Saturday, March 04, 2006

Jack Wild R.I.P.

It was with a twinge of sadness and regret that I read this recent obituary:

Actor Jack Wild, best known for playing the Artful Dodger as a teenager in the Oscar-winning 1968 film "Oliver!" has died from cancer. He was 53. Nominated for an Academy Award for that role aged just 16, he went on to star in the U.S. television series "H.R. Pufnstuf" and in several films before his career began to derail, in part because of excessive drinking from an early age.

Could H.R. Pufnstuf have been any more schlocky and putrid? It was low-budget taken to new depths by the Hollywood dream team of Sid & Marty Kroft. These are the same giants who also brought us the Banana Splits and Sigmund & the Sea Monsters with Johnny Whitaker.

Poor Jack Wild, I'd drink a lot too if I had gone from an Oscar nomination to playing Jimmy in that inane stinker of a series. It had to be all down hill from there. How couldn't it be?

By the way, whatever happened to Johnny Whitaker? Is he now wiping down a bar in Rapid City?

What it is about that period of time that makes me glad it is over and will never again return? I remember cringing at this crappy stuff as a kid and realizing that being stupid and passively tolerant of mediocrity were part and parcel of my national culture. Yes I was 10 and fully cognizant of how insipid and trashy American mass existence really was.

"And they called it puppy loooo-oove".

By age 12 I had begun listening to the Mothers, Dylan & Jimi and started reading underground comics by Robert Crumb and Gilbert Shelton. The cellar door had suddenly been flung open. The rest, as they say, is history...thank God.

Jack Wild R.I.P

H.R. Pufnstuf,
Who's your friend when things get rough?
H.R. Pufnstuf
Can't do a little cause he can't do enough.


dmb4 said...

"cringe" is the best word. i thought i was the only one who literally couldn't watch that crap. it just gave me a fucked up feeling somewhere between my brain and my stomach.the "oogies".

Uncle Jelly said...

Now just a gotdam minute; I got my first piece o' ass off a girl who looked just like H.R. Pufnstuf in a red wig, so back the hell off.

Sheesh! Will I NEVER live that down?

beamis said...

Cindy McKimmie?

beamis said...

Also to Uncle Jelly on the banks of the Savannah:

I want to let ya'll know how much I LOVE MY GEORGIA FRIENDS!

You my kind o' folks.

Yes they is!

Uncle Jelly said...

Don't I wish!
But not being one to kiss and nibble and probe and schmear and tell, the details of that ill-flatused affair I will have to keep repressed.
No, this one's ones were little ones on one wide wandering wash of bright white bony, yet somehow gelatinous, chest meat.
Those dual bulges of knee lube hanging out back were generous scoops of nippleless, mouthwatering flesh adorned with a coarse veil of glucose veins and downy black schtubble.
The cheeks of her tukus were planar, it seemed, rounding out only after they reached her full beam, presenting to her lover a wraparound dashboard of controls in various shapes of fatty nodules, dents and moley buttons of all imaginable and mostly organic colors and textures, and nearly centered therein was that mandatory meal dribbling the soup du jour, with curds large and small and rusty-colored scallion rings.
Ah, those odoromas..., but I've said too much already, my friend. The voids, and they were considerable, I leave to you and your readers to fill as you are able.

Devastatin' Dave said...

Slander and libel!! There were many a day as a young lad when I would get home after school and delight in watching HR Pufnstuf, the Banana Splits, etc. Sid and Marty spoke to me.

beamis said...

What do the song lyrics mean?

Devastatin' Dave said...

No idea. I just said they spoke to me. Didn't say I understood it.

Audie said...

Is the Banana Splits the show that had the chimpanzee detectives? Now, THOSE bits were funny!

And more prose from uncle jelly!

Devastatin' Dave said...


I think you're thinking of Lancelot Link, Secret Chimp.

Audie said...

Yes! Lancelot Link, Secret Chimp! That's it. That shit used to crack me up.

I see that is available on DVD....

Devastatin' Dave said...

The voiceovers were a riot. Even funnier than the chimps themselves.

Uncle Jelly said...


Danger Island! Hated every episode at least three times.