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


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).

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: seems to be a good site for Krofft news, as well as anything Pufnstuf related. You can also go to 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.

Comic Book Ads!

The first item this time around comes from Alarming Tales #5, and it's a pretty cool ad -- or at least, the item is pretty cool! The ad certainly makes it look as though the "jet engine" there is similar to the rocket engines for model rockets!

Christmas Comics Countdown Day 8: Bugs Bunny's Xmas Funnies #8, Part 8!


Friday, December 07, 2012

Toy Spotlight: More Bendies!

Here's a parade of bendies I hadn't gotten to in previous installments!

First, this rather blocky-looking Superman with a limited color palette!

Green Hornet bendy!

1966 Captain America bendy! I've always wondered if they made other Marvel characters!

Government Comics!

This time around, Yogi Bear is going to teach us about earthquake preparedness... because if there's one person you want to trust to teach this kind of information, it's a talking bear who wears a porkpie hat and steals pic-a-nic baskets!

Christmas Comics Countdown Day 7: Bugs Bunny's Xmas Funnies #8, Part 7!


Thursday, December 06, 2012

Kirby Kovers!

The first Kirby Kover this week is Marvel Premiere #31, featuring Woodgod... and I guess that if you're going for bizarre in the 1970s, Kirby was the go-to guy at Marvel!

Dog of the Geek: Mr. Peabody!

Breed: Unknown

Original Appearances: “Peabody's Improbable History” segments of Rocky and His Friends

Other Appearances: Same segments on The Bullwinkle Show as well as all kinds of merchandise

Biography: Mr. Peabody is a scientific genius who adopted his boy, Sherman, for company. Realizing that boys need running room, Mr. Peabody invented the WABAC Machine in order that they could travel back in time and participate in historical events – although these historical events tend to be a bit cockeyed compared to what's taught in schools. At the conclusion of each historical adventure, Mr. Peabody makes a pun about what's happened that makes Sherman wince.

Powers: Ability to speak, uncharacteristic of other dogs in his reality, apparently

Group Affiliation: None

Miscellaneous: One of my favorite Bullwinkle segments, and it's fun how they turned the whole "boy and his dog" thing around!

Christmas Comics Countdown Day 6: Bugs Bunny's Xmas Funnies #8, Part 6!


Wednesday, December 05, 2012

The Indexible Hulk #41!

Amazing Spidey Annual 2Issue: Amazing Spider-Man Annual #3

Title: “...To Become an Avenger!”

Credits: Written by Stan Lee, layouts by John Romita, pencils by Don Heck, Inks by Mike Esposito (as Mickey Demeo), letters by Art Simek.

Supporting Cast: Not applicable

Villain: Not applicable

Hulk Intelligence:

Guest-Stars: The Avengers (Captain America, Goliath, Wasp, Iron Man, Thor, Hawkeye), Daredevil. I suppose I could say Spider-Man, but this was Spidey's annual, and the Hulk was actually the guest-star, and probably considered the villain!

Plot: The Avengers have been meeting, and Captain America decides to offer Spider-Man membership in the Avengers. Hawkeye agrees, but Goliath wants him tested, and the Wasp votes no, as she hates spiders in general. Thor and Iron Man appear undecided. It's decided that they try to learn more about Spidey, and Hawkeye suggests they send for Dareevil, as he's worked with the Webhead. Knowing (somehow) that DD is sensitive to high-frequency signals, they summon him that way. When DD shows up, he gives Spider-Man his highest recommendation. So, the Avengers decide to split up and track Spidey down! Thor is the one who finds him, but Spidey wants to think about the offer. Later, as Peter Parker, he decides that he'd get more respect from the Daily Bugle and J. Jonah Jameson as an Avenger, so he decides to head over to Avengers Mansion. There, Captain America says Spidey must be tested, and when Spidey gets angry, he starts a fight with the other Avengers. This proves his courage, but the final test is to bring the Hulk back to Avengers Mansion, as he's been at large in the area. Spidey webs over to the Daily Bugle, where he overhears that the Hulk's been sighted near a downtown Gamma Ray Research center, and he's off. Spidey and the Hulk battle for a bit, but the Hulk's too strong for Spidey, and Spidey's too fast for the Hulk. When the Hulk is accidentally bathed in gamma radiation, he turns back to Banner. Spidey feels sorry for him, and decides that the Hulk deserves help, not punishment. While he's deciding this, Banner turns back into the Hulk, but before he gets his full strength, Spidey staggers the Hulk with a punch and webs him up... but then decides to set him free. Spidey returns to the Avengers and say he couldn't find the Hulk, and the Avengers are disappointed (not knowing Spidey could've passed the test). Spidey changes back to Peter and walks home, deciding that this is fate's way of telling him he's a loner.

Invention Exchange: The gadget in Avengers Mansion Goliath uses to summon Daredevil.

Reprinted In: Giant-Size Spider-Man #2, Marvel Tales #181, Marvel Masterworks #22, Spider-Man's Greatest Team-Ups, Essential Spider-Man #2, Marvel Masterworks: The Amazing Spider-Man #5.

