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Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by JEANYLASER, Apr 29, 2009.
HAHA! That is terrible, but at the same time ironically funny.
Is there any actual reason behind why Dr. Blinky ended up becoming one of Witchiepoo's flunkies?
Actually, I decided to compile list ratings list for each of the Kroffts' shows (again, traditional 4-star rating system).
- H.R. PUFNSTUF (1969-1970) ****
- THE BUGALOOS (1970-1971) ***1/2
- LIDSVILLE (1971-1972) *
- SIGMUND AND THE SEA MONSTERS (1973-1975) ***
- LAND OF THE LOST (1974-1977) ***
- THE LOST SAUCER (1975-1976) **
- FAR OUT SPACE NUTS (1975-1976) **
- DONNY & MARIE (1976-1979) Haven't seen enough of it.
- THE KROFFT SUPERSHOW (1976-1978) Haven't seen enough of it.
- THE BRADY BUNCH HOUR (1977-1978) Haven't seen it.
- THE KROFFT SUPERSTAR HOUR (1978-1980) Haven't seen it.
- PINK LADY AND JEFF (1980-1981) *
- BARBARA MANDRELL AND THE MANDRELL SISTERS (1980-1981) Haven't seen it.
- PRYOR'S PLACE (1984-1985) *
- D.C. FOLLIES (1987-1989) **1/2
- LAND OF THE LOST (1991-1993) Haven't seen it.
The only thing I can remember about the Superstar Hour was they were trying to make some more Pufnstuf episodes. But only with Puf and Dr. Blinky. No Jimmy, no Witchiepoo, not much to sink your teeth into. At least Puf got to jam with the Bay City Rollers.
Much more enjoyable was the Krofft's 1973 show at the Hollywood Bowl (I think Nick aired it ONCE many moons ago). Here you got to see Jack Wild, Johnny Whittaker, several Puf characters, AND the Brady Bunch kids sharing the same stage.
It's the ultimate piece of Seventies CHEESE, but still holds a special place in my heart.
I had the complete series box set at one point (for whatever reason) but I think my dad loaned it to a friend. It's a pretty cheesy show, (aren't they all?) but it's probably one of their best. I really enjoyed it when I watched it.
I saw THE WORLD OF SID & MARTY KROFFT AT THE HOLLYWOOD BOWL special, it pops up on YouTube every now and then; it's pretty good, as far as meshing different Krofft shows and characters together... the show they put on really doesn't have much to offer as far as production design or anything like that goes, but other than that, it's enjoyable.
How does it compare to the original 1974 series?
You know, after all this time, I think I've pretty much come to a point where I can only take just about everything Sid & Marty Krofft say with a grain of salt... not only are there so many inconsistencies with their stories (was their father really a puppeteer or a clock salesman, was Sid really born in Greece or Canada, are their birth names really Cydas & Marshopopoulous Yolas or Sidney & Martin Krofft, etc.), but they keep saying over and over again for decades that they're bringing back their older shows (Pufnstuf, Lidsville, Sigmund, ElectraWoman, etc.) and making movies of them, but nothing ever comes to be, with the exception of that terrible LOTL movie with Will Ferrell. Honestly, I haven't heard any updates with this Pufnstuf movie they were supposedly working on with Justin Bieber (yes, Justin Bieber) as Jimmy, or these Lidsville and Sigmund movies that Conrad Vernon is directing. I mean, they've been saying they're going to do these movies since the 90s!
I guess you can say they really are "puffing stuff".
So it's been announced that the Kroffts are developing a pilot for a reboot of SIGMUND AND THE SEA MONSTERS.
Et tu, Brute?
Yeah, but you got to admit. The Kroffts are heading this one up themselves. There's got to be something there, right?
I don't know. They've been saying for years they have movies in development with Sony, DreamWorks, and another studio, but there's never any updates or news about them. And now, with DW shutting down its animation studio, I don't even know if that LIDSVILLE movie they were developing with Conrad "Gingy" Vernon is ever going to see the light of day.
I think I might have been a little harsh on my rating of LIDSVILLE. It's not one of my favorite shows of theirs, but it's not at all terrible: it's just far too similar to Pufnstuf in terms of premise and characters.
But anyway, the Kroffts have a new show premiering on Nickelodeon tomorrow with Cesar Millan's son called MUTT & STUFF. Could they not have come up with a better title that didn't sound like they were blatantly trying to create another Pufnstuf? Looking at the pics on Facebook though, it looks like if the Kratts had a show with a Barney-esque character as their mascot. I may check it out just to see what it's like.
I swear there was another thread where we were talking about Krofft shows, but I can't seem to find it. So, I'll just put this here.
