The Lost World Of Sid & Marty Krofft, Part 7
Why do we love Sid and Marty Krofft?
Make no mistake – speaking for Mowrer and myself, this isn’t the ironic, so-bad-it’s-good kind of love that Gen-X is known for. We love this stuff sincerely. Working on this series of strips, we both would spend hours with episodes of H.R. Pufnstuf and Land Of The Lost and The Bugaloos playing on YouTube. But why are two men in their 40s watching shows filled with puppets, fake foliage, and dodgy chroma-key?
Nostalgia’s a big factor, of course. Back then, if you were a kid who ever got near a TV, you couldn’t escape this stuff. Pretty much anyone you meet over the age of 35 can sing the Land Of The Lost theme song by heart. But it’s not just nostalgia; if it was, we’d be spending just as much time paying loving tribute to characters like Scrappy-Doo. We love the shows of Sid and Marty Krofft because they were made with love.
Like Filmation, another idiosyncratic studio whose best days were in the 70s, Sid and Marty Krofft made up for small budgets with a sense of fun and an overabundance of imagination. If Jim Henson’s Muppets were the pinnacle of the art of puppetry, Sid and Marty were punk rock, filled with boundless energy and wit. And while they aren’t the “fifth-generation puppeteers” they used to claim to be, Sid and Marty are exemplars of an even older tradition; their success is due not only to talent, but to relentless salesmanship.
If you watch Sid and Marty in interviews today – and they still do plenty of interviews and appearances, even at 84 and 77 years old, respectively – their energy and enthusiasm is undiminished. Sid is still the dreamer, reveling in the creative process. Marty, despite being eight years younger, acts the serious-minded older one, talking about potential future projects featuring their creations. The details change from interview to interview, but they talk about movie or TV remakes of Pufnstuf, Lidsville, and The Bugaloos. They apologize for the fiasco that was Will Ferrell’s embarrassing piss-take on Land Of The Lost, and have promised a new novel from original series writer (and uncredited creator) David Gerrold. Always creating, always selling.
And we love them for it.
As we were creating this storyline, the following sources were invaluable, both for research and for unabashed nostalgia trips:
I Went To The World Of Sid & Marty Krofft – Facebook group full of nostalgic swag from the park’s brief life
Outstanding in-depth article by Ben Mayer about the park. We had come up with our story’s title before we found this article, but we couldn’t resist.
Sid and Marty Krofft: A Critical Study In Children’s Television 1969 – 1993 by Hal Erickson, THE most exhaustive guide I’ve seen to the works of the Kroffts
Pufnstuf & Other Stuff: The Weird and Wonderful World of Sid & Marty Krofft, by David Martindale
And the stuff that was playing on a loop as we were writing and drawing: