E.T. and Friends: Magical Movie Visitors

E.T. and Friends: Magical Movie Visitors

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 like they did with Star Wars they 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. The 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. Priceless.

This is 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 the E.T. landscape its all clips of Williams narrating, punctuated by largely improvised skits. Some are OK, 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, which of course he does. They then walk into the darkness together. 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.

Pretty sweet, huh? Well since you may not be able to see enjoy the magic that is “E.T. and Friends: Magical Movie Visitors” anytime soon, please enjoy this gallery of screen captures. Its fairly robust.

Special thanks to Doug, a reader of the site, who sent me a copy of this hard to get special, thus making my month worthwhile.

The Retroist

The Retroist is like a BBQ on a bun without the bones. You're only human daddy. Chomp!

This Post Has 27 Comments

  1. Nice article.

    That masked dog creeps me out…

  2. My favorite shot is where E.T. is making a sand “castle” of himself at the beach. Although the sand blob looks more like Jabba the Hutt.

  3. Just the idea of seeing someone in an ET costume on a beach in southern California makes me smile.

  4. My parents taped this off TV for me when I was a kid. I wore that Betamax tape out from watching it so much! It was great to see it again. Thanks for digging it up!

  5. I too had this taped, on Betamax nonetheless. Just like SpaceMonkey, I watched it do death at the age of 6. Definitely remember the spaceship used car lot, and tons of clips from 1950s sci fi movies. Ahh, good times. Would love to see the whole thing.

  6. I have a Very NICE DVD of the whole special. It is better than the clip here. (less video dropouts) I used final cut pro to make the disc. I can make one available if anyone wants.

  7. I would love to have a copy of this special on DVD!! We didn’t have a VCR when this originally aired so I had it on audio cassette for years! I can defray the cost of the blank media and shipping and throw in a couple bucks for your trouble! Let me know!

  8. Hello Matt,

    I am interested in getting a copy of your et and friends, I watched this when I was a kid back in 82. Please email me.

  9. Were there any commercials on this copy of “E.T. and Friends” featured here?

  10. Matt that is a great clip you uploaded on YT

  11. I am very interested in getting a copy of this wonderful program. Please e-mail me if that is possible.

  12. Matt,
    How can I get a copy of that special from you? I can provide Blanks & postage!!!

  13. Hello Matt,

    I would like a copy as well, like Jim I will also pay for the disc and shipping, just email me…Thanks

  14. Hi Matt, If you have time email me. Id like a copy too!

  15. I know I’m out of date, but I would love to go down nostalgia-lane once more and watch the video of E.T. & Friends if its available out there. Thanks.

  16. Jeez.
    I used to watch this on VHS repeatedly as a child.
    I especially loved the Robin Williams improv in between each clip.

    I used to watch this, Sat night live, Joke Book (anyone remember that?), Not Necessarily The News and a slew of others during the WHT days.

    I’d be more than happy to purchase this from anyone who may still have a copy ..


  17. Hi, this was one of my favourite shows when I was a kid, I’d watch it over and over again. Is there any chance that I could get a copy of it? Please e-mail me, Thanks :)

  18. Hi there,

    I’m very interested in getting E.T. & Friends. Is there a way to buy a copy from you?
    Pls let me know. Thanks.

  19. I just got a dvd copy of this, quality is old video tape with a few specks and dodgy drop outs in places. I loved watching this again. Brought back many happy memories.

  20. I grew up watching this special, and when my mom accidentally taped over it, I cried! Please let me know how I can get a copy of this again!!!

  21. I am VERY interested in getting a copy of this show. It would mean the world to my mom who remembers watching it with my little brother before he died. She asked me if there was anyway to find a copy of it out there. Please respond to me. Thank you!!

  22. I also used to watch this on VHS repeatedly as a child – one of our 1st reccordings. I recal the bit where Robin Williams did a sketch where he pressed the time lapse button and kept going backwards again!

  23. I am really bummed. I went to look for my copy recently and for the life of me, I cannot find it.

  24. I’ve gotta watch this thing. Retroist has found so many content that seems custom made for me…so glad i started coming to this site.

  25. hello.
    i am from Greece
    I’m very interested in getting E.T. & Friends.
    Is there a way to buy a copy from you?
    Pls let me know.
    best regards.

  26. I would also like to buy it!!!

  27. Hi. Do you know where I might obtain a copy of E.T. and Friends TV special on DVD from “Doug” or Retroist? Thanks.

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