Television’s most oozing, sneering, whining caricature turns 86 today, or at least he would have if he hadn’t died in 1982, reportedly clutching a bottle of amyl nitrate.
He also played a garbage-dwelling rat who gorges himself on food and alcohol to the point of near-catatonia. “You ought to be ashamed of yourself,” Charlotte the spider tells his character.
The “Paul Lynde Halloween Special” is possibly his most watchable endeavor, by virtue of the incomprehensible coupling of Pinky Tuscadero, Margaret Hamilton, Florence Henderson, Betty White, and KISS. His association with Donnie and Marie is nearly as hypnotic.
“He just wanted to get out of here,” Donny recalls. “He hated it.”