The Lost World Of Sid & Marty Krofft, Part 5
When The Krofft Supershow premiered in September of 1976, it was a new kind of show for the Kroffts. Originally 90 minutes in length, it was an anthology of shorter shows, hosted by ersatz glam-rockers “Kaptain Kool and the Kongs,” in sketches and musical numbers actually filmed at The World Of Sid & Marty Krofft.
The segments, each about 15 minutes, included Electra-Woman And Dyna-Girl, a superhero duo whose adventures wouldn’t have been out of place on the 1966 Batman.
Electra-Woman and Dyna-Girl was notable for the presence of future Days Of Our Lives star Deidre Hall as Electra-Woman, and Norman Alden, the voice of Aquaman on Superfriends, as their Alfred-like assistant Frank.
Dr. Shrinker featured three teenaged castaways, who were shrunk to a few inches tall by the titular mad scientists. Each episode concerned the trio’s efforts to get unshrunk, while Dr. Shrinker tried to recapture them as proof that his shrink ray worked. Dr. Shrinker was elevated by its kickass theme song, and the presence of the legendary Billy Barty as Shrinker’s assistant Hugo.
Wonderbug followed three teens (a template that was becoming the Krofft’s favorite, it seems) who traveled in a broken down dune buggy called “Schlep Car.” When they honked the magic horn, Schlep would be replaced by the souped-up, self-driving Wonderbug.
While The Krofft Supershow was a success, it wasn’t long after its premiere that The World Of Sid & Marty Krofft closed down.
A number of factors led to the early closure; ticket prices were comparable to the nearby Six Flags Over Georgia, but that tended to be an all-day destination The World Of Sid & Marty Krofft could be “done” in only about three or four hours. And despite the Omni complex’s efforts to revitalize downtown Atlanta, the area was still seen as disreputable. The World Of Sid & Marty Krofft closed on November 10, sitting abandoned for over ten years before CNN moved in.
The Krofft Supershow continued, however. In the second season, the show was shortened from 90 minutes to an hour, and replaced Dr. Shrinker and Electra-Woman and Dyna-Girl with two new segments.
Magic Mongo was a genie, befriended by yet another trio of teens, who found his bottle on a beach.
Bigfoot and Wildboy told the story of an orphaned boy raised in the wilds of the pacific northwest by the legendary sasquatch.
For the third season, the show moved from ABC to NBC and was renamed The Krofft Superstar Hour. Kaptain Kool And The Kongs remained, but took a backseat to the show’s new stars, The Bay City Rollers.
The budget was drastically reduced, and that was reflected in the shows-within-the-show. Both new segments were essentially “trunk” shows, relying heavily on existing characters and settings.
Horror Hotel featured Witchie-Poo from Pufnstuf, and Hoodoo from Lidsville (sadly no longer played by Charles Nelson Reilly) running a hotel for monsters.
The Lost Island was even stranger; an ostensibly “serious” show (in other words, minus laugh track) that appeared to feature HR Pufnstuf and Sigmund The Sea Monster, trapped in the Land Of The Lost, where they were menaced not only by Enik and the Sleestaks, but by Dr. Shrinker (renamed “Dr. Deathray”) and Hugo.
Despite the cost-cutting, and after renaming the show The Bay City Rollers Show, the series ended in 1979. Sid and Marty Krofft were effectively done with children’s television. But they had already expanded into another area, that would keep them busy into the 1980s. Their new direction was a little bit country, and a little bit rock and roll…