|Created by||Sid and Marty Krofft|
Charles Nelson Reilly
|Voices of||Lennie Weinrib|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||17|
|Producer||Sid and Marty Krofft|
|Running time||25 minutes (per episode)|
|Production company||Sid & Marty Krofft Television Productions|
|Original release||September 11, 1971 –|
September 2, 1973
Lidsville is Sid and Marty Krofft's third television show following H.R. Pufnstuf (1969) and The Bugaloos (1970). As did its predecessors, the series combined two types of characters: conventional actors in makeup taped alongside performers in full mascot costumes, whose voices were dubbed in post-production. Seventeen episodes aired on Saturday mornings on ABC for two seasons, 1971–1973. The show was rebroadcast on NBC Saturday mornings the following season.
The opening was shot at Six Flags Over Texas. Otherwise, the show was shot at Paramount Pictures film studio in Los Angeles.[unreliable source?]
Lidsville resembles an earlier British series, Hattytown Tales, produced by Hattyland Enterprises & FilmFair Ltd. in 1969, which used an almost identical concept but different characters and was produced in stop motion animation.
Like predecessors H.R. Pufnstuf and The Bugaloos, Lidsville ran for only one season (1971–1972), with reruns airing the following year (1972–1973). Also like H.R. Pufnstuf, Lidsville's title and subject matter were often interpreted as references to drug use: the word "lid" is slang for a hat or cap (as in "flip your lid"), but "lid" is also early-1970s slang for an ounce of cannabis (marijuana).
Like most children's television shows of its era, Lidsville contained a laugh track.
The show involved a teenage boy named Mark (Butch Patrick) who fell into the hat of Merlo the Magician (Charles Nelson Reilly), following his show at Six Flags Over Texas, and arrived in Lidsville, a land of living hats. The hats on the show are depicted as having the same characteristics as the humans who would normally wear them. For example, a cowboy hat would act and speak like a cowboy. The characters' houses were also hat-shaped.
The villain of the show was a magician named Horatio J. HooDoo (also played by Charles Nelson Reilly in a magician's costume and make-up). The vain, short-tempered, but somewhat naive HooDoo flew around in his Hatamaran, blasting the good citizens of Lidsville with bolts of magic (referred to as "zapping") and keeping them in fear, demanding that they pay him their Hat Tax. Mark helped the good hats resist as he attempted to find a way back home. HooDoo, trying to reclaim control of the androgynous Weenie the Genie from Mark, often enlisted the services of four Bad Hats. Mark was seen as a suspected spy against HooDoo on behalf of the good hat people and was captured at Derby Dunes by HooDoo's minions the Bad Hats the moment he had fallen into the world of Lidsville. He escapes from his clutches alongside a genie named Weenie (Billie Hayes).
In his high hat home, HooDoo was constantly besieged by the taunting music of his Hat Band, as well as all of his talking knickknacks (Parrot, Mr. Skull, mounted alligator head, the sawed-in-half lady, etc.). HooDoo also experienced further aggravation at the hands of his aides, the dimwitted Raunchy Rabbit and his two-faced card guard Jack of Clubs. HooDoo watched the action going on in downtown Lidsville from his hat home by using his Evil Eye, a device similar to a TV set that resembled an eyeball. He also had a hot chatline phone. The show relied on an endless array of puns based on hats. One such pun was "Derby Dunes", an area in Lidsville which sand dunes were shaped like derby hats.
Many of the episodes were about Mark trying to get back home, but the evil HooDoo prevented him from leaving. Weenie, being a nervous bumbler, was in fact a genie, but many of the tricks and spells did not work correctly anymore after being a slave to HooDoo for so long.
In the show's final episode, scenes from some of the past episodes were featured as HooDoo's mother (played by Muriel Landers, but not listed in the closing credits) had paid a visit to find out what has been going on in Lidsville while making sure that her son is still bad. Unfortunately for Mark, he did not return home at the end.
