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Yellowdog's avatar

Were the Sid and Marty Kroft productions, such as Liddsville and H.R. Puffinstuff, drug induced?

Asked by Yellowdog (11122points) March 2nd, 2019

I used to defend these Saturday Morning childrens’ television productions of the 1970s as just being the products of really good imaginations. That the swirling colours and sensations of falling, and trippy, otherworldly deportations and adventures, were due to the extremely vivid colour television technologies that were burgeoning in the 1970s.

But now that I am mature enough and enough time has passed that I can look back objectively, and that younger people who view these programs nowadays automatically think these shows are trippy, weird, and drug induced, its hard to imagine that they’re not the product of L.S.D. or something similar.

But maybe some defenders will still say they are not. The Wizard of Oz might also be called drug induced if judged by the same standard

Any references to the props and storylines that are telltale signs of drug references that you remember or know of?

H.R. Puffinstuff: Actually the least trippy, even it was freaky like a drug-induced nightmare—being transferred or translated into a strange and weird world

The Bugaloos: Vivid colours and, since the characters were supposed to be tiny, there were huge flowers and sort of an ;Alice in Wonderland” ambiance, with Celtic / British music and a trippy seeing of the world in otherworldly harmony, like being high or seeing the world in afterglow.

Liddsville: Falling, swirling, psychedelic imagery, endless swirling, vivid colours and music

Sigmund and the Seamonsters: Trippy premise, running in circles in caves with swirling, colored lights. Two pre/early teenage boys with lots of swirling coloured lights and music.

Land of the Lost: Even this show had falling into the Land of the Lost, lots of weird things with vivid colours and sounds such as trippy time tunnels, alternate universes that were like trips, pylons and ‘skylons’ with trippy effects and lights.

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10 Answers

elbanditoroso's avatar

Why does it matter?

Were they well made? Did they tell good stories? Were they popularly accepted? Did they make money for the creators and distributors?

I can’t see why your question has a particle of relevance. Art is art.

Does it matter that Chopin and Berlioz regularly swallowed opium?
That Beethoven was an alcoholic?
That Bernstein was addicted to painkillers?

Do the drugs take away from their art?

Yellowdog's avatar

Are these questions? Why are you so defensive?

You are assuming that there is some sort of judgement on my part.

For years, the ‘debate’ has gone both ways. But considering how influential Sid and Marty Kroft were on a generation of American kids, it would be interesting to know. The imagery certainly suggests it—although not that dissimilar from Willie Wonka (1971) and educational T.V. shows like The Electric Company. Then again, some people see things where there is only innuendo.

elbanditoroso's avatar

No mine is an answer with examples.

You are making the allegation / observation that Krofft and others may have been on drugs when they were being creative. I am responding “so what?” and noting that other highly creative people were also drug users.

My response is that their creativity stands by itself, regardless of drug or alcohol use.

jca2's avatar

I guess the only way to know for sure would be for someone to ask them directly, or if they admit it in an interview or to friends or coworkers. Otherwise, it’s just speculation.

Dutchess_lll's avatar

LOL! Probably! Just like SNL and Mel Brooks!

tinyfaery's avatar

It was the 70’s. A lot of mainstream pop culture was influenced by drug culture: art, fashion, cinema, etc. At some point that zeitgeist just fed on itself. Who’s to say if the Krofts were actually influenced by drugs or the culture of the time.

seawulf575's avatar

It is entirely possible. I always thought Rocky and Bullwinkle were drug related. Not when I was a kid, but when I was older it seemed to be far more geared towards stoners than kids.

Patty_Melt's avatar

I think it went both ways for many artists. Some were under influence of one or more substances, but also may have been influenced by the basic culture of the time.

Zaku's avatar

I don’t think it’s objectively “objectivity” that leads people to think such shows were drug-induced. I’d say it’s more like some combination of one or more of common popular conversations about drugs, experience with people who are into drugs, cynicism, and/or lack of experience of lots of creative imagination without drugs.

Having known (and been one of) many very creative and imaginative people who did not do drugs, I can tell you for certain that it’s entirely possible to produce lots of “trippy” weird imaginative stuff without the “aid” or influence of (or even never having done any) drugs, or even without even getting into a spacey state of mind (which is also entirely possible without drugs).

However, a spacey state of mind can certainly lead to stuff like that, and drugs can certainly make people spacey.

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