SHOCKING TWIST ENDING!

Why not go back and reread the whole The Lost World Of Sid & Marty Krofft saga from the beginning?  It’s been a joy creating our big Summer Blockbuster, and paying tribute to some of the biggest figures of our childhoods.

So to speak…

You’ve seen Noodles, our capable cameraman, before.  Noodles is a veteran of the industry – he even spent several years at a popular UHF station.

We’ve mentioned some of the stars of the Krofft shows; Jack Wild, the song-and-dance kid of Pufnstuf, Spencer Milligan, the no-nonsense dad of Land Of The Lost, the sublime Caroline Ellis as Joy from the Bugaloos.  But there’s a whole set of unsung stars, who kept working their trade in the most demanding conditions, who made the shows possible.  While your Martha Rayes and your Billie Hayes’s were hamming it up as the “face” characters, these often-diminutive stars were bringing the Kroffts’ creations to life in more thankless ways.

Patty Maloney made her biggest Krofft contribution as Honk, the mascot from the Far Out Space Nuts.  Before that, she would often be found inside various costumes on Pufnstuf and Lidsville.  She is still a well-respected voice actor today.  And she may be best known for her role as Lumpawarrump, Chewbacca’s son, on the infamous Star Wars Holiday Special.

Joy Campbell joined the Krofft company while still in high school, and played such memorable characters as Woofer on The Bugaloos, Nursie on Lidsville, and on Pufnstuf, she was both Orson Vulture, and Cling, of Cling and Clang.

Angelo Rossitto was already a show business veteran by the time he played Clang and Seymour Spider on Pufnstuf, having appeared in the classic Freaks.  He continued acting until his death in 1991, including his memorable role as Master (“Who run Bartertown?”) in Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome.

Felix Silla played various characters in Pufnstuf and Lidsville, and may be best known as either Cousin Itt on The Addams Family, or as the body of Twiki on the 1970s Buck Rogers.  Apparently he also performs in Reno and Vegas as part of “The Original Harmonica Band.”  I know what I’m doing next time I go to Vegas.

Sharon Baird is a seasoned veteran, both in and out of the elaborate costumes.  She was one of the stars of the original Mickey Mouse Club, and brought her acting and dancing experience to some of the most high-profile Krofft roles, including the Bugaloos’ memorable DJ Peter Platter.  She was the rotoscope model for Frodo Baggins in Ralph Bakshi’s ill-fated Lord Of The Rings adaptation, and continues to lend her talents to Mouseketeer reunions.

And then there’s the man himself, the chairman of the board, Billy Barty.

billy_barty

Billy Barty worked practically from birth, co-starring with Mickey Rooney in comedy shorts in the 1930s, starring or co-starring in hundreds of movies and TV shows.  He hosted his own kids’ show in LA in the 1960s.  Whenever Roger Corman needed a little person, he called Billy Barty.  And he did a ton of work for Sid and Marty Krofft, starting as Googy Gopher in the Pufnstuf movie, then as Sparky from The Bugaloos, and the title character of Sigmund And The Sea Monsters.  He even had a prominent unmasked role, as Hugo, the wisecracking assistant to Dr. Shrinker.

Billy Barty fought for, and earned, respect, not only for himself, but for other individuals with dwarfism.  He founded The Little People Of America, an organization still going strong – in fact, it was an ad in the LPA newsletter that led Joy Campbell to her first opportunity with the Kroffts.

These were the people inside the costumes, making the live-actors look good.  They made it look easy.  And they brought the World Of Sid and Marty Krofft to life.