What do you get when you mix a grown up Eddie Munster with an over-the-top Charles Nelson Reilly strained through the trippiest Children's TV show producers of the 70's?
When you're a kid, is there anything better than Saturday morning? Back before 24-hour cartoon networks, Saturday A.M. was prime TV viewing time. Ah for those guilt free hours spent rotting our minds, ruining our vision and diminishing our attention spans. I'm going to use Saturday entries of this blog to celebrate some of the more notable children's shows of my youth. Please note: these aren't necessarily the best shows, nor are they my particular favorites. Simply they are ones that have stood the test of time, whether through innovation or quality (or lack thereof) or just plain weirdness. Which brings us to today's subject.
Direct from the utterly bizarre minds of Sid and Marty Krofft comes the Koo-koo-kookiest, ki-ki-kickest, groo-groo-grooviest of Saturday morning Live Action Shows - Lidsville. Like many of Sid and Marty's productions, the opening tells you all you need to know about the show:
Did anyone do better theme songs than Sid and Marty? As you can see by the clip, the basic premise of the show is a teenage boy named Mark (played by Butch Patrick aka Eddie Munster) falls into a giant magician's hat and ends up in Lidville, a land populated by giant, living hats. Lidsville is ruled by the evil HooDoo the Magician (Charles Nelson Reilly in green makeup). Mark is aided by Weenie the Genie, and HooDoo has a henchman named Raunchy Rabbit (I kid you not). Either Sid and Marty were creative geniuses or heavy drug users or both.
Giant, sentient hats aside, I attribute the show's success to the ever-flamboyant Charles Nelson Reilly. Seriously, was there a television show that wasn't improved by a liberal dose of CNR? What would The Ghost and Mrs Muir have been without him? Just another in a long line of supernatural 60's TV shows. Match Game would have been just another 70's game show featuring long-forgotten celebrities in bad polyester clothing. In the early 70's CNR starred as The Big Banana in a series of commercials for the Bic Banana Ink Crayon. I'd like to close today's entry with one of those commercials. Sit back, relax and enjoy the wonderfulness that was Charles Nelson Reilly: