sid and marty krofft
I have to get something off my chest, and I'm not talking about my man boobs. It has to do with Will Ferrell. See, I like Will as an actor. He had some fine roles on Saturday Night Live and has proven himself a qualified movie actor. Some of his roles have even revolved around television show remakes. Unfortunately, those remakes tend to, um, not make fans of the original shows very happy.Okay, they don't make me very happy. Sure, his redo of Bewitched was okay, but it really didn't have the "magic" and quirkiness of the old series. Now, he's remaking the classic Saturday morning show Land of the Lost. From the most recent trailer, it seems that Ferrell is going to go the action comedy route (heavy on the comedy) to draw in the audiences. For fans of the old Sid & Marty Kroftt series, this is not good news.
I'm old enough to remember when The Banana Splits were on television (from reruns. I'm not THAT old) and I'm curious about how whomever now controls their fate will translate the show for newer audiences. The original show was very much a staple of the hippie culture from back then. It would be disappointing if the show went from hippie to hipster. The original show most notably launched the careers of Sid and Marty Krofft who went on to make such iconic 70's children's fare as H.R. Pufnstuff and The Bugaloos among others.
The most memorable part of The Banana Splits was their theme song "The Tra La La Song (One Banana, Two Banana)". However they modernize that song, whether it becomes a rap or a High School Musical-style pop song, I can only say right now that it will be inferior to the original.
This will include their classic shows such as H.R. Pufnstuf, The Bugaloos and Land of the Lost and will be exclusively shown on the social-networking platform. V.P. of Marketing at MySpace Josh Brooks sees the collaboration as an example of how the site will mine pop-culture nostalgia to build audiences.
The license includes full episodes as well as condensed three to five minute versions (called "Kwikies") and pre-taped messages from the Kroffts themselves. The Krofft branded channel can be found at myspace.com/Krofft.
I remember watching the Krofft shows as a kiddie. Why are condensed versions of the shows necessary for this channel? Are they really that bad when watched at normal length as an adult? Perhaps nobody has time to watch a full episode anymore. Shows like Electra Woman and Dyna Girl can only be appreciated when watched at full length.
On a cursory glance at the 1970-71 Saturday morning schedule, one would think it was another year of classic children's fare. Yet, on closer examination, one would notice something else about the schedule. It was a bit dull. Oh, there were certainly some classics that premiered during this time -- many of them remembered to this day -- but the rest of the shows were somewhat forgettable.
It was almost like the networks and production studios had run out of steam when it came to Saturday mornings and weren't sure what to do. Understandable, since strict network standards as well as lobby groups like Action for Children's Television (ACT) put a stranglehold on what could and could not be shown. The result was a mix of animated spin-offs and live-action series that were a bit on the bland side. It would be a trend that continued through the first few years of the 1970s.
So, if you have your bowl of Cap'n Crunch on-hand, let's journey back to 1970.
Apparently, the shows Sigmund and the Sea Monsters and H.R. Pufnstuf will be getting the big screen treatment as well. Knowing Hollywood, the CGI gurus are probably already working on new character designs that are hip and cool (although thankfully they didn't change the Sleestaks very much). Part of the appeal of the original 70's programs were the actors in the silly costumes, but I guess one must adapt to the times.
The original shows were very psychedelic and a product of the time. There are rumors that the Kroffts created them under the influence. I just have two questions: First, will the lead child actor in Sigmund and the Sea Monsters sing a solo at the end like Johnny Whitaker? Second, would I be able to appreciate the movies more if I watched them while stoned?
A strange thing happened between the 1968 and 1969 Saturday morning schedules -- the superheroes disappeared. After three straight seasons of Space Ghosts, Birdmans, Super Presidents, and Herculoids only The New Adventures of Superman remained. And, that show was pushed back into the 1:00 PM slot, practically eliminating it from the viewing times of children who, after four straight hours of cartoons, needed generous doses of sunlight.
To fill all of the vacant spaces left by the departed heroes and villains, the networks added twelve new series to their respective schedules. Most had one thing in common: comedy, an ingredient that had been absent from the schedule for a number of years. Needless to say, it returned with full force during this season. Another comeback was made by live-action programs that featured a mix of humans and not-so-human characters. In addition, one show premiered that was based on a popular series of toys, while two more premiered that featured the newest trend of animated musical groups brought on by last season's premiere of The Archie Show. Amist all of that came a program featuring a talking, mystery-solving dog and his slightly toasted friend.
So, if you have your Hot Wheels parked around your feet, let's go back to 1969.
If you're a TV fan and have been around for a while, the TV logos/credit montage in the video after the jump is going to be like a trip back in time, a history of television in 5 minutes and 33 seconds.
Some of them are national logos (Paramount, Sid and Marty Krofft, Viacom, Desilu), and some of them will probably only be known to people in certain markets (Lexington Broadcast Services?). Some of the companies are repeated, but you get to see different logos they used.
Sid and Marty Krofft created some of the oddest and most memorable characters for children's television and enhanced many acid trips for those same children's older siblings.
Of course, the brothers couldn't have been on drugs themselves considering all the work that went into productions like H.R. Pufnstuf and Land of the Lost (not to mention countless other productions like Lidsville, Sigmund and the Sea Monsters, D.C. Follies and Barbara Mandrell and the Mandrell Sisters). Marty Krofft spoke about that and a bunch of other things in a recent appearance on the Sound of Young America. You can listen to the interview here.
It's a great interview, especially if you grew up with these shows. Krofft also talks about the new Land of the Lost movie, which, as I mentioned before, does not yet have a director attached to it. Will Ferrell, however, has been cast in the lead role.
(S01E01) Well, I figured since I gave my opinion on Adult Swim's other new live-action series I should probably do the same for Saul of the Molemen, lest all of you suffer through life not knowing how I feel about it. Like I said in my review of Tim and Eric Awesome Show Great Job!, don't expect me to review this one every week. Well, maybe I will.
Saul takes its look from Sid and Marty Krofft's series, especially Land of the Lost. The mixture of horrible but self-aware visual effects and props also reminds me of the inspired Mystery Science Theater 3000. When Saul spies on two Molepeople making love (which involves tentacles coming out of their torsos and a floating pineapple), he pushes the spongy red foliage out of the way using a squeegee, which I guess we're to assume is some kind of space age device.
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