H.R. Pufnstuf is a children's television series produced by Sid and Marty Krofft in the United States. There were seventeen episodes of the show originally broadcast from September 6, 1969 to September 4, 1971. It was so successful that NBC kept it on the Saturday morning schedule for a full three seasons until August 1972. The show was shot in Paramount Studios and its opening was shot in Big Bear Lake, California.
The complete series was released as a DVD box set in the United States in February 2004. The film has also been offered on VHS, now out of print.
Billie Hayes reprised her role of Witchiepoo in the Lidsville episode "Have I Got a Girl for Hoodoo."
An epsiode of CHiPs featured H.R. Pufnstuf being stopped by the CHP!
We've heard that for 35 years. We did not intentionally do anything related to drugs in the story. People thought we were on drugs. You can't do good television while on drugs. People never believe you when you say that, but you can't. The shows were very bright and spacey looking. They may have lent themselves to that culture at the time, but we didn't ascribe that meaning to them, and I can't speak to what adults were doing when they were watching the shows. We just set out to make a quality children's program.|40px|40px|Marty Krofft|St. Louis Post-Dispatch, February 17, 2004
Authors of books on the show and its contemporaries, however, have not always accepted the Kroffts' alternative explanations for apparent references to drugs. David Martindale, author of Pufnstuf & Other Stuff, maintains that the Kroffts' need to attract an audience that are now parents of impressionable children forces them at least to downplay the double entendres: "But to deny it, the shows lose some of their mystique. The Kroffts prefer to remain playfully vague." Martindale said in another interview that he fully believes Marty Krofft's insistence that he did not use drugs, especially given that Marty's focus was that of a businessman, but Martindale describes Sid Krofft as "a big kid" and "a hippy," saying, "His comment when I told him we were going to do this book was - and I quote - 'Oh, far out.' He says these shows didn't come from smoking just a little pot, and you could say, 'Oh, yeah. It comes from smoking a lot of pot.' But I think he was very deliberately doing double meanings so the show could amuse people on different levels." Kevin Burke, co-author of Saturday Morning Fever: Growing Up with Cartoon Culture, argues that the "consistency of thought" in the rumors of drug references has a basis, although his co-author and brother Timothy Burke, a history professor insists "human beings are capable of achieving hallucinatory heights without chemical assistance." Contradicting his own position, Marty Krofft has either admitted or hinted in occasional interviews that the references were made knowingly; in one case, a writer reported that when pressed as to the connotation of "lids" in the title Lidsville, "Well, maybe we just had a good sense of humor," Krofft said, laughing." His comments to another interviewer were more direct; in a Times Union profile whose author observed, "Watching the shows today, it's hard to imagine a show with more wink-and-nod allusions to pot culture, short of something featuring characters named Spliffy and Bong-O," Krofft conceded that the show's title had been an intentional marijuana reference, as had Lidsville, but "that was just a prank to see if they could get them past clueless NBC executives" (author's words).
Nike made a skateboarding shoe for their SB Dunk line named after the show, with the colors of the shoe resembling those of Pufnstuf.
Excerpts from the show can often be seen playing on the TV in the hotel room Earl and his brother share in My Name Is Earl, and the October 18, 2007, episode features an extended scene with H.R. Pufnstuf as a super-crimefighter working alongside the title-character's brother in a fantasy creative-writing exercise.
H.R. Pufnstuf appeared in the South Park episode "Imaginationland." That episode also aired on the same week of his appearance on My Name Is Earl.
In the "Happy Birthdays" episode of George Lopez, it is said that H.R. Pufnstuf was one of George's childhood heroes, and a man in a Pufnstuf costume appears at Max's birthday party. Later on, George dances to the Pufnstuf theme with the man in the costume.
The rock band Everclear's music video for "AM Radio," a tribute to the 1960s and 1970s, features a short clip from the show.
The first season CHiPs episode, "Green Thumb Burglar" featured H.R. Pufnstuf pulled over driving a car. Ponch and Jon make him get out of the car and walk, as the costume obstructs the driving view of the road.
In Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls, when Ace is roughly shoved against a car, he says, "Hey! What are you? H. R. Shovenstuf?", an obvious reference.
On the NBC television show Will & Grace in episode 1-09 "The Truth About Will & Dogs" "Will" becomes obsessed with a new puppy "Grace" adopted. While having an argument about the way Grace is treating the puppy, he accuses her of giving the puppy the "Witchiepoo Finger" when the puppy does something wrong. This is a reference to the character Witchiepoo and her trademark point.
In recent internet culture, some consider H.R. Pufnstuf to be a close relative to the Pillsbury Doughboy, who is better known as Pop'N'Fresh.