Halloween 1979 happened to fall on a Wednesday, which means it was TV Party night! At 11PM, when White House records show that President Carter had retired for the night, Glenn O’Brien welcomed viewers to, “the TV show that’s a costume party, but which could be a political party.” Glenn is dressed in a casual Dolly Parton lesbian look. Chris Stein is a wicked witch. Debbie Harry is an umbrella. Richard Sohl is a “top model from the Candy Jones Agency” and teaches a new dance called “The Subway.” Teri Toye is as a fairy princess. Fab Five Freddy is a nickel bag, interviewed on the dangers of things put into Trick or Treat bags. The TV Party Orchestra looks brilliant, with Lenny Ferrari as a cubist painting and Walter Steding as a computer containing a gelatin capsule. Glenn and gang talks about Halloween as All Soul’s Eve, how to tell a god from a goblin, and the effects of drugs and costumes. Lenny performs a snide magic trick. But what makes this a great episode is that it’s a real party, featuring lots of home viewers on the telephone. This is TV Party at is most dense and abstract, filled with cross-talk, double entendre and obscure information. Particularly amusing is a long stretch with Jean-Michel Basquiat talking to home viewers on the phone, talking them out of their negativity.
GLENN O’BRIEN’S TV PARTY produced by GLENN O’BRIEN directed by AMOS POE with GLENN O’BRIEN CHRIS STEIN WALTER STEDING DEBBIE HARRY JEAN-MICHEL BASQUIAT DAVE STREET LISA ROSEN TERI TOYE FAB FIVE FREDDY LENNY FERRARI RICHARD SOHL KATE SIMON Brodcast live from ETC Studios, October 30, 1979. Re-issue produced by DANNY VINIK
“SAMSON AND DELILAH” - KLAUS NOMI, SNUKY TATE & THE TVP ORCHESTRA, “CACA DISCO” - COMPTON MADDUX, “THE JOKE” - WALTER STEDING