In the 1993 children’s movie Hocus Pocus, Bette Midler plays one of three witches who’s just been woken from a hundreds-of-years sleep. She and her sisters have returned to torment the people of Salem, Massachusetts. (This is one of those movies that envisions the Salem witch trials as something that involved real witches, not as a way that a real American town persecuted its women.)
In what might be the movie’s best scene, Midler hypnotizes a Halloween party full of adults by singing her version of “I Put A Spell On You.” It’s a fully silly version of the immortally spooky blues hymn that Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, the man who basically invented rock ‘n’ roll theatricality, wrote in 1956.
Last month, Kelly Clarkson — inaugural American Idol winner, current coach on The Voice, singer of what might be the single best pop song of the ’00s — began hosting The Kelly Clarkson Show, her very own NBC daytime talk show. And as Vulture points out, Clarkson did something cool on today’s Halloween episode. She and her two backup singers dressed up as the Hocus Pocus witches, and they sang “I Put A Spell On You.”
That, in itself, is pretty good. But Clarkson also sang her own version of the Screamin’ Jay Hawkins original, not the Bette Midler version from the movie. And she sang the absolute hell out of it. It’s good TV. Watch it below.
Shout out to Sarah Jessica Parker’s character in Hocus Pocus. I know she’s evil and everything, but I bet I could change her.