Saturday, September 09, 2017

Saturday Morning Cult-TV Blogging: The Bugaloos: "Help Wanted - Firefly"

In “Help Wanted – Firefly,” the clumsy Sparky (Billy Barty) makes a nuisance of himself trying to be useful to the Bugaloos. 

Finally, he decides he should apply for a job uptown, but it is up to the Bugaloos to get him one. After some persuading, Peter Platter agrees to hire Sparky as an assistant at his radio station.

Meanwhile, however, Benita Bizarre (Martha Raye) is furious that Platter still refuses to play her latest album.

When he tells her she needs her own radio station, she gets a fiendish idea. Benita re-wires the radio station to transmit from her own juke box!  Now she has a platform for her own (terrible) music.

Sparky proves useful by helping the Bugaloos set the matter straight.

Sparky’s lack of self-confidence is the impetus, once more for a plot-line on The Bugaloos.  In this case, Sparky wants to help his friends -- as they work on the buggy, paint, or set the table for dinner –- but he proves himself a disaster. “I’m a failure. I give up,” he announces.

The truth is, and the episode doesn't really suggest this, is that Sparky just needs to know himself (and his limitations), more honestly.  I suppose the transmitted message, for kids: don't worry if your parents are busy, and don't try to help, or you could make things worse!

Once more, the Bugaloos try to help their friend, but he falls into the clutches of Benita Bizarre who realizes -- before the modern age of the pro-sumer, ironically -- that she must take a hand in her own career; owning a radio station for herself.

The disguise of the week involves the Bugaloos pretending to be part of Benita’s fan club, and the song of the week is “Castles in the Air,” a distinct improvement over last week’s song (“Gna, Gna, Gna, Gna, Gna…”).

Here it is:

Next Week: "On a Clear Day."

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