The Krofft “Super”show

 By Shamus Oct 22, 2007 23 comments

Last year I was ranting about the uniform awfulness of 70′s culture. While writing those posts, I found an old dusty corner of my mind with a pile of memories I don’t use anymore. Behind the memories of putting ice cubes onto the heating vent to melt deep waffle-like atterns into their surfaces, underneath some loose recollections of Bill Cosby’s Picture Pages, and sitting on top of some vague notions of a McDonald’s playset, I found a bunch of disjoined images from some television shows that I couldn’t identify. I couldn’t remember the names of the characters or the show, just situations and plot devices. Some creative googling finally led me to a website that (somehow) has images from those old shows. As soon as I saw them, the whole thing came flooding back.

Lots of people remember kid’s television from the 70′s. Scooby Doo. Lost In Space reruns. Gilligan’s Island reruns. Batman. Spiderman. Speed racer. Wonder Woman. Some of these have enjoyed recent revivals or remakes. But some shows didn’t survive and are not so fondly remembered. The shows I was remembering were Electra Woman and Dyna Girl, Dr. Shrinker, Wonderbug, and Lost Saucer. I found out they are all actually just segments the same show: The Krofft Supershow.

Most of us have idealized memories of childhood television programs. Despite this retroactive rose-colored view, there is no way around it: This stuff was crap. Utter tripe. Even at six years old I remember noticing that the thing was kind of lame. Keep in mind that I was at an age where I still thought Scooby Doo and Gilligan’s Island were clever. This show took awful and tacky to new, uncharted extremes.

The show ran two years, from 1976 to 1978. I never expected to see them again. Imagine my surprise.

The Electrawoman and Dynagirl segment left an impression on me. Somewhere in the back of my mind were some features that had not yet been enabled. Some unlockables, if you will. As a little boy I knew there was something about these images of women in spandex and go-go boots. These images were important… somehow. Couldn’t put my finger on it. Not for another few years, by which time the show had been swapped out of active memory to make room for episodes of Wonder Woman.

wonder_woman.jpg

Kept that one cached for a few years.

20323 comments. Highly cototient!


  1. jpetoh says:

    I LOVED that show. Captain Kool and the Kongs. Dr. Shrinker. Wonderbug. Bigfoot and Wildboy. I never would have understood the brilliance that is Billy Barty (pre-UHF) without that show. I remember about twelve years ago Nick-at-Nite did a one-time-only Sid & Marty Krofft marathon called Puffapalooza where I got to remenisce about all that, plus Land of the Lost, Lidsville, the Bugaloos, the Brady Bunch Variety Hour and H.R. Pufnstuff. (Damn VHS tape could only hold 6 hours.)

    While I know it was all cheesy, it helped inspire my budding creativity. I used to write stories about my own version of Wonderbug and have been intrigued by the concept of anthropomorphic cars ever since.

    RE Electra-Woman and Dyna-Girl. I share your sentiments. You want some real fun: look them up on Wikipedia and read the plot for the new EW&DG series they had been planning.

    • Christina says:

      I had it recorded on VHS, too. I’m currenty trying to find a movie they showed during a commercial. :D My sister and I have been planning since we were little to go as Elektra Woman and Dyna Girl for Halloween!

  2. Skeeve the Impossible says:

    And everyone said your new comic degraded women. To that I say PSHAAW! election women and dinosaur girl…errr whatever there dumb names are, are degrading to women.

  3. Skeeve the Impossible says:

    Oh and if that Wonder Women used her truth crap on me, the only truth she would get out of me is that she has some serious camel toe kickin.

  4. Maddy says:

    I taped the whole of Puffapalooza when it was on, and was shocked at how much worse the Super Show was than I had remembered. But it was still fun just to see it again.

    Dr. Shrinker and Electra Woman/Dyna Girl were definitely the best of the bunch. I can’t believe those two campy charmers were dropped after the first season only to be replaced by shows that were even cheesier yet totally unfunny.

  5. Nazgul says:

    Oh goody. Now out of some dusty, forgotten corner of my brain immediately comes the Dr. Shrinker theme song. Or at least ten seconds of it, on infinite repeat.

    Excuse me, I must now go pull my own head off.

  6. jpetoh says:

    Here’s the whole thing, Nazgul. Maybe this’ll help:

    Dr. Shrinker, Dr. Shrinker, he’s a madman with an evil mind.
    Dr. Shrinker, Dr. Shrinker, he’s as crazy as you’ll ever find.
    Crashed upon the doctor’s isle
    Shrinkies are shrunken by laser ray
    Will they always be so small?
    Will they be lucky and get away?
    Dr. Shrinker, Dr. Shrinker,
    he’s a madman with an evil mind.
    Dr. Shrinker, Dr. Shrinker, he’s as crazy as you’ll ever find.
    Dr. Shrinker!

