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All right -- in the late 60s and early 70s, Sid & Marty Krofft were producers of children's TV programs that tended to involve giant puppets or people in suits interacting with regular people, and extraordinarily bad sets and special effects. Psychedelic imagery figured heavily into this.

I did not care for any of the Krofft-produced shows. I found them creepy. But granted, they often had catchy intro songs.

First up: "The Land of the Lost". I had a special hatred for this show, because one of the three main characters was a little blond girl named Holly (which was a moderately rare name to come across back then; also, I was blond as a child), and she was THE MOST USELESS THING OMG. Horrible. (More horrible than "Holly Hobbie"? ... yes. Even though "Land of the Lost" did not cause me to get teased nearly as much as Holly Hobbie did.)

Also I was really freaked out by the Sleestak. Yes, telepresence will try to tell you that the Sleestak were all interesting and noble sci-fi concepts and junk, but in reality, they were people in bad lizard-esque suits with creepy big bug-eyes who walked around with this hunched shuffling gait and did nothing but HISS at you. Ugh.





Next! "Sigmund and the Sea Monsters". I also was not fond of this program. Because it was moronic. And the designs for the sea-monsters, which were all these sort of shambling mounds of seaweed with bug-eyes, kinda scared me. Even though it is obvious that even a small child could outrun them.

I like how the intro itself is like nearly 2 minutes long and tells you an entire long story. Which is fine if you're watching it once, but every episode?




"The Bugaloos" just bored me as a child. Although, thank god for small mercies, they were at least just people in silly outfits with wings on them. (Not horrid shambling monstrosities, I mean.)




But the ultimate Krofft product, IMHO, is "H. R. Pufnstuf", because the Living Island was nothing but people in huge "kooky" costumes, surrounding one lone normal kid. This is another intro that is almost 2 minutes long and tells the entire story. I think for normal broadcast purposes they must have cut it down to just the bit at the end most of the time. For those who may not really get it at first: the titular Pufnstuf is a dragon. (He has a tail, see?) Yes, he is wearing white cowboy boots. No, I don't really know why. And he is also wearing that blue half-sash because he is the Mayor of the island. Of course.




Finally, there is "The Banana Splits". This was a hybrid -- the Kroffts designed these costumes, but the show was actually produced by Hanna-Barbera. Interestingly, it is also the earliest of them (it started in 1968, and Pufnstuf started a year later). I think that this one wins for having the most insanely catchy theme song of any of these shows. (Fun Fact: The "Tra-la-la" song, as it's generally known, has an ear-wormy theme that is very similar to the chorus of Bob Marley and the Wailers' later song, "Buffalo Soldier". The same chorus, though, appears in some Cajun zydeco music, and has been linked to the familiar folk-music song "Shortnin' Bread"; I have some other versions of it, and my guess would be that the writers of the Banana Splits theme borrowed it from its Cajun roots; and also, if I had to put money on it, I'd bet on Bob Marley having gotten it that way, as opposed to his having gotten it from the children's TV show theme.)




You're welcome.

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( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
telepresence
Feb. 18th, 2011 08:54 pm (UTC)
I weep for the poor misunderstood Sleestak!
eregyrn
Feb. 19th, 2011 01:30 am (UTC)
You and only you.
jenlev
Feb. 18th, 2011 11:53 pm (UTC)
Oh my gods, that character was so frelling annoying. Gah! You on the other hand are a delight.

PS. I think I may have to go have a flashback now though..... heh.
eregyrn
Feb. 19th, 2011 01:31 am (UTC)
My thinking even at the time was: if I were transported to a world where there were actual dinosaurs, I would not spend all my time SCREAMING LIKE A NINNY. It would have been cooooool. (I was the sort of little girl who wanted a pet dinosaur of my very own.)
jenlev
Feb. 19th, 2011 01:42 am (UTC)
Exactly and indeed. Because seriously, what good did all that screaming do. Gah.

PS. Indigo has generously offered to play the role of a dinosaur if necessary. After all, an alien has got to mix it up a bit. ;)
green_grrl
Feb. 19th, 2011 12:51 am (UTC)
Blast from the past!!!

I loved the Bugaloos. (Mostly because I wanted to have wings and live in a tree.) And the Banana Splits! They were like The Monkees in animal suits. :D

H.R. Pufnstuf and Sigmund and the Sea Monsters were okay.

But my favorite was Lidsville!
eregyrn
Feb. 19th, 2011 01:29 am (UTC)
See, it's interesting, because for whatever reason the stations where I grew up must not have gotten Lidsville. I had never even heard of it until recently when someone posted a YouTube clip of its intro. Which is truly freaky.

I was the most humongous fan of the Monkees, you can't even imagine. :)
green_grrl
Feb. 19th, 2011 01:50 am (UTC)
And where I grew up we didn't have Sigmund or HR on locally—I saw those when I visited my grandmother's! The vagaries of syndicated shows. But there's the advantage of those 2-minute, full-story intros—you know everything you need to know about Lidsville from that! :DDD
maxineofarc
Feb. 19th, 2011 01:32 am (UTC)
How did it never get through my head that Land of the Lost was a Krofft deal?
eregyrn
Feb. 19th, 2011 01:33 am (UTC)
I think you can be forgiven, because it was low on psychedelia, kookiness and whimsy. I think the only marker of it was that the sleestak were in suits -- but even those were more "realistic" and svelte suits than the Kroffts usually inflicted upon their characters. I forget when I found out they were responsible for it. I don't think I knew as a child. Or cared.

(Are those the worst special effects ever in that intro, or what?)
telepresence
Feb. 19th, 2011 02:47 am (UTC)
I'm pretty certain that with the software currently installed on my PC and a garden hose we could do a better opening sequence than Land of the Lost.
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )