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'Sigmund' and Other Krofft Shows Resurface on DVD

Sid and Marty Krofft created some of television's most memorable hits -- and disastrous flops. They were best known in the '70s for psychedelic Saturday morning kids shows. Among them, H.R. Pufnstuf, the story of a boy, a magic flute and a dragon with white boots and a Southern drawl.

The Kroffts also created primetime song and dance programs, including the Donny and Marie Show.

The Kroffts are experiencing somewhat of a resurgence as many of their most famous creations are re-released on DVD.

Sid and Marty Krofft kids' shows were colorful live-action cartoons. Real actors played opposite an array of talking creatures and inanimate objects.

There was Lidsville, a land occupied solely by hats that walk, talk and sing. Sigmund and the Sea Monsters told the story of two boys and their friend -- a pile of seaweed that washed up on the beach. The most famous Krofft kid's show was H.R. Pufnstuf.

The Krofft shows all had two things in common. They were colorful and a little bit weird.

Most of the Krofft characters were larger-than-life puppets. The brothers Krofft came from five generations of puppeteers.

But Sid and Marty went beyond puppets. They also struck gold with variety shows in the mid-70s.

The Kroffts ventured into primetime with Donny and Marie Osmond. Their variety show was a big hit. They scored again with yet another variety show -- this one featuring country music superstar Barbara Mandrell.

In between there were some unfortunate creations, like The Brady Bunch Variety Hour.

But the Kroffts have been resilient. Right now, they're developing a Pufnstuf movie. They're also working on a big-screen version of their science fiction series The Land of the Lost.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Barry Gordemer is an award-winning producer, editor, and director for NPR's Morning Edition. He's helped produce and direct NPR coverage of two Persian Gulf wars, eight presidential elections, the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, and hurricanes Katrina and Harvey. He's also produced numerous profiles of actors, musicians, and writers.