Returning to the Living Island or H.R. 'Pufnstuf'

There have not been a lot of children’s shows before or since that created the magic and wonder as the 1969 H.R. Pufnstuf. The story of the shipwrecked boy Jimmy on The Living Island and all the amazing creatures he meets along the way.

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Everyone had a favourite character as there were so many. Because of the number of characters, it was a living island where everything was alive, the crew were forced to use celebrity impersonations to fill the voices.

The most notable characters include H.R Pufnstuf (Jim Nabors as Gomer Pyle), Ludicrous Lion (W.C. Fields), Dr. Blinky (Ed Wynn), Grandmother Clock (Zsa Zsa Gabor), Pop Lolly (Jack Benny), Judy Frog (Judy Garland), Orson the Vulture (Frank Nelson), Charlie Book (Richard Haydn), the Evil Trees (Bela Lugosi and Peter Lorre), the big-lipped tree (Charo), the talking Skull (Boris Karloff), the West Wind (John Wayne) and Max Von Toadenoff (Boris Badenov from “Rocky & Bullwinkle”).

The Krofft Brothers that created the show had a lot of legal issues around the show as they sued McDonald’s for the similarities between their characters and the new McDonald’s characters Mayor McCheese and Big Mac. The Krofft Brothers were themselves sued by musician Paul Simon as they had ripped off his song The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy) for the show’s theme song. Paul won the case and was credited as a writer for the song.

There are so many stories about the show and the production to fit in one article but the show was a big part of a lot of people’s lives that still remember it fondly. Perhaps even introduced their kids or grandchildren to the show.

Were you a fan of the show? Did you show it to your kids or grandchildren?