Saturday, July 01, 2017

Saturday Morning Cult-TV Blogging: Lidsville: "Mommy Hoodoo"

In “Mommy Hoo-Doo,” Hoo-Doo’s mother (Muriel Landers) shows up in Lidsville, worried that her boy is no longer rotten.  

Dealing with disappointment and sadness, the Bad Hats, the Good Hats, and Mark (Butch Patrick) attempt to convince the mourning matriarch that her son is just as terrible as ever.

Well, what a long, strange journey it has been.  

We have arrived, at last, at the final installment of the trippy Sid and Marty Krofft live-action 1970’s series, Lidsville only to find…a clip’s show!

Yes, that’s right, this seventeenth and last segment is nothing but a collection of clips wrapped in a flimsy “new” story. 

Specifically, Mommy Hoo-Doo arrives, and must be convinced that her son has not turned to the light. Regular characters in the show (Bad Hats, Good Hats, Mark) provide testimony to prove his terrible-ness, and clips of those stories (for example “Show Me the Way to Go Home,”) are offered as evidence.

Sadly, the clip-heavy nature of this story means that Butch Patrick, Billie Hayes and Charles Nelson Reilly appear only infrequently appear in new material in this final story. CNR gets one final chance to chew the scenery, and in fairness, he makes the most of it.

Before taking on this retrospective, I had not seen any episodes of Lidsville in years, if not decades. Some episodes I found diverting, and others were just plain silly. I wouldn’t place the series at the bottom of the ladder of Saturday morning live action material, but nor is it close to being at the top rung (Land of the Lost).  Despite the performances of CNR, I'm not certain that the series ever truly escapes the orbit of H.R. Pufnstuf, its chronological and spiritual predecessor.

So for now, let’s bid adieu to Horatio HooDoo, and leave behind the world of hats.

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