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

Read to Me

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


 
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?
Close

75 Comments

Post a comment
Newyorkcitygal 6 days ago
I don't remember that one. I wish they would show it for Halloween.
ShelbyMunro 14 days ago
I'm amazed that this special isn't played on MeTV during the Halloween season. I'd like to see it.
WilliamHogan 14 days ago
I have the special on a Dr. Suess DVD, and will be watching it this Halloween season.
lynngdance 16 days 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! 😝
Load previous comments
LoveMETV22 lynngdance 7 days 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 7 days 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 7 days 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 6 days ago
Wow, thank you very much 😄
Bigmama420 16 days 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
JHP 16 days ago
and for those that "hate" the show - watch the crap on AMC

and I forget - what does AMC stand for?

hmmmmm
moax429 JHP 15 days ago
American Motors Corporation? (Which got absorbed into Fiat Chrysler North America in the mid-80's.)
JHP moax429 15 days ago
Nope - you lost $$ on jeopardy:)

AMC stands for American Movie Classics - as my foggy brain recollects
CaptainDunsel moax429 12 days ago
That AMC was famous for the Gremlin, not the Grinch.
JHP 16 days ago
now us posters are having a P**sing match about Halloween old time shows...gees
Markholl68 17 days ago
How can you have a "Halloween show" with no mention of the word?! I'll pass
Runeshaper 17 days ago
Never knew this existed, but I LOVE The Grinch! Have to see if I can watch this at some point.
jo 17 days ago
"Well worth a watch." Seriously? Pass on this waste of time. Much better ways to spend half an hour of your life.
tootsieg 17 days ago
I do not remember if I watched the Grinch Halloween episode. I love the Great Pumpkin.
JHP 17 days ago
I read and wonder what the ratings would be for this show nowadays - in the septic tank of new shows
DuanneWalton 17 days ago
I watched this several times. It ran on The Disney Channel a few times. The paraphernalia wagon sequence was of course the highlight.
moax429 17 days ago
*I've* heard of it! I even remember *watching it* when it first premiered on ABC in October 1977!

This "Grinch" special was made by the same studio that gave us "The Pink Panther," DFE (De Patie-Freleng Enterprises) Films. If the copyrights were even renewed on the show, Disney/ABC would now own it since they ascended to the DFE Films catalog (at least, most of it).
moax429 moax429 10 days ago
My bad.

Warner Bros. (via Dr. Seuss Enterprises) now owns all the Dr. Seuss specials, including this one.
MrsPhilHarris 17 days ago
I don’t recall this show and I love Hallowe’een and would watch anything related to it. I do watch The Grinch Who Stole Christmas annually. Never miss it. And Rudolph too.
Load previous comments
texasluva MrsPhilHarris 17 days ago
Here it is for you and others to watch if wished. I believe there is a copy on YT also.
Halloween Is Grinch Night (1977) 25 min

https://archive.org/details/dailymotion-x6d3n43
Snickers MrsPhilHarris 17 days ago
Maxx the dog was clearly the scene stealer on the Grinch.
MrsPhilHarris texasluva 16 days ago
Ooooo I think I will have to watch it. Thanks!
MrsPhilHarris Snickers 16 days ago
Oh I love Max. I always wondered how he ended up with the Grinch. 🤔
KJExpress 17 days ago
I can't remember watching this or even being aware of it. There must've been something else I watched at the same time. I did watch "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" many times and still enjoy it. 😊🎄
Moriyah 17 days ago
If there ever was a Gomer Pyle Halloween episode, what do you think Gomer probably would've been? (Let me know)
Load previous comments
Moriyah stephaniestavr5 16 days ago
And no, I would not want to see him looking like a monster. Although, that kind of does sound like a good idea, but I'm sure he wouldn't want to be any kind of monster for Halloween, though
Moriyah Zip 16 days ago
Omg, yes! I love that idea too! I would really love if they made an episode about it as well!
Moriyah stephaniestavr5 16 days ago
He would not go around eating people up. I think the butterfly costume describes him because of how innocent and gentle he is, and butterflies are pretty innocent and gentle as well
MrsPhilHarris Zip 16 days ago
I thought that too but I knew it wouldn’t be allowed.
LoveMETV22 17 days ago
According to The Detroit Free Press:
“It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” is scheduled to air on PBS and PBS Kids at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 24,
“A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” will air at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 21 and
“A Charlie Brown Christmas” will air at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 19 on PBS and PBS Kids.

https://www.freep.com/story/entertainment/television/2021/10/05/its-great-pumpkin-charlie-brown-return-public-tv-year/6004516001/
Load previous comments
It may only be on PBS for this year only. You know, "a one shot deal." Or did they say it will be on for more years than this one?
From the titles listed, I think everyone mentioned, is available on a place like YT, or on DVD.
Remember the days when some movies went "straight to video?" No theatre time. Now movies and tv shows are going "straight to streaming." Forget about tv and the theatres.
Apple TV broadcast them last year. They allowed people to sign up to view them. I believe people wanted them on a regular network. I know they are available elsewhere. This is the article about it:

https://www.freep.com/story/entertainment/television/2021/10/05/its-great-pumpkin-charlie-brown-return-public-tv-year/6004516001/
I don't remember those days, sorry. I have always seen Movies start in theaters (unless of course it was a made for tv movie), then it would go to cable, then tv would get it. That's of course before the advent of streaming (pay,subscription or otherwise). But the term streaming is so loosely used today. Technically you're streaming when you're watching tv. but that's a whole other topic that's rather boring. I just get a chuckle they way it used these days.
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?