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H.R. Pufnstuf is headed to a theater near you

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H. R. Pufnstuf

In the ’70s, Saturday-morning television belonged to two puppet-loving visionaries: Sid & Marty Krofft. Now, nostalgia seekers hungry for Krofft-created psychedelia like ”H.R. Pufnstuf,” ”Land of the Lost,” or ”Electra-Woman & Dynagirl” can get their fill thanks to ”The World of Sid and Marty Krofft” (Rhino Home Video), a three-tape boxed set featuring one episode from each of the Kroffts’ 13 kids’ shows. What’s more, a feature-film version of the Krofft-produced ”Family Affair” is on the fast track at Warner Bros. and complete video boxed sets of ”Pufnstuf” and ”Sigmund” are due out this fall. EW Online spoke with Marty Krofft about transporting his ’70s empire to the next millennium:

It has to be asked: What were you guys on when you created these very weird shows?
What were we on? Wheat grass. We were on nothing, but, you know, nobody believes us. You can’t make this stuff loaded. So everybody believes that we were, like, out there. My brother, he sat on a rock in La Jolla and found a piece of seaweed once in the ocean, and that’s where we got ‘Sigmund.’ If he was smoking something that day, I don’t know. He says he wasn’t.

How did you decide which episodes to include in the boxed set?
I picked the ones I liked the most, and the ones that haven’t been on video. We could have just done it at random, but the fans are too hip to what’s going on, so you’ve got to pick the good ones.

You and your brother auctioned off costumes and puppets from ”H.R. Pufnstuf,” ”Land of the Lost,” ”D.C. Follies,” and other shows last August — was it hard parting with these pieces of history?
No, I’m not really a psychocollector. I want the fans to have it.We had 2,500 people at the auction.

You have a big-screen version of ”Family Affair” in development. What other shows do you plan to make into movies?
The first three we’re working on is ”Sigmund & the Sea Monsters,” ”Pufnstuf,” and ”Land of the Lost.”

Do you have any idea what the stories will be?
(In ”Pufnstuf”), Jimmy is going to have a father who lives in New York. So that could be anybody — Robin Williams, Danny DeVito. For ”Land of the Lost,” we’re going to leave some of the low-tech effects, and we’re going add some high tech, and we’re not going to mess with it that much. ”Sigmund” may be a whole different kind of thing. Instead of two kids (hiding him), it’ll be two guys, two comedians.

Are you working on any TV shows?
We have a (prime-time) show in development — it’s really what a Krofft show would be in the ’90s. It’s called ”Andy Lumpkin’s Puppeteerium.” In all our old shows, the stars were lovable and sweet, and all the characters were very likable. In this everybody’s an a–hole. Bobcat Goldthwait is Andy Lumpkin. It’s a story about a guy who has a kids’ show; the only thing is he’s p—ed off because the puppets are the stars. And one day he has an aneurysm and winds up in an intensive-care unit in a coma, and the entire show takes place in his head. We’ve been talking to a couple of the places, like Comedy Central and FX and HBO.

I just rewatched ”The Bugaloos.” In closing, tell me, what was the deal with Funky Rat, the Nazi rodent?
I think that was my brother’s idea. It was a little too Nazi (laughs). Sometimes I look back at these things and I think, ”Oh my God, I didn’t do this.”

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