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 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rtEE9pKRoB8&NR=1