How Elvira Helped Coors Light Become The "Official Beer of Halloween"

Sunday, October 31, 2021

The Wall Street Journal proclaimed in 1986, "Halloween, once a romp for kids clad as pirates and princesses, now rivals Saint Patrick's Day and New Year's Eve as party time for adults.  Blame it on Elvira!"

I've never been much of a beer drinker, but in college, my friends all enjoyed "The Silver Bullet."  I'm sure during our poor college student days, it had a lot more to do with price point than any ad campaign, but they sure did like their Coors Light!

Growing up in a teetotaler family as a child, my view of alcohol and beer was that it was "bad stuff for bad people." Mainly because the Church we went to, my Grandparents, and Parents would often remind me it was the cause of a lot of problems in the world (arguably true) and the first step down a road to a life of evil and wrong-doing.  Think Edie McClurg's character Chastity Pariah in "Mistress of the Dark."  

That said, I can clearly remember times at the grocery store (Grand Union) with Grandma or Mom, or at Lane's Deli with Gramps, or at the gas station with Dad, and seeing one advertisement that piqued my interest in the seemingly "naughty" adult world of mass-market beers.  It was Elvira, the Queen of Halloween, promoting Coors Light.  

Those life-sized standees (cardboard cutouts) of Elvira posing with a cartoon wolf or beach-bum monsters really caught my attention.  I've started a small collection over the years, and just this year, I finally attained my 'holy grail.'  I finally own the BeerWolf and Elvira poster where she claims she loves a man with a hairy chest (see above).  If I could only find an affordable "Mali-Boo Beach" cardboard standee in good condition, I'd consider my collection to be complete.

So how did Elvira, real name Cassandra Peterson, go from being a West Coast late-night horror movie hostess to a nationwide household name shilling for a light beer company?  Let's take a look!

Retro Scans: 1989 McDonald's Roger Rabbit Halloween Coupons

Thursday, October 28, 2021

One of the things I looked forward to getting as a gift when I was a kid would be McDonald's Gift Coupon booklets.  These "McDonald's bucks" (as my brother and I called them) would often appear in my Christmas stocking and still smell like the salt and grease of the french fries they sat next to in the bag of food. If you would, please check out my article from a few years back about getting these fantastic old-school versions of gift cards  BY CLICKING HERE.

Rather than run a Happy Meal promotion that targeted children, McDonald's decided to run a special "super-size" promotion for Disney's 1988 movie "Who Framed Roger Rabbit."  The move was designed to appeal to teens and young adults, whom the movie was also targeting.  

I recently acquired this Roger Rabbit "Happy Halloween Certificates" on eBay.  There's a lot of these out there, and they are very affordable, but I thought it would be a great addition to this site as we wrap up our Halloween celebration.  

The booklet contained several coupons for 3 different items.  A free ice cream cone, free cookies, or free fruit pie.  At the back of the booklet is a coupon for a free Roger Rabbit car window plush with a purchase of the movie on videocassette.  The seller on eBay included a puffy sticker with my item, so I've included that here for you to enjoy too!

Click on for the photos!

Retro RePost: 1994's Fox's Halloween Bash

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

For me, Halloween and television go hand in hand.  The classic sitcoms of my youth, like Home Improvement (CLICK HERE) or Roseanne (CLICK HERE), always enjoyed Halloween the way I felt everyone should.  The 80s and 90s were home to several specials, like Garfield or the campy variety shows we still enjoy rewatching today.  

Coming home from Trick-Or-Treating, I'd dump out my candy on the living room floor and turn on the TV.  My brother and I would enjoy what was left of the new Halloween programs and watch some old favorites.

One of the great programming blocks of the 1990s was "The Fox Halloween Bash."  Watching this annual (back then, anyway) programming while doing homework earlier in the week or counting my candy haul were some of my favorite memories of the Halloween holiday.

Retro RePost: Coca-Cola's Monsters of the Grid Iron

Monday, October 25, 2021

This is one of the first articles I ever wrote, and it's still very important to me.  It first appeared on The Retro Network before showing up here, and I'm happy to repost it again for this year's Halloween.