I forget how I stumbled onto this a few days ago, but I was reading some of the Agony Booth reviews of the Pink Lady And Jeff show, as well as the TV Tropes page, and something hit me.
The big complaint that seems to be consistent is that they weren't able to perform their own songs that made them hits in their native country, thus depriving audiences of this:
Yep. A Japanese Disco tune about a Spanish woman with cheesy Spanish sounding music motifs.
Naturally, the obvious reasoning sounds like Executive Meddling and that American Audiences wouldn't appreciate anything that wasn't already a well known song. But the other day it hit me like a ton of bricks.
International song copyright!
Now, a seasoned anime fan that actually bothers with the technical production and acquisition of shows will point out that there are just some songs you can't clear for American release. Some of it goes into butt backwards territory, as Japanese programs that use Western music can't be negotiated for Western release (the American releases of Speed Grapher have generic sounding music instead of Duran Duran's Girls on Film). Of course, a lot of Japanese music rights are impossible to negotiate for American releases od things. I once saw a Fist of the North Star DVD that didn't have the freaking epic "YOU WAS SHOCK!!" theme.
So naturally, I thought. DUH! That's got to be part of the reason. They could only quickly and cheaply (well, relatively) American music, and any performances of actual Pink Lady songs were out of the question without intense negotiation. Meanwhile fast forward to 2003 (or so) and Puffy Ami Yumi can perform their own hits on their own cartoon because the cartoon was made to sell their music, and CN made a better deal and actually negotiated for them.
So I don't know if that's the official exact reason, but that seems like a very likely situation.
PINK LADY & JEFF was thrown together haphazardly anyway. You know how that show got started? Fred Silverman at NBC saw a clip of Pink Lady on the news and decided, "Hey, these two Japanese girls are hot! Let's give them a show!" He didn't even care what the show was, he just wanted to give them a show, so he turned to the Kroffts to create it for him. He lied and said they spoke English, but when the Kroffts met with them, they learned they didn't understand English, so all their dialogue and such on the show they had to learn phonetically. Sid came up with the idea of having the show take place inside a giant Japanese music box (kind of like how Trans-Siberian Orchestra's Christmas concert takes place inside a giant trunk in the attic), but when he propsed that to Silverman, he was like, "Nah, just do it like DONNY & MARIE." Then, of course, there were problems with Jeff Altman and his agent too, because his agent felt the show was all about him and that his name should be in the title (hence PINK LADY & JEFF). Even the Kroffts felt the concept of a show about a Jewish comedian introducing two Japanese girls to American culture to be a tad odd. Then, of course, there was the matter of a running gag that NBC forced where they would strip down to bikinis for "hot tub time" at the end of each show just because they kept wanting to see them in bikinis.
The Kroffts' current show, MUTT & STUFF, is meh at best. It doesn't really feel too much like a Krofft show as it does more like a cross between THE DOG WHISPERER and BARNEY & FRIENDS. Ironically, it has Henson puppeteers rather than Krofft puppeteers (Drew Massey and Victor Yerrid).
I'm certainly aware of the Kroffts' work, but I really haven't seen enough to give a solid opinion. Based on the handful of clips I've seen, their shows all look pretty surreal.
Random Krofft stuff:
One of those Saturday Morning Preview specials. (By the way, I've been checking out a lot of these old preview specials on YT lately. Boy, were they cheesy!):
An episode of Superstar Hour (later renamed "The Big City Rollers Show"):
Anyone checked out that book on the Brady's Variety series? I'll bet there's some interesting info in it.
Susan Olsen and Mike Lookinland discuss the Variety Hour. A few interesting anecdotes:
As far as latter-day Krofft actors goes, apparently John Anthony Bailey from Wonderbug later worked in the adult film industry. But I'll always remember him for his all-too brief stint on Happy Days as Richie's drummer "Sticks."
I always felt that the Kroffts' shows were great in the beginning, up until the original LAND OF THE LOST, after that, it seemed their shows had a steady decline, between the really bad acting, excessively recycled premises, less puppetry, and an either overly abused or really underwhelming laugh track.
But you want to see another poor Krofft show? Check this out, this is their answer to SST:
I did check out a little bit of Pryor's Place some time ago. Didn't think it was necessary. Were kids really clamoring to see Richard Pryor on Saturday mornings?
Had no idea these guys were still making shows. Anyways I just googled their new show "Mutt and Stuff" and the costume/puppet character for that show looks suspiciously like H.R. Puffnstuff.
I thought the title sounded suspiciously like H.R. PUFNSTUF.
I thought live action shows for preschoolers were on their way out.
Separate names with a comma.