You may not have heard of Sid and Marty Krofft, but you will have heard of some of their strange and often surreal kids TV shows that they have created over the years. These brothers produced some of the most well known kids TV during the 70s and 80s, with shows that often used weird puppets, creepy costumed creations, surreal and convoluted plots, low budget effects and saturated colours.
Their first production was the now legendary Saturday morning show H.R. Pufnstuf. The show ran for 17 episodes in late 1969, a psychedelic trip into the minds of these mad geniuses. All based on the crazy Living Island, where everything was alive and talked. There are those that grew-up watching the show, that believe it was packed full of hidden stoner references. That H.R. Pufnstuf actually meant "Hand Rolled Puffing Stuff".
The brothers were born in Canada, but moved by the father eventually to New York. Their love of puppetry lead them to tour and perform during the 1940s and into the 50s. Sid worked in both Europe and America, in vaudeville and circuses such as Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, while Marty was practicing his art in New York. It was their knowledge and skills as puppeteers that eventually would lead them into television and on the road to what has become cult status among those who witnessed their creative craziness poured onto screens in vibrant mind-bending colours.
In the early 70s the made shows like, The Buggaloos (1970). The Krofft’s twisted take on The Monkees. Involving a British band, insect costumes, flying surfboards, and their nemesis Benita Bizarre. As with H.R. Pufnstuf the show only ran for one season, as did their next venture Lidsville (1971). The list goes on with Sigmund and the Sea Monsters (1973), and many others over the years. Apart from costume and puppet based fantasy shows, the pair did venture into live action and superhero based shows like Land Of The Lost (1974) and Electra Woman and Dyna Girl (1974). They also produced shows for popular bands of the time, with the Donny & Marie show in 1976 also known as The Osmond Family Show and The Krofft Superstar Hour (renamed the Bay City Rollers Show after only 8 episodes in 1978). Phew...!!!
I could go on, but some of the Krofft shows deserve posts all of their own. Over the coming weeks look out for Captain's Blog posts on the theme of Kid TV featuring the works of the bizarre brothers.