I spent YEARS researching online to find information about this sales promotion.  I turned up empty-handed every time and began to wonder if I hallucinated the whole thing.  Every once in a while during college or when I was bored in a hotel room at work, I'd spend time Google-ing but never could come up with anything remotely resembling what I was looking for.  

Please click on for more!

Halloween on Roseanne

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

1990's Sitcom television's version of Halloween depicts how I feel Halloween should have been in real life.  Dressed up in cool costumes, the characters on the show attended heavily decorated Halloween house parties and were just so filled with Halloween spirit.  Cobwebs, pumpkins, skeletons, witches, and black cats were more than just a backdrop on our favorite sitcoms.  Halloween was *special* on those shows.  

Last year, I chronicled the holiday episodes of my family's favorite sitcom when I was growing up, "Home Improvement."  Please CLICK HERE to go back and read last year's "Halloween on Home Improvement" feature.

This year, let's cover the self-described (apologies to Elvira) "Queen of Halloween" and star of the sitcom that arguably had the most Halloween spirit, Roseanne Barr, and her show "Roseanne."

I didn't start watching "Roseanne" until I was much older, but there's no arguing that she and her show's writers took Halloween and the end-of-year holidays seriously.  

"Roseanne" was a family-oriented, yet adult-skewing, comedy that ran on ABC from 1988 to 1997 for a total of 222 episodes.  In 2016, the show was briefly revived with 9 new episodes before being canceled.  It was reborn "The Conners," without the star of the show, Roseanne.

For the uninitiated, the "Roseanne" series focused on a fictional blue-collar, working-class family in the fictional suburban town of Langford, Illinois.  The show, and its namesake star Roseanne, were heavily praised for their realistic portrayal of a working-class family in early 90s America.  Roseanne, both the series and the human being, also received immense praise and adulation for being progressive, groundbreaking, and for not being afraid to push the boundaries of social norms.

"Roseanne" was so popular it became number one in the Neilsen ratings only a few episodes into the second season.  In 2002, "Roseanne" was ranked number 35 on TV Guide's "50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time" list, and a decade later, in 2013, TV Guide ranked it 32. 

Like what we found with "Home Improvement" last year, the Halloween-themed episode tradition didn't begin until Season 2.  The focus on the holiday was stronger some years rather than others, but millions of viewers tuned in each October to see how the Conner family celebrated the spooky holiday!  Each year was filled with incredible costumes, great decorations, elaborate pranks, and the occasional classic horror film homage.

Here's a look back at the Roseanne Halloween episodes in chronological order.  Fair warning, even though it's been nearly 30 years, there are spoilers below:

Halloween YouTube Videos

Monday, October 18, 2021

Normally, I pop in some of these YouTube videos into the "Video Drive-In."  If you didn't know, you can click a link at the top of the page, or if you're on mobile, you can click the 3 horizontal lines in the top left of the page and select "Video Drive-In" from there to see a selection of free youTube videos that go along with the topics covered here on the main page.

I haven't been using the Drive-In as much lately, so I figured I'd make a regular post about some of the can't miss "Halloween classics" from YesterYear.  

Long-time readers know I love Elvira, so don't be surprised to see her here twice! 

I promise to get back into posting regularly on the Drive-In page.  After watching all of this great Halloween content below, check out the video archives in the Drive-In!  

Retro Scans: 1993's Tales From The Crypt Trading Cards

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Tales from the Crypt was a series that ran on HBO from June of 1989 to July of 1996 for 93 episodes.  Based loosely on the 1950s comic book series of the same name, the show was hosted by The Cryptkeeper, a wisecracking corpse puppet. The puppet was operated and voiced by John Kassir.

Thanks to the premium cable subscription service that is HBO, "Tales From the Crypt" was free from censorship from the FCC and the network's standards and practices department. HBO allowed the series to include content like graphic violence, profanity, and nudity.  

Most of us, myself included, first learned of the series in 1994 when edited reruns began to air on the FOX Network on basic cable.  If you want to read a little about Fox's Halloween Bash, CLICK HERE NOW!

