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Horatio J. HooDoo

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Hoodoo2

When the Munsters are done, and The Ghost And Mrs. Muir is off, what are two sitcom actors to do?"

Horatio J. HooDoo
, also known as HooDoo The Magician, was the primary antagonist on the live-action Saturday Morning kids show, Lidsville (ABC Television, 1971-1973), created by Sid & Marty Krofft, notably psychedelic even by the standards of both the early 1970's and other Krofft productions. He was played by actor Charles Nelson Reilly, a consummate scenery-chewer and noted ham.

His chief nemesis and target was Mark (played by Butch Patrick, Eddie from The Munsters), a boy from our world who fell into the world of Lidsville and, like other such productions, spent the series trying to get home in vain. Mark befriended the good inhabitants of Lidsville, while Hoodoo commanded a series of henchmen, all of whom looked like talking anthropomorphic headwear. Each one had a personality resembling a stereotype of their hat--a heroic Pith Helmet talked with a high-class British accent, while a yellow Fedora talked and acted like a classic Chicago/New York 1920's mobster.

While HooDoo's intent was malevolent, his competence and skill set was firmly of the era of family-friendly villains dictated by the restrictions government and parents' groups enforced. His henchmen were similarly enabled, if not more so. Of those on the show, only three of his henchpeople, Weenie The Genie, Mark and HooDoo himself were not living hats of some sort. His schemes, while sometimes initially clever, were easily exposed, reversed, and undone. Still, the residents of Lidsville took his threat seriously, and in one episode, acted to prevent the most raucous romantic alliance this side of Rita Repulsa and Zedd- as HooDoo used a dating service to meet and woo HR Pufnstuf's Witchiepoo.

His hench-beings included :

  • Raunchy Rabbit, straight from the 'Duh Gee Boss' school of henches.
  • Jack Of Clubs, a playing card whose top and bottom could talk
  • Mr. Big, the prior mentioned gangster hat
  • Captain Hooknose, as the name implies, a 1700's pirate hat
  • Bela, an odd bat-vampire-cowl looking piece of headwear
  • Boris, a black hood with an axe, implying the executioners of history.

In addition, like many main villains, HooDoo turned out to have a more powerful master who was rarely seen, and who he chafed under, called The Imperial Wizard. Also, at various times, the good residents of Lidsville were tricked into aiding HooDoo, or otherwise fell under his influence.

In 1972, Reilly appeared as Hoodoo in the ABC Saturday Morning Preview special, alongside the kids from The Brady Bunch, celebrating the start of their own animated series.

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