Many moons ago, in a land far far away (OK, it was in my old house about five miles away, but go with it...) I started a Saturday morning blog feature that I really enjoyed. In the spirt of Blog Revival and stuff, I thought I'd bring it back as a semi-regular thing. So enjoy this blog rewind with your morning coffee and good-for-you cereal -- and don't forget to take your vitamins.
You know, Saturday mornings just aren’t the same when you’re a grownup. Too many responsibilities. Too many chores. Boring stuff on the telly (save for the cooking show block on FoodTV... but that’s something else entirely.)
I’m missing the pace and entertainment of the Saturdays of my youth. Pajamas and cereal and cartoons. No homework. No endless youth sporting events. No pressure, save maybe to help Daddy in the yard. (Man, I HATED that. Even as a kid, I knew outdoor manual labor was not for me. Damn weeds in the sidewalk cracks. Ugh. But it was fun to get those teeny little snails and whip them at my brother. What?)
So in what may turn out to be a regular thing for me, I’m going to take a ride in the Wayback Machine with Mr. Peabody and Sherman to the time...
...when all cereal that was worth anything had sugar in its five top ingredients list...
...when your pajamas had feet in them...
...when you had to actually get up off your bean bag chair to change the channel, unless you had a younger sibling to do it for you...
...when cartoons and kid shows ruled the morning airwaves. Good cartoons. Cartoons with no educational or social value save for entertainment, Fat Albert and earnest Bill Cosby notwithstanding.
Today, let’s take a look at the World of Sid and Marty Krofft...
Y’all. This shit was wild. Seriously. Skippy. Trippy. Hippy.
Live action shows with crazy premises and over-the-top characters (C’mon. Martha Raye and Charles Nelson Reilly both had parts on Krofft Saturday morning programs. Those two totally define over-the-top... just go look in the dictionary and you’ll see their mugging mugs. Promise.)
I’m just gonna let the show opening to a few Krofft classics speak for themselves... the storytelling theme songs; the costumes; the hysterical special effects -- it’s all there, just like you remember it.
Enjoy. And pass the Super Sugar Crisp. I’ve still got milk in my bowl. (But I call dibs on the Archies record on the back of the box. That’s all mine, baby.)
Fun fact: my elementary school nickname was Janey-poo, after the illustrious Witchy-poo. And yes, that was a term of endearment -- I was a charming young lass. So there.
Martha Raye as Benita Bizarre. More awesome than I have words to describe. Benita Bizarre is SO my new drag name, replacing Clams Casino.
Land of the Lost
I never watched this one myself -- never got into the whole dinosaur thing -- but I had friends who loved it. Still do. And who can do a pretty fair sleestack imitation.
Sigmund and the Sea Monsters
Johnny Whitaker (Jody from Family Affair!) Mary Wickes (classic character actress!) Burp and Slurp and Sweet Mama Ooze (best character names ever!)
And here’s the oh-so-familiar credit that ran after every episode...
PS: Couldn’t resist including this quote from Marty Krofft, from an interview in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. He was asked, point blank, about the relationship between drug use and his shows:
We've heard that for 35 years. We did not intentionally do anything related to drugs in the story. People thought we were on drugs. You can't do good television while on drugs. People never believe you when you say that, but you can't. The shows were very bright and spacey looking. They may have lent themselves to that culture at the time, but we didn't ascribe that meaning to them, and I can't speak to what adults were doing when they were watching the shows. We just set out to make a quality children's program.