Each episode would begin with the Cryptkeeper's famous "Hello, Boils and Ghouls" or "Hello, Kiddies." Each episode was self-contained and bookended by an outro sequence featuring The Cryptkeeper's antics.  

In 1993, a Saturday morning cartoon called "Tales from the Cryptykeeper" was spun off the HBO series. The violence and gore were toned down and, at times, entirely omitted due to the target audience. Child psychologists were hired to review the scripts to make sure they were suitable for young audiences. The Cryptkeeper was animated as they felt the puppet would be too frightening for children. The cartoon lasted for two seasons on ABC with a total of 26 episodes.

In 1995 and 1996, two films were spun off the popular TV series. "Demon Knight," the first was a commercial success, but "Bordello of Blood" was a box office bomb panned by critics and fans alike. The lack of success for the second film caused the third in the trilogy to be shelved for good.  

As I write this, due to licensing issues, Tales from the Crypt is not a\vilable on any of the HBO or Fox-owned streaming services. 

5 Songs To Get You In The Mood For Halloween

Friday, October 8, 2021

Every good party, event, or holiday needs a great soundtrack to go along with it.  Admittedly, my knowledge of music doesn't go that deep, but I do know a good tune when I hear one.  

Halloween music is pretty subjective.  Spooky-sounding lyrics (Fresh Prince's A Nightmare on my Street) or a devilish theme (AC/DC's Hells Bells) are good enough for some people, while others insist it must include Halloween in the song.  Perhaps it's just a song featured in a Halloween movie or played at a party we've attended that makes us think of the holiday.

Let's take a look at (and listen to) 5 songs that I would recommend to help get you in the mood for the rapidly approaching Halloween season!  

Retro Scans: Topps 1988 Fright Flicks Wax Pack

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Let's keep the Halloween celebration going by taking a look at a Retro Scan of the 1988 Topps trading card series "Fright Flicks."  These things are pretty bountiful on eBay, making this series probably one of the most overlooked yet fondly remembered wax packs of the 1980s.  

Fright Flicks mixes gore and comedy in a way that can entertain you but still make you cringe.  The set doesn't hold back the blood and guts but balances it all with campy groan-worthy one-liners and stories.  One of the reasons this set was so popular was that kids could get their hands (and eyes) on some scenes from popular R-rated movies that they would otherwise be too young to see.

The other interesting thing about this series is that it draws images from 15 different major horror franchises.  Licensing so many major film series into one spot will likely never be replicated again, especially in today's world where content ownership is king.  

The 90-card series has cards from film classics such as Ghostbusters, Poltergeist, Predator, A Nightmare on Elm Street, and even The Fly!  Admittedly, due to its immense popularity in the late 80s, the set is heavy on Freddy Krueger and Nightmare on Elm Street.  

On the reverse side of the card is the film's title that the image was taken from (if you couldn't tell) and a hauntingly weird little urban legend under the "Did It Ever Happen?" tagline.

Of course, there is a 33-year-old piece of bubblegum still intact that, as is tradition here at YesterYear, I've included in the scan for your viewing pleasure.  

Fair warning for the squeamish:  Some of the photos below are pretty graphic and heavy on the gore compared to the stuff I normally post here at YesterYear.

Peacock-Tober Streaming Lineup

Sunday, October 3, 2021

A few days late, I know, but what's the old saying something about late and never?   

We're only a few days into October now, and with the power of on-demand streaming, you can catch up whenever you have time!

This year, the NBC/Universal owned "Peacock" is celebrating Halloween!  Officially, the platform is calling itself Peacocktober for the entire month.  Along with the cute theming comes thousands of hours of Halloween movies and TV shows!

Peacocktober has something for everyone. From big name horror films like "A Nightmare on Elm Street" or "Friday the 13th," classic Universal Monster films like "Dracula" or "Mummy," and even Halloween themed sitcoms from yesteryear.  

Check out the movies and TV shows below and enjoy some Halloween classics from Peacock!