Welcome back my friends as I count down my all-time favorite Halloween sitcom episodes. The other day we were very firmly stuck in the 80’s, so it seems only fair that today’s episode be a product of the 90’s. It was a huge hit for NBC and it’s not hard to understand why. My #5 choice for my all time favorite Halloween episode comes from the popular series :
This episode first aired on Oct 29, 1997
Plot Synopsis:Dick is scared of a physical exam, Harry thinks there is a ghost in the house, Sally and Tommy supervise trick or treaters at Albright’s
Best Line: Dick: “Intelligent people don’t believe in ghosts”
Harry: “They don’t believe in aliens either”
Standout Character:Honestly can’t pick one, their all great
Nitpick of the Episode:Can a college really hold an employee’s pay check if the employee refuses a physical? That doesn’t make sense to me. His health insurance maybe, but a paycheck?
Syndication Edit:The top of the teaser with Dick eating a pumpkin and part of his first attempt at seeing the doctor
Final Thoughts:This episode is 3rd rock doing what it did best! Taking something ordinary and having us see it through the eyes of aliens who don’t quite understand what is going on.
Actually it doesn’t feel like a Halloween episode when it begins. But they do a nice job of tying in the holiday with the subject of Dick being afraid. It all helps to go give purpose to the “ghosts” scenes which are really just sitcom cliche. Though done well we all know it’s going to turn out there is really no ghost. And the reveal that it’s Ms.Dubceck is not the biggest surprise. It’s not bad, at all,Â it’s just been done. The scene where she is “revealed” is scary and well done.
Sally and Tommy’s story is just great. Turning trick or treating into some sort of good cop/bad cop routine. Joseph Gordon Levitt and Kristen Johnson are so hilarious and really it’s their performance which raises it from silly to quite funny.
There are lots of little gags from the four not understand Halloween such as Harry being able to say that he is an alien,Â a Great Pumpkin reference, and even a Ghotbusters gag. They even manage to get a Halloween party scene in there, with Dick missing the point of everyone’s costumes. One small moment I love when when Dr.Albright is dressed as Dorothy, which should be obvious but of course Dick as no clue who she is dressed as. Clever. Also a buccaneerÂ joke which is one of those moments of brilliance where you can’t believe someone thought that up.
I seriously think this episode hits every note a good Halloween episode is supposed to. And it’s really quite funny.
Honorable Mention:Everybody Loves Raymond had a Halloween episode which had a cute plot. When Frank ends up handing out condoms instead of candy. While the second half of the episode where this happens is decent, we have to get through the first half which is more “Ray is horny” nonsense. I love one quick moment when Ray tries to rush the kids trick or treating because he’s more worried about having sex. What was it with that guy? I swear he had a hormone problem the way he acted like a horny teenager. Anyway, it’s not a bad Halloween episode but it’s ruined by Ray’s idiotic whining. Are we supposed to feel bad for the idiot? However, seeing Peter Boyle, who played Frankenstein monster in Young Frankenstein, dressed as Frankenstein does make up for that a bit.
I’ll be back with #4 sometime next week my friends.