Wednesday, 5 May 2021

Vroom Broom vroomed


click to enlarge

As I said in my post way back in 2009:

H.R. Pufnstuf was an absolute obsession of mine when I was a child. From the same production house that brought us The Banana Splits, this was a strange [typically 60s, slightly druggy] fantasy about a boy (played by the late Jack Wilde, of Oliver fame), shipwrecked on a weird island with a talking flute named Freddy, a magic boat, the giant puppet dragon of the title, his friends Cling & Clang and Dr. Blinky, and a wicked witch named Witchiepoo (played by Billie Hayes) who rode on a Vroom Broom... Bizarre stuff, indeed.

No drugs involved there, then...

Today, we discover that "Witchiepoo" has taken her "Vroom Broom", and "Orson Vulture" too, no doubt, and flown off to "Living Island" for the very last time...

RIP, Bille Hayes (5th August 1924 – 29th April 2021)

10 comments:

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    1. I was probably six years old when I first saw it, and I was utterly mesmerised... Jx

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  2. Sad. I adored that show. Didn't understand it at all, but loved all the critters. Billie Hayes was marvelous on the show. The show taught me what good Children's Theatre is all about. Lift kids up and never talk down to them. Thanks for mentioning this. The Boyfriend is a huge fan and will be very upset about this.

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    1. Indeed. Despite the evident "psychotropic" nature of kids' telly in that era - Banana Splits, The Monkees, Magic Roundabout, Zokko! and Joe 90 come to mind [not sure whether the last three ever made it to American telly] - I still remember being in absolute awe of the sheer spectacle of it all. HR Pufnstuf was definitely one of the best! Jx

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  3. I remember that show well...neat and creepy camp all in one. It would air here in the afternoon along with Sigmund the Sea Monster or Land of the Lost. It would rotate daily, along with a show with Ruth Buzzi called The Lost Saucer with Jim Nabors I think. The Lost Saucer then got replaced by The Bugaloos. It had Martha Raye as the villain.

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    1. None of the shows you name ever "crossed the pond", just HR Pufnstuf... Jx

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  4. How peculiar! Well, for now, perhaps - not back then. I'd heard of Pufnstuf, but only in passing and had never seen any until today.
    I noticed from the credits that recent Delargo subject, Felix Silla, was one of the puppeteers.

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    1. From fame and fortune as Cousin Itt to... "Polka Dotted Horse". How the mighty had fallen. Jx

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  5. I wonder if I'd have grown up as a different adult watching shows like this instead of Scooby Doo, Grizzly Adams, A-Team, and Gilligan's Island? As it is, I've grown up into a Disaster Preparedness Geek with a predilection for solving mysteries! Of course, Mt St. Helens blew her top when I was five and it's not every kid gets covered in three feet of ash from a volcano eruption, so that probably had some influence too.

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    1. Scooby-Doo was "born" in 1969, and I grew up with it too... Jx

      PS Thankfully, the UK doesn't have volcanoes.

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