Notes: Not much happens with the Hulk per se here, obviously... Spidey, “loner” that he is, would headline most of the issues of Marvel Team-Up starting in the 1970s for its 150-issue run, as well as guest-starring in pretty much every Marvel comic at least once or twice, and eventually joined the Avengers. The Wasp's attitude towards Spidey is explained away as the natural enmity between wasps and spiders.

Comic Reading Library: Kona, Monarch of Monster Isle #1!


Christmas Comics Countdown Day 5: Bugs Bunny's Xmas Funnies #8, Part 5!


Sunday, December 02, 2012

The Fleischer Popeyes; Let's You And Him Fight

As this cartoon opens, we don't get the usual Popeye singing his theme song! Instead, we've got a long shot of a boxing training camp, and on one side, we see Popeye warming up, and on the other side, Bluto. A helpful set of loudspeakers tells us they are two of the roughest, toughest fighters in history in the battle of the century (well, honestly, how would they have guessed that Superman was going to fight Muhammed Ali in the 1970s?). Bluto's introduced as the champ, and he's fighting a practice dummy, and Popeye, on the other hand, is introduced a the contender -- and now he gets to sing his song, as he's jumping rope with a string of sausages. Popeye's not content to jump with his feet, he also bounces over the sausage rope with his bottom as well as his head.

008-02Bluto, seeing this, works out with a punching bag until it pops, and then puts a 1,000 lb. weight in its place, and he Transformation Punches it into a car, which drives off! I don't remember Bluto ever demonstrating the Transformation Punch before, and thought that was only Popeye's bit. He looks over at Popeye, who starts punching a donkey in the behind, who responds by kicking Popeye in the jaw.  This goes on a few times, but then when the donkey does one final kick with both back legs, it breaks its horseshoes! Popeye turns back to Bluto and laughs.

008-03We then see a poster, "Big fight to-note, Bluto the Champ vs. Popeye the Sailor," and the fight is taking place at "Yank'em Stadium." Inside, Popeye's getting a rub-down (not by any character from the Popeye series), while Olive tries to talk Popeye out of the fight, saying if he fights, she won't see him again (oddly, Olive has a bit of a Brooklyn accent). When Popeye doesn't respond, she storms out, after which Popeye says, "I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam!" Popeye's then called out to the ring.

The referee announces the contestants (Bluto gets boos, Popeye cheers). When Bluto enters the ring, he does so by pulling up the post at the corner, walking under it, and pushing it back in place. Popeye, on the other hand, just rips the ropes in half and ties them together behind him. Wimpy, munching on burgers, his struck by a hand of the clock, his head hitting the bell to start the fight. Shortly, Bluto gets an arm around Popeye and starts pummeling him. Popeye gets some punches in on Bluto's gut, and the ref pushes them apart. Bluto starts punching Popeye back into the ropes, so when Popeye bounces back he can punch him again. The bell rings to end the round.

008-05Bluto goes to sit in his corner, and pulls his shirt up to cool off. Between his panting and his second's fanning him with a towel, Bluto's tattoo of a sailing ship goes for a cruise around Bluto's torso and back to the front again. The next round starts and Bluto goes back to bashing Popeye back into the ropes again! We cut to ringside, where an announcer for WHAM radio is commentating on the fight, and he gets into it so much he starts punching the people next to him! Back at Olive's house, she's listening to the radio and fretting away.

008-06Eventually, she starts crying enough tears to fill up a big pot as the announcer says that Popeye is down! Olive realizes she needs to do something, and gets a can of spinach off the shelf, breaks down the door of her house, and rushes to the stadium! She gets there as Popeye's knocked for a loop at the edge of the ring, and she hands him the spinach, saying, "Fight, ya palooka, fight!" Popeye eats the spinach (we get a bit of fanfare here, but not the classic one yet) and, as his theme plays, Popeye is reinvigorated, and goes after Bluto!

008-07As Popeye's fists hammer into Bluto, his fists literally become hammers (as the Anvil Chorus plays). Olive cheers him on, getting so worked up that she collapses on Popeye's stool in the corner, and Popeye has to fan her off with a towel! The next round begins, and Popeye continues his pummeling of Bluto. Bluto pulls the post off the corner of the ring, hits Popeye with it, and starts tieing him up with the ropes! Popeye, however, first head-butts Bluto, and then inhales to break the ropes off of him!

008-08Popeye punches Bluto so hard that he flies out of the ring, breaking through some supports, and then bouncing off a far wall and back to the ring, where he lands on Popeye! The ref announces Bluto as the winner, but Popeye says, "Oh, yeah?" and punches the ref through Bluto's stomach! Popeye sings the last line of his theme song as we iris out.

So... what can I say about this one? Wimpy is kind of wasted, being used in just the one shot... and Olive seems to be acting more like the inspiration for Rocky's love Adrienne than herself! Plus, how does Bluto get the best of Popeye for even a second after Popeye eats his spinach? On the other hand, Popeye was known for doing his share of prizefighting in the comics when he needed money, so that's true to the character. Still, so much of this cartoon feels like it's out of character that I have to give this one two cans of spinach out of five.

CBT: Donald Duck in Disneyland!

Walt Disney's Donald Duck in Disneyland00001

Christmas Comics Countdown, Day 2: Bugs Bunny's Christmas Funnies #8, Part 2!