My favorite Sid and Marty Krofft production is one they had nothing to do with. “The Altered State of Druggachusettes” — a sketch from David Cross and Bob Odenkirk’s Mr. Show — perfectly parodies the supersaturated colors and kaleidoscopic weirdness perfected by the Kroffts in such shows as H.R. Pufnstuf and Lidsville: puppets with massive melons and narcotized eyes, anthropomorphized animals, quick-jump edits, druggy double-entendres, and, uh, Charles Nelson Reilly.
I have cherished memories of munching Trix while watching Pufnstuf reruns on my grandparents’ Zenith, but I’m just a bit younger than the show’s original fans — be they bong-clutching adults or pajama-clad kids — who came of age in the Nixon years. Now, with a movie version of the Kroffts’ Land of the Lost (starring Will Ferrell) due out in 2009, Sid and Marty are trying to woo a new demo by partnering with MySpace TV.
“We wanted to introduce our shows to the new generation,” says Marty Krofft, 71, from Los Angeles. (Sid is 78.) They’re doing so by paring down seven of their best titles into a series of three-to-five-minute “Krofft Kwikies” each. In addition to H.R. Pufnstuf, Lidsville, and Land of the Lost, the Krofft channel features condensed webisodes of The Bugaloos, Sigmund and the Sea Monsters, Electra Woman and Dyna Girl, and Dr. Shrinker.
The Kroffts plan to regularly communicate with fans via intros and interviews; offer highlights, outtakes, and profiles related to each series; and provide news on what’s going on in Sid and Marty’s whacked-out world. The site also features message-board forums, and fans can embed the shows’ video and theme music on their personal pages.
Krofft doesn’t worry about a diminution of his creations’ outlandish visual appeal on the small screen. “I think the smaller the computer, the brighter the colors,” he says. (Indeed, an official project like this obviates the need to upload fifth-generation VHS tapes to online video sites, where the picture quality can “look like kind of a rip-off.”) Of course, some teens’ maniacal MySpace pages make even Sid and Marty's celebrated psychedelic tableaux look by comparison like Anselm Kiefer paintings.
The channel launched barely two weeks ago, and already has nearly 16,000 friends. Krofft is cognizant that his core audience is mostly “over 30 and into their 40s,” and indeed an entirely unscientific sampling suggests that most are Gen-Xers thanking Sid & Marty “for all the wonderful fuzzy day-glo memories!!!!!”
But he’s convinced there are just as many thousands of young folks out there ripe to be introduced to Witchiepoo and Horatio J. HooDoo. Or to learn that former Detroit Pistons bruiser Bill Laimbeer played a Sleestak on Land of the Lost. “That’s why we’re up on this,” says Krofft. “I think time will tell we did the right thing here with MySpace.”