July 30, 1929
Sid Krofft (born July 30, 1929) is a Canadian puppeteer and television producer. He created and produced a wide array of shows and TV series and specials with his brother, Marty, beginning in the 1960s.
Early life, family and education
Cydus Yolas (later to be known as Sid Krofft) was born in 1929 in Montreal to Peter, a clock salesman, and his wife Mary. Cydus took an interest in puppeteering at an early age. The family moved from Canada to Rhode Island and then New York City. By 1937, Kroftt was staging puppet shows in the family's backyard with paper puppets, and the boy planned to charge peers a penny to view it. When his parents forbade that idea, Kroftt instead charged friends a button to see the show. (Decades later, buttons became the standard currency on Living Island of the Krofft TV show H.R. Pufnstuf.)
Encouraged by his family, Krofft took his act on the road, starring in circuses such as Ringling Brothers at age 15, carnivals and burlesque shows, and he was soon joined by his father, who worked as Krofft's apprentice.
By the 1950s, Krofft was touring as the opening act for numerous celebrities, including Judy Garland, Liberace, Cyd Charisse and Tony Martin. Krofft needed another puppeteer when he opened for Judy Garland at the Flamingo Hotel, so he asked his younger brother Marty to assist. The two have been business partners ever since, forming Sid and Marty Krofft Productions.
Soon after, Krofft got the idea to do an adults-only puppet show, which ultimately came to be known as Les Poupées de Paris. The show was an instant success, and led the Kroffts to the Texas amusement park Six Flags, where a Krofft puppet attraction was erected. Their Six Flags shows caught the attention of Hanna-Barbera, who recruited the Kroffts to design costumes for their latest show, The Banana Splits Adventure Hour.
The Banana Splits was a huge success for NBC, so the Krofft brothers were asked to develop their own series. The result was H.R. Pufnstuf, a short-lived television series that became a cult phenomenon. Krofft continued to churn out ideas throughout the '70s, and brother Marty was commissioned to bring Sid's ideas to life on the television screen. The duo's children's shows were wildly popular and paved the way for the Kroffts to move to primetime with television variety shows and specials showcasing celebrities (The Donny and Marie Show, The Brady Bunch Hour, and Barbara Mandrell and the Mandrell Sisters, as examples). Krofft continued steadily developing ideas for TV shows until the early '90s, but the brothers' popularity began to wane as ratings for variety shows and live-action children's shows began to decline.
Interest in the Kroffts was renewed in October 1995 when Nick at Nite aired Pufapalooza, a marathon of the Kroffts' television shows. Several Krofft projects were revamped. A pilot was made of Electra Woman and Dyna Girl although it did not materialize into a series. A feature film of Land of the Lost was released in 2009, starring Will Ferrell. Sid Krofft has continuously mentioned plans to recreate H.R. Pufnstuf and Sigmund and the Sea Monsters as feature films, though these latter two projects have continuously been stalled before production began.
In March 2015, Sid and Marty produced a preschool series for Nickelodeon, Mutt & Stuff, that lasted for two years and 73 episodes. In 2016 they produced a reboot TV mini-series/movie of Electra Woman and Dyna Girl for Legendary Digital Studios. A reboot of Sigmund and the Sea Monsters premiered October 13, 2017, on Amazon Prime. Future projects include a revamp of DC Follies and a reboot of Land Of The Lost.
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False family history
For most of Krofft's life, he and his family's history was publicly presented as true when it was actually concocted by a publicity agent in the 1940s. In a Los Angeles Times article in 2008, Kroftt and his brother Marty admitted the deception, mentioning that even young family members possessed incorrect information, believing some of the fiction as fact.
- Kaplan, Mike (1981). "Krofft, Sid". Variety International Show Business Reference. Garland Publishing. p. 160. Retrieved January 9, 2020 – via Google Books.
- "It's the Sid & Marty Show". Los Angeles Times. 26 July 2008.
- E! True Hollywood Story: "The Weird World of Sid and Marty Krofft"
- on YouTube. Retrieved January 16, 2009.
- "Guys Make Dough with Their 'Dolls'", Ogden Standard Examiner, 24 August 1962.
- Neumaier, Joe (June 4, 2009). "Will Ferrell's 'Land of the Lost' is a 'lumbering disaster'". NYDailyNews.com. Retrieved January 9, 2020.