In 1982 E.T. mania was washing over the world. You could not turn on the news without an interview or news report about how awesome the little alien was.
Much like Star Wars, E.T. was a phenomenon and just as they did with Star Wars, the studios needed to capitalize on the fame right quick. What better way to do that, than with a hastily thrown together television special.
“E.T. and Friends: Magical Movie Visitors” is that hastily thrown together special. Hosted by Mork from Ork himself, Robin Williams, the special follows the evolution of America’s perception of aliens culminating with our new undying devotion to our extraterrestrial messiah, E.T.
The special starts with some behind the scenes footage of the making of the movie. Mostly showing Spielberg directing his child actors. Let me tell you, that young Drew Barrymore really knows how to cry and is absolutely adorable.
Then we get some Williams, who is shot out of a cannon, riffing on all things space and E.T. Williams is supposed to represent the average American as he explains how he was frightened of aliens when he was younger and by saying this, he infers that perhaps his opinion has changed and that maybe it has to do with a certain alien?
A highlight of these early scenes is when William mentions that a drink has been named after E.T. and they cut to a shot of it being made, then a guy in an E.T. mask picks it up to drink it, but he is not E.T. he is some guy in a suit, in an E.T. mask.
This is the only recipe I can find for an E.T.:
1 part Vodka
2 parts Cream Liqueur
2 parts Melon Liqueur
Once they give us a taste of what is happening on the E.T. landscape, the special is mostly clips from movies narrated by Williams and punctuated by largely improvised skits.
Some are okay, like the cameo by Dan Aykroyd, Garrett Morris, and Laraine Newman as the Coneheads and others, like the used space vehicle scene, are just wonderfully cheesy. Its a dog in a mask! Yes!
The special culminates in a rather nice “moment” as E.T. approaches Williams as they float, via the magic of green-screen over L.A. at night. Williams asks E.T where he is going. Of course, he warbles, “Home.”
He then asks Williams to come, and Williams obliges, walking hand in hand into the green-screen sunset. Williams is now obviously in control of his fear, just as E.T. now controls the hearts of all Americans. I think you might need to see this for yourself.
The special gets posted online from time to time, but can just as quickly be taken down. So here it for your viewing enjoyment.
Pretty great, huh?
Since it may be taken down, I put together a gallery of screen captures that you can enjoy until they put it back up.
*Sorry about the watermarks. I captured these screenshot on some old software about a decade ago.