H.R. Puff ‘n Stuff


I meant to write a new post today. Seriously, I had all the best intentions. I probably had 4 or 5 different ideas on topics to write about that would entertain my adoring legions. (Hi Mom!) Sadly, that was before the head cold settled in, and I started taking cold meds. Now I’m finding myself staring blankly at my desk, marveling over the foreign appearance of my coffee mug, like some stoner. I mean, did you ever really look close at a coffee mug? It’s like… whoa…

You see what I mean? It just ain’t gonna happen today. So as I sit here hallucinating that my desk is moving, I thought I would continue the theme of psychotropic drug induced nightmares, by re-posting one of my all time favorite posts. Hide the children folks, it’s time to go to Mystery Island!

As all 7 of my regular readers already know, I am a child of the 70’s. I came on the scene in the summer of 1968, just as America was beginning its great slide into obscenity and decay, and race riots were burning through our cities, and our souls. As miserable as the 70’s seemed at the time, when viewed from the distance of 35 years people have a way of convincing themselves that it was a idyllic Eden. A simpler time, when our national enemies were clearly identified, boy’s did not wear hair gel, and only sailors and bikers wore tattoo’s.

This is how nostalgia works, and as this blog illustrates, I am nothing if not a junkie for nostalgia. It is the sweetest drug I know, more powerful than heroin, and twice as addictive.

But my childhood wasn’t all Sears tuffskins, and rubber toed Keds. Even now, looking back after 35 years, there are still some things about the 70’s that make my blood run cold. Yes, even in the idyllic confines of 20 Prospect, there were horrors too unspeakable to mention after sunset. I am referring, of course, to Sid and Marty Krofft.

<Shudder>

The name still gives me chills. For those that are too young to remember, Sid & Marty Krofft were the producers of a string of children’s television shows so horrible, and terrifying, that I am reluctant to even list them all here. Like all abominations in my life they too hailed from Canada originally, but somehow made their way into the U.S. Television Industry, where some drug addled executive thought it was a good idea to let them unleash their bloodcurdling dreams on a generation of petrified children.

Nothing in my life has disturbed me more than the world of H.R. Pufnstuf.

This is your brain on drugs

Oh, the horror.

The plot of the show was basically this: A little boy is lured to a sinister island from which he can never escape. Once there, he is pursued by living trees, and an evil witch named “Witchiepoo”. You know, the sort of typically lighthearted plot that plays upon children’s darkest fears, and dresses them up in Day-Glo, psychedelic puppetry.

I am 42 and this picture still gives me the willies

So began my life long fear and hatred of clowns and puppets. Evil creatures that I was convinced would not rest until they had stolen my soul and condemned me to eternal torment at the hands of their foam headed minions.

Welcome to Hell Jimmy!

Was I alone in this pathological fear of H.R. Pufnstuf? Don’t even speak to me of Sigmund the Sea Monster, or Sleestak. At least the children in those shows had other human beings to console and protect them. Poor Jimmy had nothing but a talking, magical hash pipe flute.

Hmm... suck on this Jimmy, and it will all feel better...

I have read that roughly 25% of all Generation Xers have been treated with antidepressants for depression and anxiety disorders. If there were any justice in this world, their medical bills would be paid from the coffers of Sid & Marty Kroftt.

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10 thoughts on “H.R. Puff ‘n Stuff

  1. :-)

    You, too, huh? With the cold?!

    I loved Sid and Marty Kroftt. Sigmund and the Seamonsters changed my life, man. I still yell, “Shellaphone”” every now and then. It was funnier when there were phones hanging on the wall, ringing, but still.

    Or maybe it’s just the headcold talking…

    Pearl

    • I went to Los Angeles, and all I got was this lousy cold.

      Most people get the clap.

      Hi Yo! Thank you, thank you very much. I’ll be appearing here all week. Remember to tip your wait staff. Goodnight!

    • So long as I don’t spend the night tossing and turning in day glo dreams about a family of Sea Monsters living in my neighborhood, I should be OK in a few days.

  2. Sid and Marty should be taken to court with a class action suit to pay for all the pharmaceuticals and therapy required to solve the trauma they caused to kids of the 70′s. My children,now grown, still panic at the though of Sleestaks.

  3. Pingback: Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics « 20 Prospect

  4. Fuí un niño de los 70´s, y los sábados por la mañana -al menos hasta 1975 o 76- veía las para ese entonces repeticiones del programa de Pufn Stuf. Lejos estaba de imaginar que el nombre de la simpática botarga era un juego de palabras que tenía que ver con fumar marihuana (por algo en castellano lo rebautizaron “el gran Calabaza”). La psicodélica bruja Witchiepoo se robaba todo el show.

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