Sid and Marty Krofft
Sid Krofft with the puppet of Liberace from Les Poupées de Paris
Other namesThe Krofft Brothers
Occupations
  • Television creators
  • television and film Producers
  • writers
  • puppeteers
Notable work
Sid Krofft
Birth nameSid Yolas[1]
Born (1929-07-30) July 30, 1929 (age 94)
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Marty Krofft
Birth nameMarty Yolas[1]
Born(1937-04-09)April 9, 1937
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
DiedNovember 25, 2023(2023-11-25) (aged 86)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Websitewww.sidandmartykrofft.com

Sid Krofft (born July 30, 1929) and Marty Krofft (April 9, 1937 – November 25, 2023),[2] known as The Krofft Brothers and born as Sid and Marty Yolas,[1] were a Canadian sibling team of television creators, writers and puppeteers. Through their production company, Sid & Marty Krofft Pictures, they made numerous children's television and variety show programs in the U.S., particularly in the 1970s, including H.R. Pufnstuf, Land of the Lost, and Sigmund and the Sea Monsters. Their fantasy programs often featured large-headed puppets, high-concept plots, and extensive use of low-budget special effects.

Early years

The Krofft brothers, Sid and Marty, were both born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, on July 30, 1929,[citation needed] and April 9, 1937[citation needed] respectively. They are of Greek and Hungarian descent, with their original surname being Yolas.[1][3] For years, they claimed to have been the fifth generation of puppeteers in their family but revealed in 2008 that this story had been invented by a publicist in the 1940s. Their father Peter was a clock salesman who moved from Canada to Providence, Rhode Island, and then to New York City.[4] Sid Krofft became a popular puppeteer who worked in vaudeville[citation needed] and was a featured player with the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. In the 1940s, Sid created a one-man puppet show, "The Unusual Artistry of Sid Krofft", and performed it throughout the world. His father joined him on tour in Paris while Marty stayed in New York, where he began using his older brother's puppets to earn money by staging performances. By the 1950s, the Krofft brothers were working together, and in 1957, they developed Les Poupées de Paris, a puppet show with more mature themes. One of their early exposures to a television audience was the premiere episode of The Dean Martin Show in 1965.[citation needed]

Television productions

Marty Krofft in 1962

After designing the characters and sets for Hanna-Barbera's The Banana Splits (NBC, 1968–1970), the Kroffts' producing career began in 1969 with the landmark children's television series H.R. Pufnstuf. The series introduced the team's trademark style of large-scale, colourful design, puppetry, and special effects. Featuring a boy who has been lured into an alternate fantasy world and can never escape, the team also established a storytelling formula to which they would often return. Some people suggested that the Krofft brothers were influenced by marijuana and LSD, although they have always denied these claims. In a 2005 interview with USA Today, Marty Krofft said, "No drugs involved. You can't do drugs when you're making shows. Maybe after, but not during. We're bizarre, that's all."[5] Referring to the alleged LSD use, Marty said in another interview, "That was our look, those were the colours, everything we did had vivid colours, but there was no acid involved. That scared me. I'm no goody two-shoes, but you can't create this stuff stoned."[6]

The Kroffts favoured quirky superhero stories, often with children portraying the heroes or part of a hero team. Particularly visionary and popular Krofft productions have included The Bugaloos (1970), Lidsville (1971), Sigmund and the Sea Monsters (1973–1975), Land of the Lost (1974–1976), The Lost Saucer (1975), Electra Woman and Dyna Girl (1976), and Wonderbug (1976–1978).

The World of Sid and Marty Krofft

Main article: The World of Sid and Marty Krofft

In 1976, a developer asked the Kroffts to develop an indoor amusement park for the new Omni International complex downtown Atlanta. The park, The World of Sid and Marty Krofft, closed after six months due to poor attendance. The Omni International building that contained it was renamed the CNN Center when the site was converted to the CNN headquarters.[7]

Achievements

The Kroffts' children's programs have developed a wide and enduring following, especially among adults who watched the shows as children. They were also responsible for a large number of prime-time music and variety programs. These shows also tended to employ a reliable formula featuring a celebrity host or team of hosts, weekly celebrity guest performers, flashy and colourful sets, and frequent interludes of scripted banter and gag-driven, "corny," good-natured sketch comedy.[7]

