A young boy named Jimmy has in his possession a magic flute named Freddie that can talk and play tunes on its own. One day he gets on a magic talking boat that promises to take him on an adventure. The boat happens to belong to a wicked witch named Witchiepoo, who uses the boat to kidnap Jimmy and take him to her home base on Living Island, where she hopes to steal Freddie for her own selfish needs. Fortunately Jimmy is rescued by the island's mayor, a six foot dragon named H.R. Pufnstuf. After Jimmy is rescued by Pufnstuf and his two deputies, Kling and Klang, his adventures begin as well as his attempts to get back home.Written by
Brian Washington <Sargebri@att.net>
Coral Kerr created many characters for Sid Krofft and Marty Krofft's films and television series, and for numerous other live action and animation productions since 1966. She created the idea for what became "Freddie the flute" after she was asked to come up with a sort of conscience for Jimmy. She found out 35 years later that Sid and the two male members of the art department were concerned that it would appear too phallic for a television show. See more »
(End title theme)
Performed by The Pufnstuf See more »
Under Witchiepoo's Spell, I Am
Attention: If her charms are completely lost on you, read no further!
As someone who's never smoked the wacky tobacky, I do my best to ignore the alleged reference in H(appy).R(elaxing). Pufnstuf. Anyway, my story...
I was just a little too young to watch the show when it first aired. Today, having first seen it on TV Land quite recently, I would easily dismiss it as silly crap if it weren't for one thing: Witchiepoo, the resident villain. This little witch, as played by Billie Hayes, is irresistibly cute and utterly entertaining. She more than makes up for everything the show may lack. Kudos, though, to the rest of the cast, mostly puppeteers.
True, Witchiepoo may seem like a total rip-off of the Wicked Witches in "The Wizard of Oz", but I have yet to fall madly in love with Margaret Hamilton's green-faced ghoul, as excellent as she was in that role. It is a testament to Billie Hayes' talent that, through all the ugly make-up, she can be so wonderfully charming and adorable. Witchiepoo proves that a witch need not be pretty (Samantha, Sabrina) to be lovable. And I defy you to hear that sweet laugh of hers and not instantly fall under her spell!
Witchiepoo is the antithesis of so much sleazy TV programming today, and that's why I don't feel as silly as I could've about proclaiming my deep affection for this sweet and enchanting character. Thirty-five years since Witchiepoo first arrived, and it'll be a long time before I fall for another fictional character the way I've fallen for Witchiepoo. I am truly bewitched.
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