- Marty Krofft, the puppeteer and producer behind popular Saturday morning shows like H.R. Pufnstuf, passed away at 86 from kidney failure.
- H.R. Pufnstuf was a hit for its colorful palette, crazy puppets, and elaborate sets.
- Despite the closure of their amusement park, The World of Sid and Marty Krofft, the brothers continued to produce shows and movies, including reboots of their classics like Land of the Lost and Sigmund and the Sea Monsters.
If the world looks a bit less colorful lately, it might be because of the upcoming winter, but it might also be because of Marty Krofft’s passing. According to Variety, Krofft passed away in his California home from kidney failure. He was 86.
Marty, and his brother Sid, were the kings of Saturday mornings to children throughout the 1970’s. The two started out as puppeteers, but ended up getting a big break by designing The Banana Splits for Hanna-Barbera. Using their success, the two produced their own Saturday morning show, H. R. Pufnstuf. The show followed the adventures of Jimmy (Jack Wild), a young boy who befriends a magic flute called Freddy. After getting targeted by the evil witch, Witchiepoo (Billie Hayes), the two are washed up on the magical Living Island, where everything is alive! The two befriend the island’s mayor, a talking dragon called H.R. Pufnstuf. The show’s seventeen-season run followed Jimmy and Freddy getting into many adventures on Living Island, usually falling under a trap by Witchiepoo, with Puf and friends helping them out.
H.R. Pufnstuf was a hit among audiences, who fell in love with the show’s colorful palette, crazy life-sized puppets, and elaborate sets. The show’s psychedelic design continues to be the center of debate over audiences suspicious of LSD being involved, but the brothers would deny such claims on multiple occasions. The success of H.R. Pufnstuf would help Sid & Marty Krofft in producing numerous other shows over the years. Such shows would include The Bugaloos, Sigmund and The Sea Monsters, Land of the Lost, Electra Woman & Dyna Girl, and lots more after.
The Legacy of Sid & Marty Krofft
Throughout the years, Sid & Marty Krofft were never content with staying still. Along with producing their shows, the two also collaborated in other forms of entertainment, such as The World of Sid and Marty Krofft. This was an entirely indoor amusement park that resided in the Omni International Complex in Atlanta, Georgia. The park featured a crystal themed carousel, a pinball machine themed ride, performers, and other attractions. The park sadly didn’t last long, after guests noted how small the park was in comparison to the nearby Six Flags Over Georgia.
The closing of The World of Sid and Marty Krofft didn’t discourage the brothers from working. The two would continue to produce or involve themselves in even more shows and movies. They would even get involved in reboots of their classic shows, including the 2009 Land of the Lost film starring Will Ferrell. One of their most recent television projects was 2015’s Mutt & Stuff on Nick Jr., which starred Calvin Millan (son of Cesar Millan) and large yellow dog friend, Stuff. The show followed the two as they went about their days at a dog school. The show would later on set itself in the Krofft universe by having Pufnstuf make a special appearance as Stuff’s uncle!
Another recent project was 2017’s Sigmund and the Sea Monsters, which was a reboot of the original 1973 show. The reboot was produced in partnership with Amazon and ran for a seven-episode season. The show can be watched on Prime Video.
Marty Krofft is survived by his brother, Sid, along with three daughters, and several grandchildren.