Lidsville, the third of Sid and Marty Krofft's Saturday-morning childrens' series, was arguably the wierdest and wildest, bursting to the seams with psychedelic zaniness -- and, it might be whispered, even more covert references to "controlled substances" than were found in the immortal H.R. Pufnstuf. Butch Patrick of "Eddie Munster" fame starred as the series' "human" hero Mark, who while attending a magic show at Six Flags Over Texas became consumed with curiosity over the conjuring act presented by Merlino the Magnificent. Sneaking backstage, Mark stared in amazement as Merlino's magic hat grew to a humongous size. Even more amazing was what happened after Mark fell into the hat, tumbling out of the "real" world and into the land of Lidsville, a garishly colored metropolis populated almost entirely by talking hats (played, of course, by small-sized actors wearing full-body Krofft costumes). Immediately befriending the "Good Hats" of Lidsville -- among them Colonel Poom, Admiral Scuttlebutt, Big Chief Sitting Duck, Rah-Rah the Football Helmet, Scorchy the Fireman's Hat, and Twirly the Beanie -- Mark vowed to protect them from the sinister machinations of green-skinned, red-goateed evil magician Horatio W. Hoo Doo (Charles Nelson Reilly) and his menagerie of "Bad Hats" and anthropomorphic magic props (among them the appropriately named Raunchy Rabbit). For his part, Hoo Doo devoted his every waking hour to capturing Mark so that he could retrieve his magic ring, and thus gain control of the marvelous Weenie the Genie (played in drag by Billie Hayes, the unforgettable "Witchiepoo" from H.R. Pufnstuf). Throughout the series' 17 half-hour episodes, Mark enlisted the aid of his new hat friends in his efforts to escape Lidsville and return to his own world, forever keeping one step ahead of the indefatigable Hoo Doo, who could generally be found astride his flying "Hatamarand." Utilizing state-of-the-art special effects (for 1971 at least!) and boasting, broad, con brio performances from everyone in the cast, Lidsville was nothing if not exhilarating and eye-catching. The series originally aired on ABC from September 11, 1971, through September 1, 1973, then was rebroadcast by NBC from September 8, 1973 through August 31, 1974.
boy, genie, hat, magic