. 

Tuesday, October 17, 2023

The Music of Fall

Got some much-needed sleep again. Started off the day with a very small breakfast and Match Game '77. The first episode ended with a contestant performing a gospel number onstage. She had such a gorgeous voice, the panelists and audience ended up clapping along. Richard wasn't happy in the second show when producer Bobby Sherman refused to match his "toasted" with "warm buns"...and his frustration with his answer being rejected would explode in the next episode and the coming weeks...

Got organized, then headed out. I had planned on doing shopping in Collingswood, but first of all, I got a late start. It was past quarter after 1 when I locked my bike behind their Community Center. Second, thought it was sunny, windy, and fairly warm at that point, there were dark clouds coming up on the horizon. 

Since I didn't have much of a breakfast, I started with lunch at Sabrina's Cafe. Besides, they close at 3. They were still pretty busy when I walked in the door, but I managed to get a table between a mother and daughter and a couple of college-age gal pals. I had the same meal I did when I came here with Jessa a couple of months ago, half of the Cali-Turkey sandwich, a small cup of tomato bisque, and sweet potato fries. At least, that's what I originally ordered. They brought regular fries, but eventually came out with a bowl of sweet potato fries. Who am I to argue over free fries? Anyway, both the regular and sweet potato versions were so delicious, crispy and crunchy, that I was glad to try both.

Headed to Innergroove Records next. They were also busy for a Tuesday afternoon. I didn't really feel like spending an hour sitting on the floor, bent over their dollar bins. At least I found something good among the regular stacks. I've been looking for the soundtrack to Chitty Chitty Bang Bang for years. It cost me $10, more than most of the albums in the store, but not too horrible. 

I did manage to dig something out of the dollar stacks. I figure The Life Treasury of Christmas goes along with The Time Life Book of Christmas I found back in August. There's a lot of older holiday music on this one, including a Gregorian chant, "Masters of This Hall," and "Huron Indian Carol."

Hurried across the street to the Collingswood Library to use the bathroom next. I didn't see anything interesting on the free books cart and moved on. Nothing I wanted at Haddon Culinary on the next block, either. 

Made my way down Atlantic Avenue and across a busy Cuthbert to the Krispy Kreme on the corner of Cuthbert and Haddon Avenues. Normally, on the rare occasion I want a doughnut, I get it from McMillan's Bakery down the street. Krispy Kreme was doing a Scooby Doo promotion, with the characters cut from chocolate and placed on spooky donuts done in purple and orange icing. I tried the cookies and cream-filled with deep purple icing, cookies and cream sprinkles, and a chocolate ghoul on the top. Not bad. Not as sweet as I figured it would be. Still not something I'd do all the time, though.

Headed across Haddon Avenue to Westmont next. Phildelity Records carries DVDs and CDs along with records. I did much better here. After nearly an hour of checking the $2 record crates and DVD shelves, I came up with: 

Son of Paleface on Kino Lorber DVD

Whitney: The Greatest Hits, a two-disc CD set

The original cast albums for the Irving Berlin show Miss Liberty and Jerry Herman's first major Broadway show Milk & Honey

The soundtrack for That's Dancing

Broadway Basie's Way -  Count Basie and His Orchestra

Sophisticated Lady - Music of Duke Ellington and Others

Went straight home and into Scared Stiff after that. I go further into this musical remake of The Ghost Breakers with Dean Martin, Jerry Lewis, and in her last film, Carmen Miranda at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog. 

Broke at 7 PM for dinner and Match Game '79. Bill Daily, Joe Santos of The Rockford Files, and sweet Lorrie Mahaffey of Happy Days joined the regulars and Marcia Wallace here. Marcia spent a lot of the episodes trying to calm her goofy and excitable Bob Newhart Show co-star. In the second episode, Brett comes out to admire and straighten Gene's actually rather attractive gray and blue suit.

Finished the night online after a shower working on my review and watching Halloween specials. Disney Plus released Mickey & Friends: Trick or Treats earlier this month. This nifty stop-motion half-hour short depicts what happens when Donald convinces the rest of the crew to bother Witch Hazel from "Trick or Treat" one too many times. The grouchy witch finally turns them into their costumes. Daisy's not complaining about being a princess and Goofy enjoys floating around as a ghost, but Minnie can't handle her spider legs, Mickey isn't thrilled about his three monstrous eyes, and Don definitely doesn't like being a frog! The equally scary residents of Hazel's household help them gather what they need for the antidote.

Moved to YouTube for The Paul Lynde Halloween Special. This may be the most 70's piece of programming in existence. Lynde joins his housekeeper Margaret (Hamilton) at her sister's house. Turns out her sister is Billie "Witchiepoo" Hayes, Margaret is the Wicked Witch of the West, and the house is haunted. 

After Lynde is rejected by Miss Halloween (Betty White), the witches give him three wishes. He first imagines himself as a macho truck driver courting a waitress (Roz Kelly), with Tim Conway as his rival. His second wish has him as a sheik trying to court a frosty British lady (Florence Henderson). Conway is a member of the French Foreign Legion. The third wish belongs to the witches, who want a disco party right in their own house. In between, KISS plays "Detroit Rock City," "Beth," and "King of the Knight World" and the Osmonds annoy Lynde. 

If you love Lynde, KISS, or any of the above performers, or have been looking for a vintage Halloween variety special like the ones that used to turn up at Christmas, this is highly recommended and is just too wild for words.