Do you remember the 1977 Halloween Dr. Seuss' Grinch special?

This spooky Seventies special was a follow-up to the popular Christmas classic.

DePatie–Freleng Enterprises

1966 brought us a beloved Christmas classic that's been watched for decades and remade — with varying degrees of success, depending on who you ask — twice. How The Grinch Stole Christmas came out among a wave of animated family Christmas specials, including A Charlie Brown Christmas and Frosty the Snowman. To this day, it holds a rare 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and TV Guide has ranked it #1 on their list of best holiday family specials.

But what many don't know is that eleven years later, we got a sequel...sort of. Halloween is Grinch Night differs from the Christmas special in that it was not based on an existing book by Dr. Seuss. However, he did write the special for ABC. Since the Grinch is back to his old ways of terroizing the Whos of Whoville, we can make the leap that this is a prequel of sorts to the earlier program.

Another notable thing is that while this special was clearly trying to cash in on Halloween the same way the first one was with Christmas, the word "Halloween" doesn't turn up in this special at all. While the special is called Halloween is Grinch Night, no characters actually say "Halloween". Instead, it takes place when the "sour-sweet wind" brings the Grinch down for "Grinch Night".

Since Boris Karloff, who narrated How The Grinch Stole Christmas, passed away in 1969, this time our tale is told by Hans Conried, voice of Captain Hook and a returning visitor on Gilligan's Island. Much like Karloff, Conreid also voices the Grinch. The story is about a family with patriarch Josiah, voiced by Hal Smith (who many of you may know best as town drunk Otis Campbell on The Andy Griffith Show). His grandson, Euchariah, is blown away by the wind and comes across the Grinch coming down to menace the Whos on Grinch Night. 

After a small scare, the Grinch dismisses Euchariah and continues on his way. However, Euchariah distracts the Grinch by challenging him to scare him properly. What follows is something that could have only come out of the Seventies, a true trippy mind-bending sequence in full Dr. Seuss nonsensical glory. Strange creatures, abstract shapes, and non-Euclidian architecture menace Euchariah in a pink elephants-esqe song...until the wind dies down and the Grinch has to retreat back to his cave on Mt. Crumpit.

DePatie–Freleng EnterprisesOne of the terrors in the Grinch wagon

This special did not become the same enduring classic that the Christmas special did, perhaps because of the weak tie to Halloween. However, it's still well worth a watch. Hans Conried was in poor health during the production of the next Grinch special, The Grinch Grinches the Cat in the Hat, and died of a heart attack before it aired. Grinch Night would be the last special to feature him.

Mel Blanc also turns up as a voice, albiet in a small role. He's part of the chorus in the spooky, strange sequence near the end.

If you need another reason to watch... Have you ever wondered where this meme comes from? Yep. Grinch Night.

DePatie–Freleng Enterprises

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Snickers 9 months ago
Saw it once and don't care to see it again.
Runeshaper 9 months ago
How The Grinch Stole Christmas is a truly marvelous film! I love Boris Karloff and the storyline is aces. Never even heard of Halloween is Grinch Night, but it sounds like it may be worth a watch. Thanks, MeTV!
Karellen 9 months ago
I remember watching it when it first aired in 1977. Not as good as How the Grinch Stole Christmas. But this is another special I wish MeTV would show.
Newyorkcitygal 33 months ago
I don't remember that one. I wish they would show it for Halloween.
ShelbyMunro 33 months ago
I'm amazed that this special isn't played on MeTV during the Halloween season. I'd like to see it.
WilliamHogan 33 months ago
I have the special on a Dr. Suess DVD, and will be watching it this Halloween season.
lynngdance 33 months ago
Well, looks like it’s time for one of my “off-topic” comments I’m apparently becoming notorious for. So, everyone, you’ve been warned! 😝
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LoveMETV22 lynngdance 33 months ago
Wow, those are quite good. You use some of your artwork too when you do Connect the Dots Quizzes right? You also use Graphic art ( I think that's the name of it) in your quizzes as well?
lynngdance LoveMETV22 33 months ago
Thank you very much! Actually, in my Connect The Dots quizzes, I don’t use my artwork very much. (Except for the logo). I use an app called PicCollage to put it all together, most of it is just text, and web images. But sometimes I might draw something for it. But anyways thanks 😁
LoveMETV22 lynngdance 33 months ago
Oh ok . Thank you for answering my question. I thought it was your art in your CDT. Still very creative presentations, and your a very talented artist in addition.
lynngdance LoveMETV22 33 months ago
Wow, thank you very much 😄
Bigmama420 33 months ago
The Grinch That Stole Christmas is a classic Christmas Story. All children should know the Christmas is not about presents, it's about love and being with the people you love. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer another Christmas classic is also a story of being with your family and doing the right thing. Got to love it
Runeshaper Bigmama420 9 months ago
Very true!
JHP 33 months ago
and for those that "hate" the show - watch the crap on AMC

and I forget - what does AMC stand for?

moax429 JHP 33 months ago
American Motors Corporation? (Which got absorbed into Fiat Chrysler North America in the mid-80's.)
JHP moax429 33 months ago
Nope - you lost $$ on jeopardy:)

AMC stands for American Movie Classics - as my foggy brain recollects
CaptainDunsel moax429 33 months ago
That AMC was famous for the Gremlin, not the Grinch.
CouchPotato19 JHP 33 months ago
Amazingly Mediocre Crap
JHP CouchPotato19 33 months ago
you bet your Bippy

remember that saying? :)
JHP 33 months ago
now us posters are having a P**sing match about Halloween old time shows...gees
Markholl68 33 months ago
How can you have a "Halloween show" with no mention of the word?! I'll pass
Runeshaper 33 months ago
Never knew this existed, but I LOVE The Grinch! Have to see if I can watch this at some point.
jo 33 months ago
"Well worth a watch." Seriously? Pass on this waste of time. Much better ways to spend half an hour of your life.
tootsieg 33 months ago
I do not remember if I watched the Grinch Halloween episode. I love the Great Pumpkin.
JHP 33 months ago
I read and wonder what the ratings would be for this show nowadays - in the septic tank of new shows
DuanneWalton 33 months ago
I watched this several times. It ran on The Disney Channel a few times. The paraphernalia wagon sequence was of course the highlight.
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