Music was also a part of the show, with songs being performed by the characters in several episodes.
|1||"World in a Hat"||September 11, 1971|
|After falling into the magician's hat and discovering a magical world, Mark is mistaken for a spy by the tyrannical HooDoo and his cohorts including Weenie the good-natured genie.|
|2||"Show Me the Way to Go Home"||TBC|
|Colonel Poom navigates Mark and Weenie the Genie through the Hair Forest, the Shampoo River, and other exotic locales on their way to find The Golden Ladder. HooDoo and associates scramble to stop them and ultimately unleash Big Daddy HooDoo.|
|3||"Fly Now, Vacuum Later"||TBC|
|When Mark attempts a getaway by magic carpet, HooDoo summons a giant vacuum cleaner to swallow the boy, leaving it up to Weenie to mount a rescue.|
|4||"Weenie, Weenie, Where's Our Genie?"||TBC|
|When Weenie runs away, HooDoo kidnaps Nursie and Scorchy and holds them for ransom until the genie is returned.|
|5||"Let's Hear it for Whizzo"||TBC|
|HooDoo evicts the residents of Lidsville, so Mark disguises himself as a rival wizard and challenges HooDoo to a duel.|
|6||"Is There a Mayor in the House?"||TBC|
|Mark suggests the citizens elect a mayor, so HooDoo goes out of his way to rig the election.|
|7||"Take Me to Your Rabbit"||TBC|
|Raunchy Rabbit takes control of HooDoo's magical powers after they're struck by lightning.|
|8||"Have I Got a Girl For HooDoo"||TBC|
|HooDoo uses a Lonely Hearts Club to land a date with Wilhelmina W. Witchiepoo from H.R. Pufnstuf, so Mark summons his feminine wiles and tries to break them up.|
|9||"Mark and the Beanstalk"||TBC|
|When a magic beanstalk sprouts in Lidsville, HooDoo disguises himself as Mark and attempts to escape to the real world.|
|10||"Turn in Your Turban, You're Through"||TBC|
|HooDoo gives Mark Weenie's magic powers and uses the boy as his personal servant.|
|11||"Alias, the Imperial Wizard"||TBC|
|HooDoo crashes Weenie's birthday party and kidnaps several good hat people to plan a party for the Imperial Wizard.|
|12||"A Little HooDoo Goes a Long Way"||TBC|
|The Bad Hats plot to overthrow Hoo Doo. Meanwhile, Weenie comes down with the Ali Baba Virus.|
|HooDoo's good-natured twin brother Bruce arrives while he's away and causes great confusion in Lidsville.|
|The Bad Hats run amok when HooDoo comes down with amnesia.|
|15||"The Old Hat Home"||TBC|
|HooDoo crashes the good hat people's charity event and turns them all into senior citizens.|
|16||"The Great Brain Robbery"||TBC|
|HooDoo plays the pied piper and lures the good hat people into his Brain Wash machine to create an army to conquer the Imperial Wizard.|
|17||"Mommy Hoo Doo"||TBC|
|In this clip episode, Hoo Doo's mother comes to Lidsville while her son is away and all of the inhabitants try to convince her that Hoo Doo is still as bad as he ever was.|
A three-disc complete series set was released on DVD in the United States in January 2005 by Rhino Entertainment. The set contained all seventeen episodes in digitally remastered, uncut and original broadcast form, plus interviews with Charles Nelson Reilly, Butch Patrick, and Billie Hayes. They and the Krofft brothers also provided audio commentary on some of the episodes.
Gold Key Comics published five issues of a Lidsville comic book. The books were a mix of new stories as well as re-workings of some of the television episodes.
On January 31, 2011, it was announced that DreamWorks Animation was adapting Lidsville to make a 3-D animated musical. The feature would be directed by Conrad Vernon, and the music would be composed by Alan Menken, known for composing multiple musical scores for Walt Disney Animation Studios films. Menken stated that, "The songs will be an homage to '60s psychedelic concept-album rock." In January 2013, he posted on Twitter that "Lidsville is underway... Finally." The lyrics would be written by Glenn Slater, a frequent Menken collaborator. In June 2016, Sid Krofft said in an interview about the project: "It was going to be like Hair or Tommy, a full-blown musical. But they went in a strange direction and it just didn't work."
Additional projects include: copyist/transcriber for the new Dreamworks animated film, LIDSVILLE (lyrics by Glenn Slater, music by Alan Menken), and for the new musical, BLACK BEAUTY (Harman & Sommer).