Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Sunday, October 30, 2016

Checking out some Halloween pop culture icons-any questions?

Saturday Night Live may be one of the best late night comedy skit shows of all time but they do have their fair share of clunkers and at the start of last week's "Haunted Elevator" skit, I thought we were in for a stinker.

Well, much to my and everyone else's surprise, Tom Hanks and company made the off beat premise work. While David Pumpkins(or should I say, David S. Pumpkins) was confusing, he and his dancing skeleton buddies were so cheerfully charming that not only was the bit a howling success, a new Halloween icon was born:

So, in honor of David Pumpkins, let's take a look at a few engagingly odd Halloween mainstays that have popped up over time. One of the more modern classics is Elvira, Mistress of the Dark aka Cassandra Peterson, who has made this horror movie hostess with the mostest the ultimate Halloween party gal.

From her TV hosting gigs to commercial endorsements, her reign in the eighties culminated in her very own movie in 1988(which wasn't well received to say the least). Today, Elvira still makes appearances on shows such as Halloween Wars and RuPaul's Drag Race as well as coming out with a book of photos that celebrates her 35th anniversary.

 Elvira has always come across as a Goth Mae West to me, with her sassy ways and sexy jokes. Granted, her film debut was less than stellar(I watched it again the other night) but like her, it offers some good goofy fun for the holiday:

For something a bit more family friendly(and pumpkin related), we turn to The Great Pumpkin from the beloved Charlie Brown special.

Linus and his devotion to this gift giving pumpkin patch extends even to the Peanuts election special, where his mention of TGP nearly costs him votes. Such unwavering belief is to be expected from the young, particularly since The Great Pumpkin's greatest strength is that he lives only in the imagination.

Think about it; has there ever been a Great Pumpkin costume, doll or any visual depiction of him? Nope, not at all-Linus himself never says what TGP looks like, which is probably why he was so willing to mistake Snoopy for his Halloween legend that night. The Great Pumpkin remains sight unseen and hopefully, he will stay that way for all time:

Last yet far from least, we have the leading man of The Nightmare Before Christmas, the one and only Pumpkin King himself, Jack Skellington. His pursuit of the true meaning of his life's work is relatable to young and old alike, not to mention how sweetly scary he can be.

While TNBC has become quite the merchandising monster, the movie and it's strangely charming characters still holds up well, which makes Jack the endearing as well as the enduring Halloween host that he is. You may argue the merits of the movie there yet Jack's melancholy musical ways are timeless to me and will be for many generations to come:

Well, I wish you all a Happy Halloween and may there be more treats than tricks delivered to your door that haunted eve. Having a holiday icon along for the spooky ride makes it more of a party as every good one needs the right host to set the mood.

Of course, it adds greatly to the festivities if the proper music is made available which is why the Sanderson sisters of Hocus Pocus have the devious distinctive honor of being the unlife of the Halloween party scene, so take it away, Winifred!:

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