H.R. Pufnstuf 1.16 – Whaddya Mean the Horse Gets the Girl?

“This episode made no sense,” said Marie. And she’s right, but boy, is it funny.

Toadenoff and Shirley are back in this story. This time, everybody’s making a movie to – somehow – raise money for the Get Rid of the Witch fund, which raises again the question of who the heck the audience for films made on Living Island is. If only these movies could show up in muggle theaters, you know?

Anyway, for a while, this episode looks like a power struggle between Ludicrous Lion and Horse. Ludicrous is cast as a deputy in the picture first, but he bungles things so much – calling the director “Mac” didn’t help – that Toadenoff recasts the part. He gives Horse a new name, Pierpont Pony, and it goes straight to his head. Demanding, as stars do, that he be brought a drink of water – that Ludicrous bring the water – has everybody rolling their eyes.

Eventually, the writers remembered that they needed something to do with Witchiepoo, so she zaps Toadenoff into her castle to have him direct her movie, Gone With the Witch. This is possibly the silliest scene in the entire series, which is saying something. It’s an amazing scene because it requires Billie Hayes, who is a fantastic actor, to play Witchiepoo in the role of her younger self, and Witchiepoo cannot act. At all. She can overact so unbearably that Toadenoff can only shake his head.

But what makes this episode particularly weird is that it has the opposite problem of last week, where the writers got backed into a corner and had no idea how to get out of it except the cheat of turning time back. This week, Horse – I mean, Pierpont Pony – swallows the witch’s wand, zaps her, Seymour, and Orson into immobility, then loses his mind because he’s an egotistical star and starts zapping everything and the episode just ends because they ran out of time!

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