#1 By: Jason, January 14th, 2014 18:55
#2 By: John Hoskinson, January 14th, 2014 19:01
Here's some minutia for you... former Detroit Piston's center Bill Laimbeer played a Sleestak.
#3 By: AnonKopimi, January 14th, 2014 19:01
DOES ANYONE have any visual artifacts showing the entire fringe UFOlogy meme of "Reptaliens" (a la David Icke) predates the Sleestak from LotL?
I strongly suspect that this is where the fringe conspiriology UFO crowd got their meme. No?
#4 By: , January 14th, 2014 19:02
Being a step or two younger, this was the scariest mass-media production that I remember.
The sleastak hissss still makes me shudder.
Still loved the show.
#5 By: Donald Petersen, January 14th, 2014 19:09
Beware, Jason! I got these on DVD several years back, and I was all tickled to watch them, since I hadn't seen any episodes since the 70s. But I must warn you: seasons 2 and 3 do not hold up.
Even in college I remembered that 6-year-old me knew the acting was over-the-top awful. But the stop-motion was pretty dang awesome, and look at who wrote the scripts that first season: Ben Bova! Dorothy Fontana! Norman Spinrad! Larry Niven! Walter Koenig! David Gerrold! Even Theodore Sturgeon stuck his toe in in Season 2. Money can't buy writing talent like that anymore, especially for a Saturday morning kids' show.
But Gerrold and most of the real SF talent left after Season 1. Sturgeon was a lonely exception. The writing got painfully awful after the first season. There's a bright spot: The first season finale works perfectly well as a series finale, so you don't even have to feel particularly obligated to watch the other two seasons.
But as a kid, I was too in love with Torchy, the fire-breathing Dimetrodon, to turn off the TV when a Season Three episode came on. Torchy was cool.
ETA: having trouble with the spoiler tag. Oh, well.
#6 By: Uber Alice, January 14th, 2014 19:14
Sid and Marty Krofft were the Stanley Owsley of my childhood Saturday morning programming.
#7 By: Donald Petersen, January 14th, 2014 19:14
One of only three (not counting Enik). The show could only afford three Sleestak suits, so no matter how many were lurking around the next corner or got fed to their god, you never saw more than three Sleestaks in any shot.
#8 By: Kevin Conod, January 14th, 2014 19:17
*I'm sick of these second-story Sleestaks
Breathing on my dice
Giving me back rubs
When I'm deep in concentration
You start getting all conversatin'
What's a Sleestak?
That's your heart attack
#9 By: Stefan Jones, January 14th, 2014 19:18
I'm having a Plate of Shrimp moment here:
The show's theme song has been going through my head all day.
I'm a bit older than X & J. I watched the show faithfully for a while, but somewhere along the way I started feeling really let down. I got the feeling that they were just making stuff up. Kind of like a childhood version of Lost.
(Also: Where did Will get the glasses?)
It would have been really cool if there was an actual rationale behind all the mysteries. If the kids could figure out, as kids often do, how things work.
#10 By: Sean Lally, January 14th, 2014 19:26
Interesting post. I loved the show as a kid as well. I picked a random episode to watch last year (can't remember the name of it) and it seemed like the longest tv show I'd ever watched, it just went on and on...
Maybe it was a season 2 or 3 episode. (They ran into a confederate soldier in a cave...)
#11 By: , January 14th, 2014 19:27
You do realize, Skipper, that a sizable portion of the readership in this thread can only read your comments like thisssss
#12 By: Stefan Jones, January 14th, 2014 19:29
One of the digital subchannels in my area is running "H.R. Puffnstuff" on weekends.
I'm going to record a few episodes and see if it is as profoundly annoying now as when I was a kid.
#13 By: Donald Petersen, January 14th, 2014 19:36
Oh, it is. I only had to see one episode (around 1998 or so) to realize that it was aimed at a much younger audience than I remembered. I think Sigmund the Sea Monster or even Lidsville might be better.
#14 By: Donald Petersen, January 14th, 2014 19:40
That one was Season One: "Downstream," written by Larry Niven. Probably not his best moment.
Still better than Season Three, unfortunately.
#15 By: Stefan Jones, January 14th, 2014 19:50
You could probably fill a nostalgia channel's entire Saturday with Krofft programming. They did a lot of live-action shows in the 70s, when for a time animation was really expensive.
#16 By: Elusis, January 14th, 2014 20:02
Yeah, I was very small when it was on, and found it too scary to watch.
#17 By: Engineer, January 14th, 2014 20:27
Another fun Krofft tidbit: They built an indoor amusement park based on their shows. In one of the marque rides you sat in a giant pinball and was shot and bumped around a huge multi level pinball machine. It suffered from mechanical problems and the theme park never truly gained traction so it was closed after only six months. Today the building that housed their amusement park is the headquarters of CNN.
#18 By: rsavell, January 14th, 2014 21:04
The Marshall, Will, and Holly,
On a routine expedition,
Met the greatest earthquake ever known.
High on the rapids,
It shook their tiny raft,
And plunged them down a thousand feet below.
To the land of the lost (repeat).
Can't remember what I watched last night,
But this tune's obviously not going anywhere.
#19 By: Ashy Pete, January 14th, 2014 21:08
I'm with Donald on this. I rewatched them a while back and the later seasons really don't hold up at all. Which is too bad as I did love the show. HR Pufnstuf & Lidsville on the other hand are awesome and I will thumb wrestle anyone to the death who says otherwise!
#20 By: Stefan Jones, January 14th, 2014 21:10
Tangentially related strangeness:
The Kroffts won a lawsuit against McDonalds for copping the look and feel of their show for the "McDonaldland" set that 1970s McD commercials were filmed on.
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