Saturday, April 29, 2017

Saturday Morning Cult-TV Blogging: Lidsville: "Have I Got a Girl for Hoo-Doo"

A lonely Hoo-Doo (Charles Nelson Reilly) decides to write to the Lonely Hearts Club because he misses the companionship of “gorgeous” females. He sends a false photo of himself (as a handsome man), and eagerly waits for a response.

Meanwhile, Mark (Butch Patrick) is captured while trying to steal Hoo-Doo’s hat vehicle, the hat-o-ram.

Hoo-Doo soon meets his girl, Gladys Glamor-puss, who turns out to be none-other than Witchiepoo (Billie Hayes). She also sent a false photo to the dating service.

It is hate at first sight, until Mark executes “Operation Cupid,” a plan to make the two villains fall in love.

The “gruesome twosome,” however, turns out to be incredibly dangerous, and Mark must now break them up. He goes into disguise to do so, dressing up in drag, and making Witchiepoo jealous.

The first thing one might observe about the eighth episode of Sid and Marty Krofft’s Lidsville (1971-1973) is that a marked shift has occurred in storytelling.

Hoo-Doo is now the series’ primary character. 

Mark is still present, of course, still attempting to escape the world of hats, and still trying to foil his nemesis, but it is CNR’s Hoo-Doo who motivates all the action, and who steals most scenes in each episode.

Apart from that observation, this episode proves delightful for its Krofft-ian cross-over aspects. Specifically, Billie Hayes, who plays the genie Weenie on this series, also resurrects her role from H.R. Pufnstuf (1969): Witchiepoo. 

Even H.R. Pufnstuf himself appears in this episode of Lidsville, at least briefly.

Therefore, one can speculate, I suppose, that Lidsville and H.R. Pufnstuf share a universe.

The cross-over’s high-point is likely the duet between villains. “I didn’t know what true zapping was until you came along,” Hoo-Doo croons.

In the weird-and-somewhat creepy category, “Have I Got a Girl for Hoo-Doo” also features another familiar aspect of the series: gender bending.  

You may recall that last week’s episode had Hoo-Doo dressing up as a fetching female bunny to catch the eye of Raunchy Rabbit. This week, Mark disguises himself as a Mae West-like female personality, to attract Hoo-Doo's (evil) eye. He succeeds, and there are all kind of overtones to this scenario.

Next week: “Mark and the Bean Stalk.”

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous7:42 PM

    I had a friend who was a big Krofft fan and he would mention this as his favorite ep of Lidsville. It is memorable for the pairing of two of Krofft's most over-the-top characters -Hoo Doo and Witchiepoo. It's in character for Witchiepoo to be looking for a date. One Puffnstuff ep features a musical number where Witchiepoo complains about her loneliness (her phone hasn't "rung since 1910").


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