'H.R. Pufnstuf,' the complete 1969 television series
Sid and Marty Krofft brought us some of the best television ever. While we can debate which of their fantastic, trippy, off-beat explosions of color should be regarded as 'best,' H.R. Pufnstuf remains at or near the very top of any list.
Gullible 11 year-old Jimmy ignorantly gets in a strange boat with his magic flute. Lo and behold, who sent that boat his way? None other than that wacky old witch, Witchiepoo, that's who! With a wave of her wand, Jimbo's pleasure cruise is over, and the boat attacks him! Luckily, H.R. Pufnstuf, fashionable Mayor of the Living Island, is on the scene. With his reliable deputies Cling and Clang, Pufnstuf rescues Jimmy and a famous friendship is born.
I am amazed at how good these shows still are! They only made 17 episodes, but that doesn't surprise me. Each story is a just a variation on Witchiepoo trying to grab Jimmy's flute. The storytelling didn't keep up with visual art. The costumes are wonderful! The set design pure Krofft! Billie Hayes' as Witchiepoo is just fantastic. She plays evil so goofily that my daughter and nieces, all of whom are under 10, fell in love with her instantly. Jack Wild is Jimmy, a dancing machine (figuratively, in one episode.) His opening credit jig always makes me smile, but be sure to watch for the episode where he Moonwalks long before Michael Jackson.
As you can tell, I'm a fan. The complete set of videos hold a place of honor in my collection and has also served as a gift to many friends and their kids.
Previously on Boing Boing: