I’ve mentioned my 15-year-old’s crush on Ross Lynch, right? Well, she showed me one of the episodes of Austin & Ally (the Disney Channel show he stars in) which made me appreciate that show as a whole. It was a Halloween episode where the four main characters are locked in the music store which is the center of the show. It’s Halloween night and they have a contest for the scariest story. The actors play the roles of the characters in the stories they tell. The first one involved a swamp creature, played by Lynch, who is really not a bad guy at all, just misunderstood. To get the townspeople to see he’s okay, they perform a song and dance routine. The scene was a great tribute to a classic comedy which became the inspiration for this post.
Trick-or-treating and monster/ghost stories are the biggest parts of Halloween in our culture – just look at all the candy displays at the grocery store and the list of new releases at the movie theatres if you need any proof. (If you do need some form of proof, what rock have you been living under all your life and when did you crawl out?) But a good, comedic twist on the ghost/monster story can be highly entertaining. No one did this better than Mel Brooks with his 1974 classic Young Frankenstein. Although the scene with Gene Hackman as the blind hermit and Peter Boyle as the unfortunate monster companion is one of my all-time favorite funny scenes, it’s the Puttin’ on the Ritz scene I’m linking here. The scene I mentioned from Austin & Ally pays homage to this classic. Although Lynch does a fine job on his show, nothing beats Peter Boyle’s garbled singing. I hope you enjoy watching it – my daughter loved it when I showed it to her.
I decided to tackle trick-of-treating next, and I kept the musical theme in the process. Key of Awesome is, well, pretty awesome in their ability to develop parody music videos. They’re probably the next best to master Weird Al Yankovic himself. I think Trick-or-Treat-or-Die! was only their second offering on their YouTube channel, but it’s a pretty good one and I hope you enjoy it as well. I love the costumes and the extra dorky voices they sing with to add to the effect.
My last endorsement for the evening goes to Your Favorite Martian, Ray William Johnson’s musical cartoon videos. Posting this on Facebook for Halloween became kind of a tradition of mine because I find the lyrics and animation to work brilliantly together. Lots of Your Favorite Martian videos are hilarious, and this one is relatively understated in that regard, but it ranks amongst his all-around best. If you choose to peruse some of his other songs I’d recommend The Stereotype Song and Club Villain but I’m linking his post-apocalyptic post-mortem love song, Zombie Love Song here as my Halloween Spirits pick. It sure took BRAINS! to write.