Monday, October 29, 2007

H.R. Pufnstuf

Yes, another all-time favorite of mine when I was a kid. (OK, it’s still a favorite). Created by Sid & Marty Krofft, I loved everything about this show, starting with the show’s introduction.

First airing in September of 1969, “H.R. Pufnstuf” was the story about a boy named Jimmy, and his magic, golden, talking flute who decide to get in a boat. (Didn’t they know never to take boat rides from strangers? Guess not.)

But this wasn’t just ANY boat. This was a boat sent by a wicked witch named Witchiepoo (played perfectly by actress Billie Hayes), who wanted the golden flute all to herself. She waved her wand, caused a storm, and shipwrecked the boat on Living Island. But, before she could get to them, Jimmy and Freddie were rescued by Pufnstuf, the mayor of Living Island.

Among Pufnstuf’s friends were Dr. Blinky, an owl who lived in a house that sneezed (just about everything was alive on Living Island, hence the name). There was also a Judy Garland-esque frog named, you guessed it, Judy the Frog. And then there were Pufnstuf’s drivers of his car The Rescue Racer, named Cling and Clang, who were always bumping into each other.

My favorite character was Witchiepoo, who rode around on her Vroom Broom, with her henchmen, Orson, a vulture, and Seymour, a spider, in a sidecar. (“It’s the ooooonly way to fly,” she said as soared up into the sky). Security for her castle was handled by her two guards, which were scared of their own shadows.

The shows revolved around Jimmy and Freddie trying to find their way home, and Witchiepoo’s attempts not only to thwart them, but to get her hands on the golden flute.

As far as I know, Jimmy and Freddie never made it off the island. Perhaps we need to revive the series and rectify that.

You check it out the introduction to “H.R. Pufnstuf” on YouTube at


Lucky Pet Petsitting said...

Was there a short lived spin-off of this show that took place in the owl's home? There is a show I'm trying to remember...thought it was the owl...somebody's house with a wall of little doors that different characters would poke out of and talk. Everyone was a puppet, except one living girl, who was a popular kid actress during the 70s. Ring any bells???

Anonymous said...


Been doing some research on Billie Hayes for a story blog I'm doing, that connects her days on General Hospital with PufnStuf. Basically, I've come up with this great idea of having the Cassidines stranded on Living Island. After they evict Witchiepoo from her castle, she (reluctantly at first) joins forces with the good guys (Luke, Laura and Scorpio) and not only do they get the Ice Princess, but Witchiepoo, to perfection as Robert's deceased friend and fellow agent, O'Reilly, gets the Ice Princess to Port Charles and Sean, who is utterly thrilled to see his friend still alive. (Little does he know).

Will be sure to keep you posted, if you like, as soon as it's finished.

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