Pioneering US producer Marty Krofft, best known for producing H.R. Pufnstuf, Land of the Lost and The Brady Bunch Variety Hour, has died, aged 86.
He died of kidney failure Saturday in Los Angeles, according to media reports.
Often referred to as the ‘King of Saturday Mornings’, Marty Krofft with his brother Sid produced a generation of kids television largely across the 1970s.
They began their careers with H.R. Pufnstuf, a live-action program about a boy (Jack Wild) in a fantastic land with a dragon for a friend (H.R. Pufnstuf, voiced by Lennie Weinrib) and the villianous and hysterical Witchiepoo (Billie Hayes). The psychadelic show, sometimes referred to as being influenced by LSD, fused live actors with costumed actors and colourful sets. Just 17 episodes were produced in 1969 and led to a feature film in 1970 with guests ‘Mama’ Cass Elliot and Martha Raye.
Sigmund and the Sea Monsters and The Bugaloos are lovingly recalled as cheesy afternoon TV fun by many who grew up at the time and Gen-Xers who discovered the show in syndicated reruns by the mid-1970s
They also produced Land of the Lost, featuring a family who travel accidentally to an alternate Earth ruled by dinosaurs from 1974-76. It was remade in 1991-92 with actor Timothy Bottoms and led to a 2009 feature starring Will Ferrell.
Other productions included Lidsville, The Bugaloos, and 1973’s Sigmund and the Sea Monsters from 1973-75.
In primetime they produced Donny & Marie, a variety show with the pop stars and ice skaters, which led to The Brady Bunch Variety Hour with the sitcom cast and synchronised swimmers.
The brothers also operated indoor amusement park The World of Sid and Marty Krofft in Atlanta, but it closed after 6 months.
Drawing upon a cavalcade of content, as recently as June, the brothers teamed with Canada’s Cineverse to launch an ad-supported FAST channel devoted to their work, dubbed the Sid and Marty Krofft Channel.
Still entertaining kids big and small, generations later…