Saturday, December 08, 2012

Geek TV: H.R. Pufnstuf!

pufnstufConcept: British kid with a magic flute is abducted by crazy witch, but escapes and allies himself with the mayor of Living Island, who happens to be a dragon who wears cowboy boots.


Total Episodes: 17

Original Air Dates: September 6, 1969 – September 4, 1971

Original Network: NBC

Geek Factor: 8

Characters:

Jimmy (Jack Wild): British boy who possesses the magic flute Freddy. Lured to Living Island by Witchiepoo, who desires Freddy for her own.

H.R. Pufnstuf (Voice of Lennie Weinrib): Mayor of Living Island, Pufnstuf is Jimmy's best friend, wears cowboy boots, and is your friend when things get rough.

pufnstuf2Freddy The Flute (Voice of Joan Gerber): Magic talking flute. Other than being able to talk, I'm not sure what was supposed to be so special about him!

Cling and Clang: The Rescue Racer Crew that work for Pufnstuf.

Wilhelmina W. Witchiepoo (Billie Hayes): A kooky old witch who rides a large broom with a steering wheel called the Vroom Broom.


Orson Vulture, Seymour Spider, Stupid Bat (Voiced by Lennie Weinrub, except for Seymour, voiced by Walker Edmiston): Witchiepoo's henchmen.

Dr. Blinky (Voiced by Walker Edmiston): Owl and medical expert.

Judy the Frog (Voiced by Joan Gerber): One of Pufnstuf's friends, sort of a tribute to Judy Garland?

Ludicrus Lion (Voiced by Walker Edmiston): Owns a horse-drawn wagon from which he peddles assorted goods.

pufnstuf4Geek Guest-Stars: N/A

Geek Pedigree:

Okay, so this is breaking my own “rule” here, but this show WAS the geek pedigree for all the Sid and Marty Krofft shows that followed, like Bugaloos, Lidsville, Sigmund and the Sea Monsters, and so forth! Billy Hayes had previously appeared in Li'l Abner as Mammy Yokum, and played Maw in an episode of The Monkees, and then reprised her role as Mammy Yokum for a TV movie of Abner. She later played Weenie the Genie on Lidsville, guested in episodes of Bewitched, Wonderbug, and Tabitha, played Witchiepoo again for The Bay City Rollers Show, ahd has done incidental voices for a number of cartoons since then, such as Darkwing Duck, Duckman, Johnny Bravo, Teen Titans (she was Mother Mae-Eye), and most recently was Cackling Witch on Shrek Forever After.


pufnstuf43Lennie Weinrib had previously been seen onscreen in episodes of Tales of Terror, The Twilight Zone, My Favorite Martian, The Munsters, and The Man From UNCLE, and then right aroudn the time of voicing Pufnstuf, he also voiced Roland and Ratfink in the Ratfink cartoons. He later voiced characters in the cartons Doctor Dolittle, Help! It's the Hair Bear Bunch, Lidsville, The Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm Show, and many, many others. He also wrote all the episodes of Pufnstuf! Joan Gerber had done voices on Matty's Funnies With Beanie and Cecil, The Bugs Bunny Show, Roger Ramjet and others, and lata voiced Mata Hairi on Lancelot Link: Secret Chimp, Mrs. Ring-a-Ding and others on Lidsville, Queen Nemone on Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle, and many, many other roles. Her last credited role was Klunkin Woman in an episode of Duck Dodgers.


Walker Edmiston had provided voices for Time for Beany, Thunderbolt the Wondercult, Willy the Wolf, Everything's Ducky, and others, appeared onscreen as Mark in The Beach Girls and the Monster, guested in episodes of Batman, Get Smart, The Monkees, Star Trek (okay, voice only in “Amok Time” and “The Gamesters of Triskelion”), and several episodes of The Wild Wild West. He later did various voices for The Bugaloos and Lidsville, did the voice of baby Caesar in Escape From the Planet of the Apes, appeared in a few episodes of Mission: Impossible, voiced Big Daddy Ooze, Blurb and others on Sigmund and the Sea Monsters, voiced several Hanna-Barbera characters for Yogi's Gang, a few episodes of The Six Million Dollar Man, and voiced Enik in Land of the Lost, among many other roles! His geekiest credit of the last 20 years may be voicing Robert Frank, AKA The Whizzer, in a trio of episodes of Spider-Man (1997).
pufnstuf5

Sharon Baird had played Kitty in Walt Disney Presents: Annette, and went on to play Funky Rat and Peter Platter on The Bugaloos, Shirley Pufnstuf in the Pufnstuf movie, Raunchy Rabbitt on Lidsville, Charlie the Owl on New Zoo Revue, Big Daddy Ooze on Sigmund and the Sea Monsters, Sa on Land of the Lost, and portrayed Frodo for the 197 The Lord of the Rings.

Angelo Rossitto, who was the performer in the Clang and Seymour Spider costumes, was an Underwater Creature in the 1929 The Mysterious Island, Angeleno in Freaks, Luigi in Spooks Run Wild, Toby in The Corpse Vanishes (yes, the same movie I recently covered in my Mystery Science 3000 posts), was one of the Saucer Men in Invasion of the Saucer Men, appeared in an Adventures of Superman, played Terry Bite in The Adventures of Super Pup unaired pilot, guested on a Man From UNCLE, performed Mr. Big and Lead Singer of the Hat Band in Lidsville, played Grazbo in Dracula Vs. Frankenstein, guested in The Incredible Hulk (1980), and many other appearances. He died in 1991.

Harry Monty was another costume performer, he'd played a Mutant in Invaders From Mars, was in the professor Sheepdip costume for The Adventures of Super Pup, a child ape in Planet of the Apes, appeared in five episodes of Lost in Space in five different roles, and later played General Sothoz in an episode of Buck Rogers in the 25th Century. He died in 1999. Felix Silla's career was covered in my post about Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, for which he played Twiki... but just because I like ya, I'll remind you that among his roles, he was Cousin Itt on The Addams Family.

DVD Release: Complete series.

Website: http://pufnstuf.net/ seems to be a good site for Krofft news, as well as anything Pufnstuf related. You can also go to http://krofft.net/ for overall Krofft stuff!

Notes: This was a very trippy show, but beloved by many! There was also a Pufnstuf theatrical movie, which guest starred Mama Cass and Martha Raye.

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