Boo! Halloween is right around the corner and the only thing better than getting all dressed up is the promise of your favorite candies.
We asked comedians and hosts of the Doughboys podcast, Nick Wiger and Michael “Mitch” Mitchell, to riff on all things Halloween. (It’s a preview of a segment from our forthcoming Food Republic podcast—details coming next week!) The two reminisce about first costumes and rank the four best and worst tricks and treats in what they call the Mount Candymore and Mount Trashmore. Listen to or take a look (for extra bonus content!) at their conversation below and have a happy Halloween!
NW: Mitch, Halloween is approaching.
MM: It’s coming up soon.
NW: It’s the spookiest of months.
MM: It’s a scary month. I love it. My birthday is October 6.
NW: Happy birthday.
MM: Thank you. I would always have a big celebration. It’d be Halloween-themed always. My mom would get a spooky-looking cake. I remember one that looked like a tree stump and it had ghosts on it. Then we’d go on a haunted hayride. Maybe we’d get some pizza and go on a haunted hayride where teenaged kids come up and rev a chainsaw in your face. I loved it. To this day, it’s the start of my favorite time of year.
NW: Then you go back to your house, you have a big party; you’d invite Frankenstein, the mummy, Dracula and his son. And you’d guys would do the mash.
MM: You think I’m part of the Monster Mash?
NW: I think that’s your origin story. I’m not necessarily an adult Halloween guy, but I loved Halloween as kid. I’m a little suspicious of people who are a little too into Halloween as adults.
MM: When I got to college that was a funny thing. I was like, “People are dressing up again?” It took me a year to be like, “Oh, you’re supposed to dress up and go out and have some drinks,” or whatever.
NW: It was a thing that happened in our lifetime where Halloween went from being a family holiday to being an adult holiday where people will get drunk.
MM: Give it to the kids!
NW: Give it back to the kids! Give that booze to the kids!
MM: Yeah, take those beers, put ‘em in the kids’ trick-or-treating bags. I always feel like you can still enjoy it. I feel the same way; I’m a little suspicious of people who go too Halloween crazy. I love it, I like to celebrate it, but it turned too much into a party. That’s not what it’s about. It’s not a party, I mean I guess the Monster Mash is a party. But I made a decision, Nick. I bought a baby costume, like a baby bonnet and a baby onesie—this was when I was 19 or 20—and I was like, “This is it for me. I’m gonna dress up like this every year.” And I have.
NW: You just kept the baby costume.
MM: I lost one, got a new one. I kept the baby gimmick forever.
NW: And that’s year round for you, right? Not just for Halloween. It’s just a lifestyle choice at this point.
MM: Yeah, it plays into some of the things I do in my own time. I speak in baby talk and so on.
NW: My first—and I’m not sure if you remember your first Halloween costume— but my first Halloween costume—I know this from a picture, I don’t actually remember it—I was a Dracula, a little Dracula. I was posing and clearly thought I was very scary but I just looked like some loser kid.
MM: Today, I would think you look like a dressed down Dracula.
NW: [laughs] Like business casual Dracula?
MM: You look pale-ish and kind of scary. My mom dressed me up as Kermit.
NW: Aw, that’s cute.
MM: I think she also dressed my sister up as Kermit. Kermit was my first Halloween costume, as far as I can remember. There’s a picture of it on my mom’s mantle. She puts it up every Halloween. Nick, but the big thing about Halloween is, it’s candy baby.
NW: It’s candy land!
MM: There was a house on my street that had full candy bars.
NW: I heard that about my area. I heard that if you went over to the country club, the rich houses, they would just give out full-sized candy bars. I thought it was an urban legend. I don’t think anyone actually did it, I think it was speculative.
MM: Also, you get so much candy that who cares if it’s a full-sized candy bar.
NW: Yeah, kids are dumb.
MM: Yeah, kids are very dumb. They don’t deserve Halloween either. [laughs]
NW: Give it back to the adults, you dumb kids.
MM: I would go over to the house with the full candy bars, which I think they just tossed a bunch of candy bars in a bowl and whoever gets them, gets them. I would go and they’d run out of candy bars. Or the places that were like “Take one piece.” It was always gone! The kids would dump the whole bowl in their bag.
NW: That honor system doesn’t work.
MM: I remember loving seeing The Simpsons’ Halloween episode, “Treehouse of Horror,” then going trick-or-treating around the same week and getting so much candy that you’d have to throw it away. It’d last more than a month. My dad hunt through it for Snickers. This brings me to, let’s rank the best candy to get when you’re trick-or-treating. A trick-or-treating edition of “Mount Candymore.” Remember these are probably fun-sized candy bars.
NW: Here’s how I would go: fun-sized Snickers, a miniature Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup—but if you get the
full-sized Peanut Butter Cup, that’s pretty ideal. That one package, I think that’s pretty sweet—I’m thinking back to my youth, but I would love getting them Smarties.
MM: This is the first time we’ve veered off.
NW: Well, that’s the thing. I don’t want to just stay in Chocolate Town. I’m putting myself in a kid’s mindset, I remember really liking those Smarties. For the last one, this is tough. I think I’m gonna go off the reservation a little bit and say a little beef jerky is nice.
MM: Beef jerky?!
NW: Yeah, change of pace. Someone throw some beef jerky in my bag.
MM: What? Someone threw some jerky in your bag?
NW: I mean it never happened to me.
MM: You always dreamed about this? That’s pathetic. For me, number one—and this is tough, it could swap—Snickers. Number two, the one package Reese’s, which maybe could go into the number one slot. It’s very close between those two. I’m also viewing this through the eyes of now where I am an adult—
NW: Who still trick-or-treats every year.
MM: I still trick-or-treat. Now I’m getting out of Chocolate Town, number three: Skittles, fun-sized.
NW: Ah, I should’ve thrown Skittles in there.
MM: Yeah, you’re an idiot. Number four, this wraps up my Mount Candymore: Trick-Or-Treating Edition, little Starbursts packages. Especially if you get the pinks, you’re in heaven.
NW: You know, I’d also love to get a little Nerds pack. I’ll take jerky out and put in those Nerds.
MM: Now what’s our Mount Trashmore, what don’t you want to get while trick-or-treating?
NW: Apple with a razorblade in it.
MM: How about something real?
NW: A penny. Like one of those smartass adults who, you say “Trick or treat,” and they’re like “Okay, trick.” Like some old man, who thinks he’s funny. F*ck you, old man!
MM: I think that’s fair you don’t want a crappy adult.
NW: The one I like the least, the house with the light off! You spoil sport! You’re not handing out Halloween candy? Get with the picture!
MM: You’re going to get some egg on your house, baby. You’re going to get a trick if the lights are off. Speaking of which, I’m turning my lights off again for the seventh year in a row. Sorry little kids.
NW: Mitch, you got a Mount Trashmore?
MM: I agree with yours. We’re in unison. You don’t want coins. You know what you don’t want? You don’t want candy corn. If I come to your house and you, from your sweaty hand, you throw in loose candy corn into my bag, that’s disgusting.
NW: No, thank you. I’d rather get real corn. Give me some corn nibblets, some loose corn nibblets.