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Another Portland Blog

Friday, October 31, 2003

 

"How can someone be so fat and so square at the same time?"



Yes, there was a "Fat Albert Halloween Special." It originally aired in 1977. While time may have forgotten it, Blog has not.

After being kicked out a octogerian's store for accidentally trashing the place, the Fat Albert gang vows to avenge themselves. They declare war on the neighbor's elderly. What ensues is a war across the generation gap and an instant-holiday classic.

The plan quickly goes array. Despite a clear age advantage, the gang is '86'd from a movie theater and has its candy stolen by an elderly hermit. In the end, they learn a valuable lesson: Don't fuck with old people. No, Blog is not making this up. Consider the following monologue, delivered by character named Mudfoot:

"You know, when I was a kid, trick or treatin' was different. Talkin' bout fun, we didn't have no street lights and I used to wear the darkest clothes so nobody could see me. Yes sir, nothin' like the challenge of crossin' a dark, busy street.

And there wasn't all this fro-fra' about taken' treats that's pre-packaged. I wish you coulda' seen the good slop I had. Pre-tasted, licorice, taffy, apple, popcorn, peanut, orange, doughnut, peppermint, deep fried all globbed together in one gooey, gritty wad. Awwwww, man!

Not like all this sissy, sanitary, pre-wrapped, goody two-shoes stuff you get today. Of course, you'd get sicker than a dog and spend two, three days in bed but it was worth it. Now you kids get on with your trickin' and treatin'. My TV shows is comin' on."


Mudfoot lives in a shack and uses the front of a refrigerator as a door. No, this sort of thing would never be broadcasted on television today. Despite its controversial nature, "Fat Albert" ran in various incarnations throughout the late '70s and '80s. The Halloween special was re-aired every year until at least 1986 on an affiliate in Portland.

With its funk/jazz soundtrack and unconventional storyline, it should go without saying that "The Fat Albert Special" beats the pants off of all of its Halloween counterparts, even the one where Garfield karate chops a gang of pirate ghosts.

It's hard to track down but worth a look. Blog found it after unearthing a 18 year-old video tape. Fortunately, no one bothered to edit out the commercials. The tape contains ads for the Statue of Liberty refurbishment, Cabbage Patch dolls and .49 cent AM PM hot dogs("I'm taklin' 'bout hot dogs. HOTDOGS! Say it one more time! And get a Coke for just ONE MORE DIME!"). Blog wouldn't trade it for the world.

Hooray for nostalgia!

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