You can keep your slasher flicks and monster movies. When it’s Halloween, all I want to watch are the seasonal episodes of network sitcoms. From Three Hole Punch Jim and Sexy Abraham Lincoln to the Slutty Pumpkin and Werewolf Tracy Jordan, Halloween TV has created some of the most memorable characters of the season—seriously, I can’t hear the words “spooky” and “scary” in close proximity without singing “Werewolf Bar Mitzvah” to myself. And none of that even considers this majestic nonsense:
Truly, Halloween is the perfect TV holiday.
Between the several excellent Halloween episodes of The Office and the fantastic series of heists that make up Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s ongoing October tradition, the Schur-verse is my favorite place for Halloween hilarity and one of its installment stands above the rest: Ten years ago, Greg Pikitis was loosed on the world—or, at least, on Pawnee, Indiana.
The titular character from “Greg Pikitis,” Parks and Recreations’ second season Halloween special, Greg Pikitis is a prank-loving high schooler and the nemesis of the chronically-by-the-rules Leslie Knope. Across 22 minutes, Pikitis! torments Leslie with a brilliantly crafted matryoshka of pranks that include the traditional (TP-ing a statue), the illegal (vandalizing a government building) and the incredible (Pikitis! hires a woman on Craigslist to play his mother and get him out of trouble).
Even beyond all the machinations of the “invisible, adolescent, James Bond super-villain criminal mastermind” at the center of it, every moment of “Greg Pikitis” is a classic, from a nurse’s opinion of sexy kitten costumes to a morbid take on one man’s heroic limitations to a gag about straight male attire that hits close to home—the episode even includes the first appearance of Burt Macklin!
The excellence of “Greg Pikitis” highlights what’s great about Halloween episodes in general: The stakes are low but excitement is high, mystery is in the air and, with everyone in costume and desperate to party, the high jinks are even more colorful and absurd than usual. So once the trick-or-treaters have retired, I’ll be settling into my couch to celebrate ten years of Halloween hilarity by watching “Greg Pikitis.” It’ll be the peach pit on the pile of whipped cream that is Halloween.