Photo Credit: courtesy of Lance Zierlein
Figuring out Halloween costumes can be tricky. You'd like your second grader to dress as fairy. She wants to be a super-scary zombie. Your son wants to wear that freaky Scream mask. You'd prefer he just throw on the football costume your older boy wore three years ago.
And then there's Lance Zierlein. His boys may have their dress up designs on Buzz Lightyear or Army dudes, but Dad takes charge of the costumes, and, in a pretty genius move, he makes sure they're entertaining for the grown-ups.
Past costumes for his kids have included a little Luchador, Dwight Schrute of The Office fame and baby Don Draper. But the looks Zierlein's boys took on last year take the cake (or should that be the candy?): Breaking Bad's Walter White and Jesse Pinkman.
"Do I let my kids watch the show?" the Houston sports talk show host writes in his blog, The Z Report. "Of course not. Do I let them dress like the characters? Of course I do. I will admit that my 5-year-old was my first choice for Walter White, but he told me that if he wore a bald cap and a goatee, he thought people would put rocks in his candy bag (I think he saw that on Charlie Brown). So I turned to my 7-year-old. I knew it would be easy to get the 3-year-old to dress like Jesse Pinkman, but getting Alec to buy into the Walter White outfit was going to be tough. After accepting a bribe of $2 and another pack of football cards, he was in."
The photo has been making the Internet rounds recently, with comments ranging from "simply awesome" to "I'm calling Child Protective Services."
But, Zierlein writes, dressing up his kids as mini meth peddlers is simply an opportunity to get things right when it comes to creating memorable Halloween costumes for his kids (since he can't really remember his own). Plus, he tells iVillage, most people just really dig the get-ups.
"Since I write for the Houston Chronicle and host a sports talk radio show here in Houston, people know all about me and my exploits with my kids, so they all enjoy it here," he says. "When I dressed my son as Dwight Schrute five years ago, and then the other son as Baby Don Draper, people went nuts and now they want to know what I'm going to do each year." Zierlein adds that he never forces his kids to wear a costume they don't want to wear.
"My kids love the attention they get, so if they ask me to dress them up, I will," he says.
So, what's on tap for this Halloween? Zierlein tells us potential costumes include Larry David for his 8-year-old son, Ron Swanson from Parks and Recreation for his 6-year-old son and Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage's Game of Thrones character) for his 4-year-old boy.
"Pulling off Larry David will take quite a bit of effort in terms of creating the right kind of bald cap," he says.
If anyone can do it, we think Zierlein can -- and his kid is sure to get a whole lot of candy for the effort.