Today’s Halloween Horrors contributor, Ben Williams, first joined our series for last year’s event with his thoughts on Vincent Price and 1959’s The Bat. He returns this year to share his thought on another topic, one with laughs much more in mind.
For his second trip to our annual Halloween celebration, Ben turns his focus towards the 90’s TV sitcom, 3rd Rock from the Sun! This show, dealing with characters not of the Earth, shines a comedic light on the holiday of Halloween, and some of the customs and traditions that accompany it, such as costumes, scary movies, and trick-or-treating. While we may see these things as nothing more than just another part of Halloween, they surely must seem strange to those just experiencing it for the first time… or those possibly watching us from afar!
More importantly, the show focuses on the most important aspect of every Halloween season, this year especially: However you choose to celebrate, have fun with it!!
3rd Rock from the Sun: Season 3, Episode 5
ORIGINAL AIRDATE: October 29th, 1997
Ever wondered how a dilemma may be settled if you were an alien, had a team, and were stranded on a strange planet filled with the moodiest and most unconventional inhabitants? Oh, boy… is there a possibility answered here! In a most hilarious 90s sitcom satire, a possibility is answered in a most unconventional manner. Helmed by none other than… Dick Solomon!; Philanthropist, High Commander, Professor, offspring of The Big Giant Head, and too hilariously inept to grasp the wonderful nature that is to be human.
In the wonderfully executed episode of 3rd Rock from the Sun, “Scaredy Dick“, we get to see what a transient group of extraterrestrial misfits try in order to fit in, understand, and enjoy Halloween. This poor attempt is made even more hilarious by not only experiencing this custom/tradition, but also by adding in… you guessed it, a physical! Being required to complete an examination to continue payment for monetary gain, Dick is now at an impasse. Not only for the examination, but to put his physical body up for an examination to try to find something wrong when he feels just fine.
We see the initial visit. Dick barely makes it into the office, to the examination room, and then dramatically leaving the office once asked to disrobe. I know that no one enjoys the graciously open back of a gown, made to ensue only embarrassment upon all who dare to enjoy the garb.
Two of the other celestial crew members are asked to assist the love interest of Dick, Mary, by housesitting and handing out candy while she attends the University’s Halloween mixer. Spawning from problems in times past, she fears that if no one is present, her abode will become adorned with toilet paper and eggs.
This is followed by the team’s attempt at costumes. We see Dick dressed as a pirate, and Sally and Tommy, who say they are dressed as Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, but due to their horrible understanding of humans, they are actually dressed as Sonny and Cher. This leaves my favorite character from the show, Harry, who has dressed himself as an alien. Very fitting for the comedic dimwit of the group, who becomes upset when it is mentioned that he is dressed as one. He finally remembers that his costume of choice was an alien and that no one has discovered his secret. See the hilarity?
Once back at the university, Dick reaches out for help, imploring any to his rescue. In the middle of the cry for help, he convinces his office assistant, Nina, to join him. How weird would it be to accompany your boss to not only a doctor’s visit, but to be present for the disrobing? Not an event worth writing about. However, in a 90’s sitcom, this adds to the hilarity. To add to the laughter, once the doctor begins the examination, Dick becomes feathered and chickens out of the office again.
During the adventures in housesitting, Tommy and Sally have quite a comical time. Sally’s idea (which Tommy approved) to set a large bowl of candy outside unaccompanied spells for quite the adventure, especially at such a time as Halloween. Only after a little girl rings the doorbell asking “Trick or Treat!” is it discovered that the candy was stolen in its entirety by none other than… The Pope! To add to the suspense, eggs are thrown into the home, infiltrating the perimeter, onto the floor! Hilariously, Sally and Tommy then suspect that the culprit is none other than The Pope. In the height of the moment, they are able to kidnap a child, begin a hilarious rendition of “Good Cop, Bad Cop” in an attempt to interrogate the child into giving up the name of “The Pope”, or admit that he himself is The Pope. The child remains resilient until Sally begins breaking eggs on his head. After doing so, the child gives the address and identity of The Pope. Upon their departure for the Pope for revenge, they discover that it was, in fact, Batman who egged the house. What a plot turner!
Back at home during this, Harry is enjoying horror movies. Although only slightly scared, the fear thermometer is turned up once Harry begins to hear noises coming from a heating grate. Through the moans, Harry is convinced that a specter has occupied the house and is after him. Once Dick returns from the party, he too agrees that the ailment in the air is ghost-like. While smoke exhausts itself from the grate, filling the apartment with smoke and eerie aromas, a power outage forces Harry and Dick to cower below the kitchen table, where Mary finds them shortly after. Instead of vacating the premises, in investigation to the source of the ghost-like moans and smoke, they find that the landlord, Mrs. Dubcek, was stuck in the crawlspace trying to find her cigarette lighter and couldn’t escape. Once out, they find the source of the emanating noises, except but one… rattling chains. According to Mrs. Dubcek, this has been an enduring emanation at the residence and has not been a source of any trouble.
After enjoying the celebration, Mary tires of Dick’s pirate antics and leaves him to speak with someone else. In an attempt to maintain Mary’s attention, Dick intrudes on the conversation between Mary and a masked individual, whom (when revealed) is none other than the doctor! Once frightened, Dick scurries home and involves himself in the apparition investigation. Once Dick is convinced one last time to attempt the physical, he sees that it all goes well. Once relaxed and all worry is gone, Dick is railed one last time, for the doctor begins to perform….. THE PROSTATE EXAM!!! HAPPY HALLOWS EVE!!