Lidsville

Lidsville

“In the middle of the summer, in the middle of a park,
There began a great adventure for a boy whose name was Mark.
He had come to see the magic man, along with all the children and
‘Twas so began the day that Mark was never to forget…”

Saturday morning visionaries, Sid and Marty Krofft made their memorable debut as producers of the iconic 1969 series, H.R. Pufnstuf. Their colorful costumes and set design, along with their captivating storytelling skills led to a long string of beloved shows throughout the 70s and 80s, one of which took young viewers to the magical fantasy world of Lidsville.

On one particularly fateful day, a young and inquisitive teenager named Mark made a trip to an amusement park, where he witnessed a magic show by the amazing Merlo the Great. Intrigued by the performance, Mark stayed behind at the conclusion and snuck into the illusionist’s private dressing room.

Discovering the magician’s black top hat, Mark decided it couldn’t hurt to peek inside. But the moment he did, the hat began to grow… and grow… and grow. Rather than run away, curiosity got the best of Mark and he climbed up on the brim to peer inside. The moment he did, the hat began shake, knocking the teen off of the edge and into the abyss.

Mark’s destination was the mysterious world of Lidsville, a place inhabited by living hats. No sooner had he arrived than he was captured by a roving band of “Bad Hats” all under the employment of a sinister sorcerer named Horatio J. Hoo-Doo. Suspicious of the teen and fearing that he was sent as a spy by the “Good Hats,” Hoo-Doo proceeded to place Mark in his dungeon.

At least Mark wasn’t alone; he was quickly befriended by the friendly Weenie the Genie, whose heart was in the right place – she just wasn’t so great at magic, especially without her magic ring, which had been confiscated by Hoo-Doo. Mark helpfully assisted in recovering the ring and the two managed to escape.

Now back amongst the friendly Good Hats in Lidsville, Weenie and the gang tried their best to get Mark back to his own world. A number of obstacles stood in their way, however, including Hair Forest and Shampoo River, not to mention the ongoing efforts of Hoo-Doo to get back control of both Weenie and, of course, the magic ring.

The brainchild of Sid and Marty Krofft, Lidsville debuted in 1971 and ran for two years, offering up a total of 17 episodes. The talented cast of television veterans included Charles Nelson Reilly, playing both Merlo the Great and Hoo-Doo; Billy Hayes, who had played the inimitable Witchiepoo on Pufnstuf; and Butch Patrick, well known for portraying young son Eddie on The Munsters.

Typical of other Krofft offerings, the show featured a combination of live-actors and costumed characters whose voices were dubbed in later. The show had the same distinct psychedelic look of H.R. Pufnstuf, a product of those endearing 60s, as well as a well-remembered theme song and a laugh track.

For a few years now, Dreamworks has reportedly been developing a modern, 3D-animated, musical version of Lidsville, alongside Oscar-winning Disney composer Alan Menken. If all goes as planned, faithful fans of this beloved series may soon be able to travel back to the magical world of Lidsville, just like they did so many years ago.

If you have any fond recollections of this quirky Saturday morning show from yesteryear, we hope you’ll take a moment to share your Lidsville memories with us in our comments section below.

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