Yes all my ghosties and ghoulies and long legged beasties and things that go bump in the night its time once again for Back2Stonewall.com’s annual viewing of The Paul Lynde Halloween Special!
The Paul Lynde Halloween Special was broadcast October 29th, 1976 on ABC. It featured guest star Margaret Hamilton in her first and only reprisal of her role as The Wicked Witch of the West and guest starred Billie Hayes as Witchiepoo from H.R. Pufnstuf, Tim Conway, Roz (Pinky Toscadaro) Kelly, Florence Henderson,the rock band KISS, Billy Barty, and yes even Betty White! PLUS an un-billed surprise appearance by Donny and Marie Osmond! (And believe me there is nothing scarier than Mormons on Halloween!.)
So lets do the REAL time warp and travel back to 1976 and join the gay legendary comedic actor Paul Lynde as he makes everyone Halloween just a little bit homo before it got trendy.
In case anyone is wondering how Vincent Price fits into the gay Halloween Back2Stonewall theme. Well. According to the book Full Service: My Adventures in Hollywood and the Secret Sex Lives of the Stars by Scotty Bowers, Vincent had a very happy marriage to his wife British actress Coral Browne not only for love but also for coverage for both their careers sake. (They Liza’d each other before there was even a Liza!)
Also in her book,“Vincent Price: A Daughter’s Biography ‘ Victoria Price explored the many facets and secrets of her famous father.
“He married a bisexual woman [Browne] and everybody assumed their marriage was a fraud,” offered Price. “It wasn’t a fraud. It was a totally sexual relationship but they were two people with very open minded approaches as to what life should look like. And that to me – people who lived this truth in all aspects of their lives – they should be heroes to every community.”
“Everybody asks me was your dad bisexual?” said Price. But not in the strictest sense of the word according to his daughter. “It was Roddy McDowall who said to me, you know, we didn’t have any idea what bisexuality meant in that sense, and if we didn’t know, then how can we know the answer to that question.”
“But I would like to say something here because I might as well,” she continued. “I am as close to certain as I can be that my dad had physically intimate relationships with men. I know for 100 percent fact that my dad was completely loving and supportive of LGBT people.”
Price recalls her father’s 1977 one-man-show where he played the openly gay Oscar Wilde to great acclaim and rebuffed the anti gay Anita Bryant efforts of the day. In television interviews, Vincent Price said Wilde had already written a play about Ms. Bryant: A Woman of No Importance.