Saturday, February 03, 2018
Saturday Morning Cult-TV Blogging: The Far Out Space Nuts: "Barney Begonia" (November 27, 1975)
In “Barney Begonia,” the space capsule lands on a new planet, and a nefarious alien botanist transforms Barney (Chuck McCann) into a living, breathing plant man.
The scientist promises to give Barney the cure for his new condition, but secretly plans to breed hundreds of plant men just like him. The botanist has been experimenting for decades without success, and now he believes he has made the perfect hybrid.
“Barney Begonia” is packed, wall-to-wall with goofy plant jokes, as the title may indicate. There’s a joke about a banana plant, another one about Barney falling in love with a female plant, and other silly touches too. “I’m growing faster than crab grass,” Barney notes at one point. Junior (Bob Denver) replies: “You’re just in season.”
As you might guess, these jokes are generally cringe-worthy, but notable as relics from another, more innocent age of comedy. Today, they don’t exactly feel in season.
In general, The Far Out Space Nuts (1975) has proven to be a generally likable series, despite the antique humor and poor production values. It isn’t one of the better-remembered of the Sid and Marty Krofft canon and yet it is probably superior to some other efforts (namely Lidsville, or Dr. Shrinker). I think the series is often mistaken for being idiotic when, in fact, it is about two idiots…in space.
Next week: “Destination: Earth.”