Cross Dressing Genies & Flamboyant Wizards: Lidsville on Retro Bizarro

In this early promotion, the evil Hoo Doo zaps the androgynous Weenie in the behind for leaving him to elope with itinerant protagonist, Mark*

Sid & Marty Krofft are probably best known for their series The Land Before Time, or perhaps H.R. Pufnstuf. Cynics remember them for craptastic classics like Bigfoot and Wildboy, or Electra Woman and Dyna Girl, the only children’s show with a theme song that sounds more like porn music than wah-heavy disco tunes from the late 70s. But one of their more obscure flops, Lidsville, remains the last heralding cry of “fuck emulating an educational environment for children on weekends, let’s make Saturday morning as much like a bad acid trip as possible” entertainment.

The idea of a bunch of midgets dressed as living hats isn’t the most inventive concept to date, especially considering the fact that almost the same concept was introduced as a claymation series called Hattytown Tales several years before the Krofft brothers introduced Lidsville.

But the show has its merits. Who else was going to perpetuate racist stereotypes, and help stoners curb their munchies on Saturday mornings for a full season? Other than FOX network, that is.

To emphasize the parallels between the hats and their counterparts, the creators were careful that the characters adhered to as many racist stereotypes as possible. Big Chief Sitting Duck, for example, only “speakem likum thisum.” There is also an oriental chef’s hat that talks “rike dis.” Well, I guess that’s about it for racial stereotypes, but it was worth mentioning.

The cast, pictured here, discusses how they can cram more subversive pot lingo and Native-American stereotypes into the series before networks cancel it for good*

Despite the show’s short-lived appeal, some schmucks at DreamWorks Animation decided it’d be a hell of an idea to create a 3-D version of the film in the near future. Look out for this one in the same way you’d look out for a pile of dog shit on your morning commute.

So why is this series bizarro? From the hat people to the talking deck of cards, the character “sawed in half woman,” the executioner’s cap, and a talking vampire’s cowl, this show had the formula for weird down. Come to think about it, just about every damned inanimate object in the show talked including trees and wall decorations.

Despite everything I’ve said, the show is worth checking out. Though Sid & Marty Krofft weren’t the best when it came to storylines, they always knew how to decorate a set, create a vibrant new worlds for children to immerse themselves in, and spark the imagination, among sparking other things I would assume.

In addition to the televised series, Golden Key released five issues of Lidsville in comic book form. There were some minor differences when compared to the show, but, as shown in the picture below, the racial stereotypes remain in tact:

Of course, the blog wouldn’t be complete without a little excerpt from the show. Since the song in the introduction details the entire premise of the tale, it seems most fitting to show it. In the clip below, you can see a young Morrissey, of The Smiths fame, playing as the protagonist of Lidsville, Mark*

* – this is a blatant lie.

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