Well it’s that time of year again, Halloween is coming Monday night. I love Halloween; it’s just a fun time. Garfield said it best when he said it was his kind of holiday. No stupid relatives, just candy, candy, candy! Just throw a costume on and get some candy, simple as that.

Of course being an adult I don’t trick or treat anymore. However, there are ways to enjoy the holiday and one of those ways is by watching some favorite Halloween specials on television. So, I thought in honor of the holiday I would list my top 5 favorite Halloween specials of all time. I am just talking specials; I will talk about sitcom episodes another time.

#5. Saturday Night Live.

Call me crazy, but I love watching this every year on Halloween. This show did a great job of doing real Halloween themed sketches. They weren’t scary, of course, but they were funny and most are so much fun to watch year after year. My favorite might have to be Chris Farley’s motivational speaker sketch, where he talks to a trio of teenagers who have been causing trouble. Of course he is all over the place and winds up smashing the coffee table. When first aired this special was hosted by Wayne and Garth, and unfortunately their commercial intros have all vanished as the special has been reproduced many times. Their opening and closing is still there at least.

#4.A Disney Halloween.

There may be people wondering what the hell I’m talking about, so let me explain. A Disney Halloween was a 90-minute Halloween-themed special that included portions from both Disney’s Halloween Treat and Disney’s Greatest Villains featuring classic short cartoons and excerpts of various villains from feature films. It was hosted by an off-screen narrator and the magic mirror from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. This is basically anything scary from any Disney cartoon or movie all in one neat package. You could say the only thing missing from this was a plot, but for a fan of Disney this was just gold. This had been re-run for awhile on The Disney Channel but I haven’t seen it in a long time. The House of Villains did the same thing years later, but it doesn’t have the class that this special has.
#3. Boo To You Too! Winnie The Pooh.

Yes, more Disney. This was a short special about Winnie the Pooh and his friends one Halloween night. Everyone is all excited about trick or treating, except for Piglet who is scared to death. Unlike some like the Garfield one we’ll get to in a second, this special doesn’t just throw a ghost story at us out of nowhere. This is a typical story and is like any other episode of Winnie the Pooh. This is just a charming special and I enjoy watching it. It always bothered me that they crammed it into that so-so Huffalump Halloween Movie, but fortunately this has so much charm that it’s actually is the best part of that direct to video mess.
#2. Garfield’s Halloween Adventure.

 

I love Garfield. There, I said it. I have been reading his comic strip since I was a little kid and watched every episode of Garfield and Friends. I say this because I always thought this special was a little, well, disappointing. I still like and watch it every year, but when it gets to the part about the ghost story (or is that pirate ghost story) it just loses me. I don’t know, maybe the story seems out of place or maybe it’s the horrible animation, or maybe it’s the way Garfield and Odie just run away and that’s it, the story just ends. However, the beginning is classic Garfield (candy, candy, candy!) and I do still watch and enjoy it every year. I hate that it is never on TV anymore, thank heavens for DVD’S.
#1. It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!

What can you say about this timeless classic? Linus believes in the Great Pumpkin the way most kids believe in Santa Claus. One year, while everyone goes trick or treating and attends a party, Linus convinces Sally to join him in the pumpkin patch to wait for the Great Pumpkin, who ever chooses one patch and brings lots of toys. This is such a timeless special, and I enjoy watching it year after year. I think what makes it so timeless is how relatable it is. Of course that’s why Peanuts worked in the first place. I remember as a child feeling so bad for Sally, having to miss having fun trick or treating all for nothing. The part of this that I especially love is that when Sally realizes she wasted her time, does she smile and say that it was ok and just forgive on the spot? No, she screams and yells about how she was robbed and Linus has a lot to make up for. At the end of the speech she even demands restitution. The great thing about Charles Schultz’s work was how genuine it is, what child wouldn’t react in such a way? Of course the rest of the characters are also in this and true to form. Charlie Brown just gets a bunch of rocks, Lucy is bossy, and Snoopy is, well, Snoopy. In an age where everything is digital and 3-D, the fact that kids are still sitting to watch this classic shows is amazing.
There may be some wondering why Bugs Bunny or Scooby-Doo isn’t on here. I hate to admit it but I never saw that Bugs Bunny’s Howl-oween Specialthey made. As for Scooby, his shows were always scary and most of the Halloween stuff weren’t specials as much as regular episodes in a series, or direct to video movies, so I didn’t think they applied. The closest thing to an actual Halloween special was just made a couple years ago, and hasn’t been around long enough for me to consider it a timeless favorite. Plus, I was never a huge fan of Scooby so he does not hold that same place in my heart the others do.

I will say, I loved the Monsters vs. Aliens special they made and may just pick that DVD up if I see it in the store. That’s my list; hope you like this, of course being a top 5 means I left a lot out. Which were your favorites?

By richb

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