H.R. Pufnstuf 1.11 – Dinner for Two, Please, Orson

After the last episode being a kind of humdrum runaround, this one’s properly silly and entertaining again. Witchiepoo is lonely, and sings that her phone hasn’t rung since 1910 and instead of catching men, she just catches colds. Bored and depressed, she zaps the Clock People’s time machine for no other reason than to “keep a hand in.”

At that moment, Grandfather Clock is trying to send Jimmy and Freddy back to the day before they came to Living Island, but the explosion instead ages them sixty years. An amnesiac Jimmy with a long white beard sets the flute down and wanders off in search of hot milk and cookies. Witchiepoo finds him in the forest, feeds him, names him Prince Charming, and plans to marry him.

I’m not quite sure how clued in Sid and Marty Krofft actually were to the counterculture (a reasonable question that I’ll revisit), and nor am I sure how the best-dressed drag queens of 1969 were doing their makeup, but the sight of Billie Hayes with hideously garish “wedding” makeup atop her witch makeup really is amazing. I kept waiting for RuPaul to show up and tell her to sashay away.

As in “The Golden Key,” by the way, this is an escape route that ends for no good reason. The time machine is repaired, and the lovestruck witch is turned into a baby, so what’s stopping Grandfather Clock from going back to Plan A and sending Jimmy back in time?

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