(RepublicanDaily.org) – Marty Krofft, a veteran producer and pioneer of children’s television programming, died recently due to kidney failure. He was 86 years old.
Krofft’s publicist, B. Harlan Boll, confirmed his death to news outlets, and said that the producer was surrounded by family and friends at the time of his death.
Krofft, along with his brother Sid, was a mover and shaker in the kids’ TV industry, and was one of the minds behind classic and iconic children’s shows like “H.R. Pufnstuf” and “Land of the Lost.” The Krofft brothers were household names especially in the 1970s, when they produced a number of hit shows for families and children. Marty was known as the “King of Saturday Mornings” because of the popularity of his shows at the time.
The shows Krofft produced were known for their fantastical, whimsical, and absurdist themes that featured catchy songs kids could easily pick up, as well as a colorful cast of wholesome characters, often puppets with giant heads and anthropomorphic creatures, such as the owl of H.R. Pufnstuf – who also happened to have a medical license. The brothers had their roots in vaudevillian puppeteering, one time opening for Judy Garland at a show at the Flamingo casino in Las Vegas, before settling for a five-decade stint in television.
His unique approach to children’s entertainment set him apart from more traditional and similarly popular kids’ programming at the time such as Mister Rodger’s Neighborhood and Sesame Street. In an interview in 2016 for the Hollywood Reporter, he described his shows as having “an edge,” as compared to other programming. “Disney doesn’t have an edge,” he said, adding, “We screwed with every kid’s mind.”
Their whimsical themes also caused them to be accused of being high on marijuana or LSD when creating their shows, a charge Krofft denied. “You can’t do a show stoned,” he said in the same Hollywood Reporter interview.
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