The Kroffts are often acknowledged for the vision and creativity of their projects. In addition to their colourful and hyper-kinetic programs, they often created children's shows with complex stories, unusual protagonists, and uniquely modern sensibilities, or with darker or more action-themed tones than most children's shows.[7] Their "camp" popularity stems largely from their shows' low-budget production values, the often surrealistic feel of many of the programs, and the uniquely "70s" style of music and design.[7]

Later years

The Kroffts have occasionally departed from their formula while making new programs, such as on Pryor's Place (1984) and the political puppet satire show D.C. Follies (1987). They have attempted to update some of their classic series for a younger generation, including new versions of Land of the Lost, Electra Woman and Dyna Girl, H.R. Pufnstuf[7] and Sigmund and the Sea Monsters. A new original series, Mutt & Stuff, aired on Nickelodeon from 2015 to 2017.

In 2018, the Kroffts received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Daytime Emmys.[8]

In 2020, the Kroffts were honoured with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for their contributions to television.[9]

In May 2022, the Kroffts participated in the first Krofft Kon, a convention held in Orinda, California, where they were joined by some of the actors from their television series.[10]

Marty Krofft died from kidney failure in Los Angeles, California, on November 25, 2023, at the age of 86.[11]

Awards

Award Ceremony Organisation Presenter Year Notes/References
Emmy Award: Lifetime Achievement Award 45th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences 2018 [12][13]
TV Land Award: Pop Culture Award 7th Annual TV Land Awards The TV Land Icon Awards Will Ferrell 2009
Saturn Award: Life Career Award 29th Saturn Awards Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films 2002

Works

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TV series

Television specials/pilots

Direct-to-video

Films

Live shows

Web series

References

  1. ^ a b c d Ingall, Marjorie (16 October 2017). "Sid and Marty Krofft: Not Stoned, Not Jewish, but Great and Back with 'Sigmund' Reboot". Archived from the original on 4 October 2022. Retrieved 4 October 2022.
  2. ^ "History | The World of Sid & Marty Krofft". Archived from the original on 2020-08-05. Retrieved 2020-10-25.
  3. ^ Kit, Andy Lewis,Borys; Lewis, Andy; Kit, Borys (15 January 2016). "Inside Sid & Marty Krofft's Trippy World: "We Screwed With Every Kid's Mind"". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 21 March 2023. Retrieved 2 June 2023.((cite web)): CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  4. ^ Boucher, Geoff (26 July 2008). "It's the Sid and Marty show". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 2023-04-02. Retrieved 2023-06-02.
  5. ^ "'The World of Sid and Marty Krofft': Marty Krofft". USA Today. January 21, 2005. Archived from the original on 2012-05-19. Retrieved 2017-09-11.
  6. ^ The Krofft Oeuvre Archived 2005-02-12 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ a b c d e Martindale, David (1998). Pufnstuf & Other Stuff: The Weird and Wonderful World of Sid and Marty Krofft. Los Angeles, California: St. Martin's Press. ISBN 1-58063-007-3.
  8. ^ "Today in Entertainment: Carol Burnett to receive Golden Globe award for TV achievement". Los Angeles Times. 13 December 2018. Archived from the original on 2020-10-24. Retrieved 2020-10-25.
  9. ^ Hurwitz, Matt (2020-02-13). "The Craft of the Kroffts: Sid & Marty's Road to Hollywood's Walk of Fame". Variety. Archived from the original on 2020-10-27. Retrieved 2020-10-25.
  10. ^ "H.R. Pufnstuf Cosplay Convention 'Kroftt Kon' Lands In Orinda This Weekend". SFist. May 20, 2022. Archived from the original on August 31, 2022. Retrieved August 31, 2022.
  11. ^ Dagan, Carmel (November 25, 2023). "Marty Krofft, Producer of 'H.R. Pufnstuf,' 'Land of the Lost,' Dies at 86". Variety. Retrieved November 25, 2023.
  12. ^ Maloney, Michael (27 April 2018). "Sid Krofft and Marty Krofft Reflect on Road to Daytime Emmy Lifetime Achievement Award". Variety. Retrieved 26 November 2023.
  13. ^ Fairman, Michael (April 25, 2018). "All in the Family: Lifetime Achievement Award Recipients Sid and Marty Kroftt – The Emmys". theemmys.tv. Retrieved 26 November 2023.
  14. ^ David Edwin Harrell Jr. (1985). Oral Roberts: An American Life. Indiana Univ. Press. p. 399. ISBN 0253114411. Retrieved 27 October 2016.