When I drove in this morning a co-worked had a bunch of brush and plants in the back of his truck that gave me a total flashback. The stuff looked just like Sigmund from Sigmund and the Sea Monsters and I was thrown back to Saturday mornings as a little kid.
We were an ABC family. As most lower middle class families in the early 70's we had a black and white TV set with rabbit ears...you know the kind of TV where the plastic knob would eventually break off and you'd have to change the channels with a pair of pliars. So at the time, WPVI channel 6 out of Philadelpia put out the strongest signal and between the picture clarity and nobody wanting to go look for pliars, our TV was usually on channel 6..ABC.
As kids this meant a steady Saturday morning diet of Hong Kong Phooey, Buggs Bunny ( the cool unedited ones), Super Friends ( totally awesome), Captain Caveman, and of course the Scooby Doo Laff Olympics. You could rip through a box of Cherrios before American Bandstand would come on signaling that it was time for you to go outside to play and not return until the streetlights came on.
But the thing that struck me today was something completely different. Was I realized today, and what I suspect every one of our parents had to realize, was that Sid and Marty Krofft must have been smoking an enormous ammount of dope. Is it possible that Sid and Marty Krofft was the pen name of Cheech and Chong. I'm not saying it's true, I'm just posing the question.
Think about this line up.
H.R. Puff and Stuff.....PUFF !?!?! PUFF'N STUFF ?!?!? Maybe this stuff was just so obvious I saw right through it.
Don't know anything about these guys. I think they were on NBC which, until my dad finally sprung for a rooftop antenna, excluded them from my personal lineup.
Lidsville...only three things you need to know.
1) The title was Lidsville
2) The premise was some dude cruising around in a world of giant hat creatures
3) Charles Nelson Reilly
Can anyone say Magic Mushrooms ?
Then we hit the meat of the line-up. 1973 to 1975 were my main viewing years and they coincided with Sid and Marty's finest work.
Sigmund and the Sea Monster which brought a little bit of the California surf culture into the homes of east coast kids.
A little known fact is that Sigmund was played by the late great Billy Barty, who would go on to appear in numerous Krofft shows and become, perhaps, the best know little person actor ever.
Land of the Lost.
Sleestacks, T-Rex, Chocka...come on man. This goes in the Saturday morning hall of fame. Name one show on TV today that comes close.
And if there's a guy in his 30's who claims he never hand a impure thought about Holly as a young boy, he's lying. Word.
Far Out Space Nuts and the Lost Saucer
The next two offerings get increasingly less reflective of the 70's counter culture and most opportunistic of the outter space facination of the Star Wars boom. But while less trippy, they're no less bizarre. Both take place on a spaceship and share perhaps the cheesiest most poorly produced special effect of their day. If that wasn't enough the first show starred John Denver ( aka Gilligan) and the second starred Ruth Buzzi and Jim Nabors and some dude in a really really bad costume that had him half dog and half horse called "The Dorse". Talk about a bad trip.
* I was going to post a picture of The Dorse, but Sid and Marty were so embarassed that they've bought up all images and likenesses of the Dorse and there are non to be found on the internet or otherwise.
In general, I think the Krofft offerings were reflective of the transitional culture that was the 70's. Starting with the blatantly trippy Puff and Stuff in 1970....and slowly evolving, as did the culture of that time, into a more mainstream, conventional, and sadly, more corporate existance...but without ever completly losing its psychedelic lilt ( Ruth Buzzi and Jim Nabors...come on...you know that was hatched after someone found an old bag of something in a kitchen drawer).
Never was that transformation more reflective in their one last Saturday morning offering for kids. The sad but true
Bay City Rollers Show