Charles Nelson Reilly, Saturday morning kids star -- VIDEO
We all remember Charles Nelson Reilly, who passed away early this week, from his days on Match Game. Even people who weren't alive during the original run of the show (surprisingly, there are so many of you) know how good he was on that program from the repeats that are shown on GSN. But, what you may not know, or may not want to remember, is that Mr. Reilly was also a star of Saturday morning kids fare back in the early 1970's.
His biggest role was as Hoo Doo, the evil magician from the Sid & Marty Kroftt psychedelic extravaganza Lidsville. Hoo Doo was the nemesis of young teen Mark (played by Butch Patrick) who landed in Lidsville, a land populated by living hats, after falling into the magic hat of one Merlino the Magician. In each (or nearly each) episode Hoo Doo tried to thwart Mark's attempts to return to his home with the aid of Weenie the Genie (Billy Hayes, Witchiepoo of H.R. Pufnstuf) and various good hats.
The show ran on ABC from 1971 to 1973, and then on NBC from 1973 to 1974. A year later Reilly returned to Saturday Morning television with Uncle Croc's Block, where he hosted live-action scenes between three Filmation cartoons. I couldn't find any video of Uncle Croc, but I did find the groovy opening to Lidsville on, wherelse, YouTube. You can enjoy the very long intro after the jump.