Remember when MTV was quirky and cool?
Well, it was. In fact, in 1984, MTV asked Elvira, the legendary Mistress of the Dark, to host a six-hour special on Halloween night.** That special was titled, "Elvira's MTV Halloween Party" and looking at it now, it seems so experimental, like the theater kids were let loose in a TV studio, and I mean that as a good thing.
Elvira was given a 6 hour programming block on Halloween night 1984 to show all the spooky music videos there were interspersed with her usual shenanigans. Not just that but the middle 2 hours of this was a showing of Night of the Living Dead (with a special, shot for MTV, intro by George Romero) which Elvira would pop up into now and then.
Watch in this video uploaded by YouTuber Rockula Presents as the campy queen of Halloween pimps her own merch, brings on special guests, and shares old black-and-white horror movie clips and many music videos — ranging from The Specials' "Ghost Town" to Oingo Boingo's "Little Girls" (no, that isn't Peter Dinklage at the 8:19 mark) to The Residents' version of "This is a Man's World" and, of course, Bauhaus' "Bela Lugosi's Dead."
Also see her demonstrate the proper way to carve a Jack-o-Lantern, you know, with a chainsaw.
Other notable moments:
— I believe that's John Paragon playing "Breather" (uncredited) at the 13:05 mark. You may remember Paragon was the actor behind Jambi, the genie of Pee-wee's Playhouse.
— At the 19:29 mark, John Carradine reads a "tender story" of The Loneliest Pumpkin.
In 1986, MTV invited her back to host another Halloween special:
If you don't know, actress Cassandra Peterson (who's a redhead irl) is still rocking her vampiress schtick today, though she retired from her stage show at Knott's Scary Farm just this year. Her merch is better than ever. Take a look at her vampy line of clothing and jewelry over at Pinup Girl.
**For copyright reasons, this version of the special has been edited down to 60 minutes, chopping out the middle of each music video, some of the special guests, and the feature film.