Query: what do you like best? TV shows that feature actual leprechauns, TV shows that feature imaginary leprechauns or TV shows with little people that seem to be leprechauns but are ultimately revealed to be not quite everything they seem? The right answer, by the way, is “I like any kind of TV show that deals with any kind of leprechaun.” Weird word, leprechaun. You don’t really fully appreciate just how weird a word leprechaun actually is until you write it down a few times in a short period.
I only saw “Hoss and the Leprechauns” once as far as I know. Frankly, I suspect I probably saw it more than once since I used to watch “Bonanza” all the time when it was actually still in first-run airings and regular afternoon syndication. But I remember catching “Hoss and the Leprechauns” purely by chance one day on TV Land. Interestingly, this episode aired exactly one month after the assassination of JFK. Must have been a really weird sensation to sit down in front of the TV and watch a show about Irish sprites mysteriously appearing in the Old West just a month after that tragic event. Hoss–he’s the biggest Cartwright son just in case you couldn’t figure that out from his name–save a little guy dressed in green from a bear that has treed him. The episode features more little guys in green, Irish brogues, a Professor who insists leprechauns are real and strongboxes of gold dust. So are leprechans real and did they make it to the Ponderosa? You’ll have to watch for yourself.
“The Simpsons” often makes use of leprechauns in some of their fantasy episodes. In one “Treehouse of Horror Halloween Special” Homer must capture a leprechaun as a bizarre means of reversing a Gypsy curse. I’m half Romnichal and trust me when I say a mere leprechaun won’t reverse a Gypsy curse. In fact, I have yet to find anything that will reverse one. Homer does find a particularly randy little leprechaun with notoriously low standards when it comes to Gypsy women (some of my relatives are quite attractive…well, a few of them anyway), but the curse pretty much remains intact. Then there is the imaginary leprechaun seen only by Ralph Wiggum who urges him to burn things down. Now, that’s my kind of TV leprechaun!
Room for One More
This sitcom was about a couple with two biological children who adopted two more additional kids. In the episode “King of the Little People” the biological son Flip (sounds like a Palin kid) finds a leprechaun hiding in the attic. Or is he? I have to be honest: I don’t think of leprechauns as attic people. Basement? Sure. But don’t you get the feeling that little leprechauns would be a scared of heights?
If I say there was an episode of “Bewitched” that featured a leprechaun, you probably feign a yawn, flash me a French Wave and say get it on with it. Okay, fair enough, but here’s the weird part about a leprechaun showing up on “Bewitched.” The little green guy is from Darren’s side of the family! Yeah, that’s right. The leprechaun on “Bewitched” isn’t one of the witch’s weird friends, he’s a mortal.
Land of the Giants
Irwin Allen’s 1960s TV show that wasn’t about a voyage to the bottom of the ocean and wasn’t about being missing in space (even though it really was about that) turns the tables on the leprechaun plot gimmick. The little humans struggling to make their way back home while they deal with being transported to a world overrun with giants are themselves confused with being leprechauns.
Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea
And just in case you can’t get enough of Irwin Allen’s fun with the little people in “Land of the Giants” you can always check out “Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea.” In this case, there are two different leprechauns identical in appearance. One is a good leprechaun and the other gives the episode its title “The Terrible Leprechaun.” If you do a little research on this episode, you will come to believe–long before you ever view it–that “The Terrible Leprechaun” also serves as the terrible voyage to the bottom of the sea. This episode is universally derided as the worst hour in the history of the series. Just keep in mind that any show with an evil leprechaun must surely be worth watching, right?