1 9 7 1 – 1 9 7 3 (USA)
17 x 30 minute episodes
In the middle of the summer in the middle of a park, there began a great adventure for a boy whose name was Mark…
Intrigued by a performance from Merlo the Magician while at Six Flags Amusement Park in Texas, Mark (played by Butch Patrick of The Munsters fame) decides to lag behind the rest after the show.
Alone backstage in the magician’s room Mark picks up the magician’s hat to inspect it when the hat suddenly begins to grow larger.
Startled by this, Mark drops it on the floor where it continues to grow to an enormous size. Climbing up on the brim while attempting to look inside, he loses his balance and falls into the hat.
He keeps falling and falling through the hat that turns into a long tunnel and he reappears in Lidsville – a land inhabited almost entirely by living, talking stetsons, top hats, helmets and hats of all kinds.
Mark is quickly captured by a band of bad hats that work for the local bad guy, Horatio J Hoo Doo the evil magician (Charles Nelson Reilly).
Hoo Doo believes Mark is a spy for the good hats and holds him prisoner.
In Hoo Doo’s dungeon, Mark is befriended by another prisoner – Weenie the Genie (Billie Hayes) who is being forced to be loyal to Hoo Doo because he possesses the genie’s magic ring. Together Mark and Weenie plan to escape, a plan that includes Mark stealing the magic ring.
The weekly episodes revolved around Mark’s struggle to find his way back home with the assistance of Weenie the bumbling genie and the good hats – including (a cowboy hat, a nurse’s hat, a party hat, a pith helmet) of Lidsville. Some of the hat characters are voiced in the style of famous characters or actors. One hat talks like John Wayne, while another sounds exactly like Charlie Chan.
Hoo Doo and his gang of bungling minions – including Raunchy Rabbit, Jack of Clubs (a deck of cards) and Mr Big (a gangster’s fedora) – constantly try to recapture Mark, the magic ring and Weenie the Genie amidst locations like the Shampoo River and Hair Forest. What else did you want when you were a kid!
ABC ran 17 episodes of Lidsville over two seasons beginning in September 1971. NBC then re-ran it for another season before it jumped to the syndication market.
“How’s that for a topper?”
Charles Nelson Reilly
Weenie the Genie
World in a Hat | Show Me the Way to Go Home | Fly Now, Vacuum Later | Weenie, Weenie, Where’s Our Genie? | Let’s Hear it for Whizzo | Is There a Mayor in the House? | Take Me to Your Rabbit | Have I Got a Girl for Hoo Doo | Mark and the Bean Stalk | Turn in Your Turban, You’re Through | Alias, the Imperial Wizard | A Little Hoo Doo Goes a Long Way | Oh, Brother | Hoo Doo Who? | The Old Hat Home | The Great Brain Robbery | Mommy Hoo Doo