Before we reach my top ten favorite Halloween specials, here are numbers 20 through 11.
20. Parks and Recreation “Greg Pikitis”
Any “Parks” episode featuring Louie CK is a must-see. Throw in Bert Macklin and you’ve got yourself a barn burner. The grating Greg Pikitis pulls of a stunning Halloween caper on the Parks department, while Aziz Ansari dresses as T-Payne and shouts at people to dance!!!
19. The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron “Nightmare in Retroville”
Sheen makes any episode of “Jimmy Neutron” watchable. Sheen as a vampire? Now we’re talking classic.
18. Aaahh!!! Real Monsters “The Switching Hour”
Unfortunately, “Monster’s” Halloween special was also the pilot, so there were still some kinks to be worked out. But they managed to get the trick-or-treat scenes down perfectly; costume ideas galore!
17. CatDog “CatDogula”
CatDog was so cutting edge. First they dealt with inter-species marriages, then they started the vampire craze! So ahead of its time.
16. Angry Beavers “The Day the Earth Got Really Screwed Up”
The animators sure had fun with this one, and you will too. Halloween special meets classic sci-fi B-movie, not to mention Dag and Norb. Spoot.
15. Boy Meets World “Who’s Afraid of Cory Wolf?” “And Then There Was Shawn”
The earlier BMW Halloween episodes are a crash course in mid-90s nostalgia. “Who’s Afraid of Cory Wolf?” has an interesting, ghost-story style narrative. However, with “And Then There Was Shawn,” BMW bridges the gap from juvenile comedy to straight up horror perfectly. Eric’s several South Park references are particularly enjoyable. Welcome to John Adams High, where you’re gonna die.
14. Rugrats “Candy Bar Creep Show”
Rugrats is a cartoon about 1 year olds, yet has funnier, sounder writing than the current crop of “I’m a wizard slash pop star slash internet sensation” single camera sitcoms on Nick and Disney today. The gangs introduction to Halloweenie is no different, as they try to puzzle together the complicated rituals of the holiday.
13. King of the Hill “Hilloween”
The slow, southern tempo of early “King of the Hill” is in full effect in this episode, which pits Halloween against religion with the hilarity only Arlen and the Hills can supply. The late Brittany Murphy is in top form, by the way.
12. Invader Zim “Halloween Spectacular of Spooky Doom”
Just when you think “Invader Zim” can’t get any more demented, they go and do a Halloween special. If you are looking to junk out on some really twisted Halloween extravaganza, look no further. Gir’s xenomorph costume is top shelf, if you haven’t noticed.
11. Are You Afraid of the Dark?
I envy myself in the 90s, a boy who could throw Nick on every night and be treated to a ghost story that was JUST a little too scary for his liking. Next week I’ll provide a run down of the best episodes to get your Halloween on to.