Classic TV’s Halloween selection has a deep bench. Spooky season brings out the best in our favorite old-school sitcoms. Here are some of our favorite episodes to throw on while waiting for trick-or-treaters.
The Beverly Hillbillies
The entire hook of The Beverly Hillbillies is the fish-out-of-water dynamic as the backwoods Clampetts clash with elite residents of So-Cal. Still, it’s something of a revelation that the secluded country family had never even heard of Halloween before moving out west after striking oil. In the season one episode, “Trick or Treat“, the family goes door to door in their neighborhood to introduce themselves. Little do they know, it’s Halloween, and their neighbors mistake their down-to-earth rural threads to be costumes. The episode actually originally aired on Halloween night in 1962.
“Now You See It, Now You Don’t” is a two-part episode from season six of The Jeffersons. This one is nice because we get to see these Classic TV characters dressed as Golden Age Hollywood stars for Halloween for a costume contest. Louise (Isabel Sanford) shines as Mae West, exuding glamour, while George (Sherman Hemsley) channels Charlie Chaplin in a bowler hat. The plot is bonkers, involving a killer robot that crashes the party.
This season two episode of Happy Days brings the perfect mix of Halloween and nostalgia. In “Haunted,” the gang decides to switch things up for their annual Halloween party. Instead of choosing the usual location, Arnold’s, Richie and company opt for the abandoned old Simpson house, rumored to be haunted. Directed by series creator Garry Marshall, this episode has some nice seasonal moments. There are some fun costumes (even the Fonz sports a Lone Ranger mask) and a headless ghost is spotted, too.
The classic TV staple Bewitched tackles Halloween early on in their run. In season one’s “The Witches Are Out”, it’s revealed that Samantha (Elizabeth Montgomery) doesn’t care for the holiday. She believes that the eerie holiday perpetuates the portrayal of witches as malevolent crones. She pushes back when her ad man husband Darrin (Dick York) has a client that wants to use such an image for a new candy line. Samantha transforms the client into a stereotypical witch crone. After living as a hideous, scary witch, the client sees the error of his ways and opts for Darrin’s suggestion of a beautiful witch.
Classic TV’s Spookiest Family Goes Full Halloween… The Addams Family
The season one episode “Halloween with the Addams Family’ finds the spooky sitcom family going full tilt for the season. It’s a treat (get it?) to see the always Gothic family in costume for the holiday. Of course, their take on what’s scary is a bit twisted. Wednesday dresses like a typical 60s 9-year-old girl, complete with pigtail ribbons and a cute dress. Meanwhile, Pugsly dresses as a white-collar office worker (shudder), donning a mustache and a business suit. This episode also features some bonus laughs due to guest star Don Rickles.
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