No, Sid and Marty Krofft productions were not the best television ever. They were among the worst.
They were terrible, awful, rotten, garbage, with the possible exception of Land of the Lost, but only season 1.
Were they often the only kids show on the air? Yes.
Is that the only reason they were watched? Yes
Was the writing, acting, and story telling generally awful? Yes
According to a friend's older brother who worked for Sid and Marty Krofft, they mightily enjoyed la doobage, and it was instrumental in their work, and supposedly, the 'H.R.' stands for 'Hand Rolled.'
Think about the theme song in that light!
I thought it was OK when I was a kid, but I was very small. I remember liking Sigmund the Sea Monster better.
I tried to watch it with my then 7-year old daughter a couple years back and neither of us could stand it. The acting was appalling, the stories stupid and the humor weak at best.
Thanks for posting. Sid and Marty Krofft were the best! No one puts this much imagination and creativity into kids shows anymore. Most kids shows since the 80's are thinly masked infomercials to sell toys.
I'm pretty much constantly thankful for not being alive during the 70's.
Wow a lot of hate on for the H.R. Pufnstuf. I for one have enjoyed it thoroughly as has my 4 year old. I'd sooner watch this then say Dora and her ilk.
Only seventeen episodes? The show seemed to have run forever, but I guess as a kid repetition doesn't sour you on things.
I was seven or so when the show first ran, and found it kind of juvenile. (Kids are very sensitive to what audiance a show is pitched at and disdain stuff "below" them. But back then, we'd still watch kiddie stuff, because there was only so much on back then.)
What really got under my skin RE Pufnstuf was the strange show-biz vibe. I was a square little kid, and all that dancing and staginess and shtick (and laugh track!) really bothered me and puzzled me. The closing credits run over this scene where an animal-costumed woman with an African American voice belts out what sounds like a gospel song about needing someone to care about you . . . and it turns out to be H.R. and not Jesus. The show seemed to be targeted at some variant model of American kid.
The "This" network showed a Pufnstuf theatrical movie last year. I sat through it. As I remembered, lots of singing and slapstick.
I kind of felt the same way about Pee-Wee's Playhouse. And to a lesser extent Sharon, Lois, and Bram. Not so much Today's Special, though; that was pretty nifty. (Anyone else remember those at all?)
HR Pufnstuf was the thing that was pretty much ripped off wholesale to create Ronald McDonald et al, wasn't it? That's pretty much all I've heard about it up until now.
Yes! The Brothers Krofft were design consultants on McDonaldland. McDonald's settled out of court with them.
I was too young to have remembered, but when I was a toddler, my parents and I lived in St. Croix for a few months. Based on what they told me, TV broadcasts (at that time) were made from Puerto Rico and were in Spanish (I think they had local radio). The movie theater was a drive-in and had a laundromat, but the films were in Spanish. One night it was H.R. Pufnstuf -- in Spanish -- so that was the first move I ever saw.
I remember that about 10 years later, the Krofft Puppets were on The Barbara Mandrell Show and, shortly after that, Oral Roberts.
Presumably, everyone here knows about the Kroffts' lawsuit with McDonalds...
Obligatory video link. Surprised nobody beat me to it...
"Today's Special," with the magic hat, the talking mouse, and the mannequin in the mall? Yep, I remember that one pretty well. The puppet night-guard kind of creeped me out, but I did enjoy the show. As a kid, I thought living in a mall would be the greatest thing ever! Then you learn about floor polishers, and security gates that lock down stores. . .come to think of it, the blush was off that rose as soon as I saw "Dawn of the Dead."
That's sort of the thing, innit? As a kid, I did enjoy the re-runs of "H.R. Pufnstuf," "Land of the Lost" (although the updated version was better, IMHO), and my particular favorite, "Dynawoman and Electragirl." Around the age of seven or eight they all fell out of my favor, replaced by G.I. Joe, Transformers, pretty much anything with a gun, robot or ghosts.
Now when I see those shows, they are utter unwatchable garbage. But that's the thing - I have to give credit to the Kroffts for creating shows that did inspire me and hold my attention, at the time. Most days, that's all you can ask.
What the world needs is an H. R. Pufnstuf and H. R. Giger mashup.
Every fall, I remember waiting to see the Saturday morning cartoon previews with great anticipation; at least one of the local stations did a half hour show one evening featuring the new shows. Then 1969-1970 rolled around, and the entire lineup had apparently sold out to The Sid and Marty Krofft Revue: bad costumes, bad plots, bad acting. Not a single new animated feature in the lot, and a giant step down in quality. As a pre-tween, I just thought the new material was creepy and poorly done. It made me angry enough that I wrote a letter to the network telling them what complete crap I thought their new shows were.
Man, I remember those preview shows! Sometimes they'd get minor celebrities to host them.
I think that economics shoved animation off of Saturday morning for a while. I guess it was cheaper to stick Chuck McCann and Bob Denver in cheap costumes and film them than hire animators.
The whole S&M (Sid and Marty- there has to be a joke in there somewhere about that) krofft stuff seriously creeped me out as a kid. Lidsville literally gave me nightmares . the bugaloos, eww..just eww...I guess I wasnt ready for it then - but they still creep me out to this very day. much like Peewee herman does today as well.