  7. Oleyo says:

    I need to do the same with “Dr. Who” someday. I was absolutely entranced by that show when I was very young. Too young to know what he was doing or what the overall plot was, I can only remember the imagery and the feel of the show. I just could not get enough of that show, especially the intro. Compared to all the other PBS shows I was watching like Seaseme Street, it was AMAZING.

    I am always excited when I see the listing now on BBCA, but alas it is always the new version. I need to find out what the heck that show was about.

  8. Taelus says:

    I hate to do this, but I have to admit I wasn’t alive at that point. While I’ve seen all the Gilligan’s Island reruns I can stomach, this show is completely new to me. Now, being the kind of guy who loves really cheesy, preferably badly made, shows about superheroes or zombies, I’m likely to hunt it down later.

    Of course, if it had superheroes AND zombies, I’d be buying it on DVD as we speak…

  9. Enas Yorl says:

    Aww, come on! Who didn’t love the The Far Out Space Nuts?!

  10. Vulpin says:

    Oleyo 8: The original Dr. Who is at many times cheesy, overblown, overacted, and underfunded but I still love it. It was quite innovative for its time and (lousy special effects and acting that would make Shatner blush on occasion aside) is still one of the most intricate universes shown on TV. This is more a reflection on how flat most TV is rather than how brilliant Dr. Who is – the logical inconsistencies and cannon errors are impressive too.

    That said, Dr. Who is one of my cherished shows, and I did a little dance when a certain Companion bit it (in character) (won’t say who, only that it’s one I hated even as a kid).

  11. Patrick the Malcontent says:

    Funny how if you look at it, TV hasn’t come up with anything new in 40 years.

    EW&DG= Zena warrior princess
    Brady Bunch= Family matters
    Wonderbug= kids version of Knight rider (OOOoohh…Hasselhoff…der sexydeuch!)

    Dr. shrinker= House MD

    blah blah you get it…think of a show from the 70′s and 80′s and i got 50 bucks says i can find a ripoff from the last 20 years

  12. MPR says:

    I’m with Shamus. Even when I was little, I thought the Krofft shows were pretty lame.
    The one thing that I do remember, the defining event of my developing psyche, the moment when it all went terribly wrong …
    Alice Cooper on The Muppet Show.
    Seriously.
    Look it up.
    Kermit: “Boy, it wasn’t spooky like this when Julie Andrews did the show.”

  13. Alex says:

    I’ll admit that I don’t know much about women, but where is the waist on Lynda Carter?

  14. Telas says:

    Yes, television truly sucked back then. Plots that a first-year DM would reject, dialog that makes Dolemite seem like an Oscar winner, and choreography that makes Kirk a badass.

    But we were young. At least that’s my excuse (born in 66). I have no idea what my parents’ excuse is…

  15. Shamus says:

    Alex: Check out the look on her face… I’m pretty sure she’s just holding her breath the entire time she has that on.

    (More seriously, I’ll bet that nasty thing bit into her sides. Ow ow ow. As a kid I had Transformers that were made out of softer plastic than that outfit.)

  16. Davesnot says:

    Were the Bananan Splits in that show somewhere?

  17. Jochi says:

    Vulpin:
    If you’re a longtime fan, you’ll probably like what Rich Morris of YAFGC is doing with the mythos now.
    http://comics.shipsinker.com/
    As a (grimace) Yank I’ve only seen Dr’s 4, 5 and a bit of 3 and 6, along with 9 now.

  18. Dave says:

    “I’ll admit that I don’t know much about women, but where is the waist on Lynda Carter?”

    *Exactly* where it’s supposed to be, just like everything else on her. :) The episodes where she wore a wetsuit were a defining moment in my young life.

  19. I was thinking about The Krofft Supershow last week because “My Name is Earl” made a “Dr. Shrinker” reference. I’d entirely forgotten the theme song, though I surely could sing the ones for Lost Saucer, Wonderbug, and Electra Woman & Dyna Girl.

    I preferred early anime imports like “Star Blazers” and “Mysterious Cities of Gold”. “Speed Racer” not so much.

  20. Christian Groff says:

    “Dr. Who is one of my cherished shows”

    Here here! I remember watching episodes of that show, and it was my first fave sci-fi TV show. I saw the Tomorrow People when Nickelodeon was a baby, and I didn’t have the nejoyment of it like I did when watching The Doctor fight the Dalek, Cyberman, and The Master and Rani. That was cool. I even once had a book novelization of one of the old episodes. :)

    I also liked Gilligan’s Island when I was a kid. I saw an episode of ALF where ALF got obsessed with the show, and then had a nightmare where he was on Gilligan’s Island and the characters were watching a sitcom about his ALF’s human adoptees. :)

  21. Scott D. says:

    One of these shows – Far Out Space Nuts – has been stuck in my head for years. I half-remembered it as Skipper and Gilligan in Space (which is basically correct) but I could never track it down. Most of my problem in finding it is that I was looking for a black and white show since I think I only watched it at my grandparents house and they only had a black and white TV (my grandfather refused to buy anything Japanese and he couldn’t find an American-made color TV at the time). Thanks for helping me find it!

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