Friday, October 29, 2010

Back Injury Theater: Obscure Halloween Specials!

Gosh, Halloween blindsided me this year. You may say that it jumped out and went "Boo!" So if this post seems a little rushed, there's your reason/my excuse.

FARK recently shared this amazing footage that was apparently cut from a Martha Stewart special from about ten years ago (though the episode itself has been rebroadcast). There's no swearing, no nudity, nothing offensive, but the segment is a P.R. nightmare anyway. I can tell why Martha might have cut it and let's see if you can too:



My (Master's Degree in Education with a focus on Children's Media and many undergraduate studies in child psychology) educated guess as to why this was cut: Martha Stewart has no freakin' idea how to interact with children. I can't even imagine that Martha's world, with it's scented candles and scrapbooks and gauzy curtains, is one into which small children are ever allowed. Look at how she practically demands that they drink her "blood". The poor kids look desperate to run away! Hell, so would I!

Speaking of little innocent characters who stumble into a crazy older person's house on their hunt for Halloween candy and are desperate to leave, a fair number of people my age will recall being scared out of their minds by "Garfield's Halloween Adventure" (sometimes known as "Garfield's Halloween Special" or "Garfield in Disguise" and available as part of a very nice DVD gift set - although in slightly truncated form according to the comments). It's odd that this special has kind of faded away over the years, even though it used to be aired after "It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown" every year.

It is... less puzzling as to why Will Vinton's "Claymation Comedy of Horrors" has not seen the light of day (outside of being a special feature on the "Claymation Christmas Celebration" DVD) after it's very first and only airing back in 1991:



OK, even I have to admit that this is a little too strange for the wee ones (any child that makes it through the opening credits is either insane... or
awesome). But it also contains almost everything that was amazing about Will Vinton. Look for the terrific gelatinous blob character, the crazy scene that sets the plot in motion and resembles "The Great Cognito", and the best-ever cover of "Climb Every Mountain".

Now, around the same time "Comedy of Horrors" debuted and disappeared, so too did "Tales from the Far Side". One of only two animated adaptations of "The Far Side", it was briefly available on video, but only through a mail-in offer that came with one year's Off the Wall Calendar (there are no words for how much I miss those calendars).
I haven't shown "The Far Side" enough love around here, even though it's a pretty obvious influence on me. So here's one of the very few clips from the special available on the YouTube (bonus: it'll tide us over for the "Walking Dead" premier this weekend):



A year ago, Geocities imploded. It took many features from my old websites with it, including a review/transcript of the very, very strange short film "Michael Jackson's Ghosts". That film has been rediscovered by The Onion AV Club, and believe me, it's still something to see.

Finally, another clip that was deleted from a Halloween episode. Vincent Price and the Muppet monsters singing a sweet James Taylor song about the power of friendship = WIN.





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Art of the day! Old, but still funny:

Fun in the Backyard! - Episode 26


Speaking of birds, don't forget to save those pumpkin seeds!

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