With a giant spider guarding the entrance and a parade of skeletons leading the way, the University of La Verne television studio aired the sixth annual Halloween Live cable show Monday. Billy Bob, La Verne’s favorite hillbilly, returned to host the show with a partner this year, Gary the Gorilla.
Although Gary the Gorilla was considered the guest host, his wild behavior resulted in his capture and escorting out of the set only to be heard by telephone later in the show.
This year the show started an hour earlier than usual and more candy was on hand because of last year’s amazing turn out. This, however, was a disappointment to Billy Bob since there weren’t as many trick-or-treaters this year.
“Now I’m going to have to go home and work on my tooth decay,” Billy Bob said.
This year’s format also changed. Last year, many pre-recorded sketches were planned that centered on the “War of the Worlds” theme where La Verne was being attacked by aliens. Because of the great number of expected trick-or-treaters, this year’s format was simplified.
This show, as in past years, was spontaneous with only a few pre-recorded segments. Trick-or-treaters were encouraged to stop by and meet Billy Bob on air.
Although few children showed up, the ones that did generally enjoyed the experience with minor hesitation as they walked up to Billy Bob and enjoyed some light-hearted interrogation and some witches’ warts candy.
“It was weird,” Ebony Cop, a Pomona resident, said. “I liked getting to hear the jokes.”
When trick-or-treaters were not present, Billy Bob played videos that were sent in ranging in topics from hauntings around La Verne, to floating head singing.
More trick-or-treaters came to the show as the Halloween Live crew went in search for children in the streets.
“It was interesting,” said Kristine Stokes, senior liberal arts major. Monique Samudio, sophomore criminology major agreed. “We just came out of class. It was fun but we were caught off guard.”
Aside from the trick-or-treaters and videos, Billy Bob entertained his viewers as well as his crew with Halloween riddles and jokes. People interested in calling the show were also encouraged to do so. Count Dracula was one of the callers and told Billy Bob some of his Halloween jokes.
When it came time for one of Billy Bob’s favorite times of the show, a reading of one of his scary stories, Taylor Kingsbury, ULV alumnus, appeared with a scary story of his own. He read “Along the Sea,” a poem from his recently published book “Les Fables.”
Another of Billy Bob’s guests included the surprise appearance of his ex, “Trixie.”
“It’s a bit of a nightmare when your ex shows up,” Billy Bob said.
As the time neared 8 p.m., the show ended on a light note, with Billy Bob telling more jokes and the entire cast entering the set as the credits rolled.
And as the crew began taking down the decorations, Billy Bob sighed and said that this was the last Halloween Live show. But, that may not be entirely accurate.
“Every year we say it’s the last one,” Billy Bob said. “Then over the summer, Shane (Rodrigues) calls me up and over a couple of shots of moonshine, he talks me back into it.”
Andres Rivera can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.