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DVD Talk Review Of "The Paul Lynde Halloween Special"

Old 09-04-08, 11:29 PM
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DVD Talk Review Of "The Paul Lynde Halloween Special"

Paul Mavis' review of "The Paul Lynde Halloween Special" was, like most of his contributions, quite enjoyable but I think he's overestimating the cultural savvy of Lynde's younger fans regarding the comedian's sexuality. Like most of my friends in the mid-70's I was a huge Lynde fan, based mostly on his "Bewitched" and "Hollywood Squares" appearances, along with his own short-lived sitcom. I can say with certainty that none of us (we would have been 10-12 years old at the time) had the slightest notion that he was gay and that any gay-themed humor sailed straight over our heads. We weren't naive or sheltered (quite the opposite in many ways) but the whole idea that Lynde even had a sex life was completely off our radar screen. Of course we recognized Lynde as an eccentric (that was a large part of his appeal) but that's about as far as it went.
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Old 09-05-08, 08:12 AM
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I picked this disc up last year- the quality is about that of a home recording, though the audio is a bit better than from broadcasts of that time- the network-owned stations in New York and Los Angeles had direct network feeds with good audio, but the rest of the country got it from phone lines and it usually sounded awful. I do have a handful of Beta tapes recorded in 1976 (unfortunately none have anything really great like this on them) so I'm wondering if a single person out there recorded this show and kept it? Would have been great to see the commercials that aired during this, and back then most commercial breaks were only about a minute long so they wouldn't have been much of an interruption.
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Old 09-05-08, 08:49 AM
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Thanks for the kind words; I'm glad you found the review enjoyable. I've already had a couple of really positive emails about it.
Originally Posted by Straker View Post
...but I think he's overestimating the cultural savvy of Lynde's younger fans regarding the comedian's sexuality.
It's certainly possible. Like I said in the review, that was my take on it.

Like any kid in the seventies, a lot of information about the world came my way via television, and I can clearly remember an episode of The Mary Tyler Moore Show, from 1973, where Phyllis learns her brother is gay. Obviously I can't say for certain, but I'm pretty sure that was the first time I had heard that term used, and understood what it meant. As for Lynde, three years later, it just seemed obvious to me, after years of not-so-subtle jokes on The Hollywood Squares (my favorite: "Why do bikers wear leather?" "Because chiffon wrinkles."), that he was gay. I may not have understood the full implications of that term, but he clearly wasn't acting like Steve McQueen.


Originally Posted by Straker View Post
...the whole idea that Lynde even had a sex life was completely off our radar screen.
And I think this goes right to what I was saying in the review: people just didn't talk about this kind of stuff back then, with the kind of freedom they do today. People can be famous today strictly because of their orientation -- something that wouldn't have happened then. But parents certainly knew Lynde was gay, and they enjoyed the "nudge, nudge, wink, wink," unspoken subtext of his act.
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Old 09-05-08, 08:54 PM
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Yeah, I totally agree with being a kid and not knowing or caring about his sexuality, all I remember is almost literally dieing from laughter from something he did on a Donny and Marie show. Of course, being about 10 maybe made it seem funnier.
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Old 09-08-08, 02:04 PM
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I'm going to try and order this to watch this Halloween season. My Best Buy used to carry it, but I can no longer find it at any B&M stores.

I never saw this show when it aired, but after watching a small portion of it on the Kissology DVD, it looks like a lot of nostalgic fun.
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