Dragon Con attendees were surprised Friday afternoon, 4 PM in Hyatt Grand East, by a visit from the mayor of Living Island. H.R. Pufnstuf, of the eponymous 1969 TV series, greeted attendees of the “Krofft: Kings of Saturday Morning” panel. Panel hosts included Marty Krofft (founder of Sid and Marty Krofft Pictures), Rob Klein (creative VP of Krofft Pictures), and Drew Massey (creator of The Barbarian and the Troll).
Canadian duo Sid and Marty Krofft delighted mid-century television audiences with wildly creative programming, often featuring psychedelic theming and quirky puppet characters. Beginning in 1969, the Krofft brothers launched a multimedia empire. Saturday morning offerings such as The Bugaloos and Lidsville paved the way for later works such as The Brady Bunch Variety Hour and D.C. Follies. Krofft Pictures ran concurrent projects, often airing on Saturday mornings. For children of the 1970s, Krofft TV was inescapable.
Krofft recalled an early conversation with Walt Disney, who urged the Krofft brothers to maintain branding in the titles of each of their productions; in time, the brand would become valuable. Disney‘s insight proved prescient. Krofft Pictures remains active and beloved to this day. Krofft remarked that his older properties “couldn’t be killed with a baseball bat.”
Atlanta remains an important city for the Montreal-born Krofft. The World of Sid and Marty Krofft, an indoor theme park, was opened in 1976 in Downtown Atlanta. The theme park, situated in the former Omni complex (now the CNN Center), was home to the world’s longest free-standing elevator, which visitors used to enter the first stage of the experience. The park closed its doors in late 1976, but Krofft maintained a local residence in Mableton for years after.
Krofft reminisced with attendees about his work, detailing his start as a puppeteer alongside his brother, Sid, and concluding by teasing upcoming projects. Among his present endeavors are a series of remasters of classic Krofft programming to roll out in 2024.
Krofft expressed his elation to be here at Dragon Con for the first time, stating that he was more excited to connect with fans than anything else. Fortunately for Krofft Pictures’ loyal fans, Krofft shows no signs of running out of steam after decades of channeling his creativity for the world. The Daily Dragon asked Krofft what he believed to be the X factor that drives Krofft Pictures’ continued success. With a shrug, Krofft replied, “I wish I knew.”