Synopsis by Hal Erickson
The fourth Saturday-morning children's series created by Sid and Marty Krofft, of H.R. Pufnstuf fame, the weekly, half-hour Sigmund and the Sea Monsters was, according to series producer Si Rose, inspired when Sid Krofft came across some "sea life among the kelp" on a San Diego beach. Reversing the formula popularized on H.R. Pufnstuf and Lidsville, in which a "normal" human boy from the real world was transported to a colorful fantasyland full of exotically costumed, puppet-like creatures, Sigmund was all about a strange and fantastic creature who found himself stranded in the actual world, where he befriended a pair of typical human youngsters. A heavily disguised Billy Barty was cast as diminutive Sigmund Ooze, a green, scaly, multi-tentacled sea monster. Exiled from his equally monstrous family -- Big Daddy, Sweet Mama, and his bullying big brothers, Slurp and Blurp -- because he was unwilling and unable to frighten human beings, Sigmund was booted out of his family's slimy beachfront domicile at Dead Man's Point. Living nearby at 1730 Ocean Place in Cypress Beach, CA, were preteen brothers Johnny and Scott Stuart (Johnny Whitaker, Scott Kolden) and their caustic but lovable guardian-housekeeper Aunt Zelda Marshall (Mary Wickes). Befriending the lonely Sigmund, Johnny and Scott invited him to stay in their converted-toolshed "secret" clubhouse, making certain that Sigmund was kept out of sight from Aunt Zelda, her erstwhile boyfriend Sheriff Chuck Bevans (Joe Higgins), and perennially nosy neighbor Mrs. Eddels (Margaret Hamilton). During the series' second season, Aunt Zelda took temporarily leave from the Stuart home, to be replaced by a new housekeeper, crusty ex-Marine sergeant Gertrude Gouch (Fran Ryan). Also during this season, comedian Rip Taylor joined the cast as Sheldon, a zany and somewhat inept genie whom Sigmund had liberated from a seashell. A bit later, Sparky Marcus began making appearances as Sheldon's bratty magical nephew, Shelby. Most of the storylines on Sigmund and the Sea Monsters were developed in parallel fashion -- that is, if the Stuart boys were having trouble in public school, Sigmund was in hot water at "Ghoul School"; and when the human kids joined the Boy Scouts, Sigmund's siblings Blurp and Slurp signed up with the "Monster Scouts." In many of the first-season installments, Johnny Whitaker, formerly a regular on the sitcom Family Affair, was permitted to sing, with original tunes provided by Bobby Hart and Danny Janssen. The 29 episodes of Sigmund and the Sea Monsters were originally networkcast by NBC from September 8, 1973, through October 18, 1975.