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Bad 70's TV Volume One: Sigmund and the Sea Monsters, Bigfoot and Wildboy!
Matt - 11/04/00


\Whereas the 80s presented us with some of the strangest fucking cartoons on the planet, a lot of times we completely disregard the 70s and mark it for it's contribution to the blacksploitation and disco industries. But the 70s weren't devoid of great, campy television either. While the 80s and early 90s were chock full of cartoons for us to make fun of, the 70s had a veritable ton of live-action flops that somehow survived long enough to give us enough information to properly make fun of them.

Of course, I say that all with love...these shows might suck on the surface, but they're incredibly hard to resist watching. It's hard to get that train-wreck appeal on a pre-taped and edited show, but the 70s did it time and time again. There's a number of shows we'll eventually be taking a look at here on the site, and you certainly don't have to be a child of the seventies to appreciate just how wrong things can get when the competition on television wasn't so stiff.

So, to kick off a new venture in the realm of the strangest live-action shows of a decade past, I wanted to begin with a real keeper. I've got a lot of info on other shows, some which will absolutely shake the very foundations of your faith, but this one...well, you'll see why I had no choice but to start with this one. We'll cover two different 70s classics today, starting with...ugh...this one. A show about fucked up sea monster puppets who are exiled for being good people. Yep, its time to take a look at Sigmund and the Sea Monsters!

It's another Sid and Marty Kroft classic. For those not in the know, these guys have produced a number of shows - and universally, the people who know of them either absolutely love or absolutely want to kill them. This show might be the true reason behind anyone's murderous thoughts about the Krofts. Trying to understand how a show like this came to be is like trying to understand how Ginger never ran out of lipstick on that island for all that time. You know that somewhere, there's someone who could explain it, but in the back of your mind, you know that's just gonna leave you with more questions anyway.

You're not going to believe the plot on this show. I've scoured the internet looking for a fansite to prove me wrong - but this is how it really went: Sigmund is a sea-monster. He looks more like a pile of leaves put together haphazardly with two plastic eyes glued on, but he is a sea monster. But Sigmund has a problem: he isn't evil.

Yes, in the world of this television show, all sea monsters should be, by nature, evil. But this Sigmund character...he's more interested in flopping around with a smiley demeanor than flopping around with a frown...so what do his underwater compatriots do? They kick him out until he scares some of us damn humans! If you're curious as to how a sea monster comes into existance - Sid Kroft brings some seaweed to life.

Sigmund is later found by Johnny and Scott Stuart, who bring Sigmund back to their clubhouse and decide he's the perfect compliment to the club to complete their elite trio. Meanwhile, Sigmund's sea monster family want him back, so much of the series is spent trying to hide Sigmund from them, not to mention other humans.

These other sea monsters include Blurp and Slurp. Their evil intentions are evident by their mouths being put on upside down.

This one had to be the inspiration for the acid trip known as the Teletubbies. A bunch of sea monsters with googly eyes, some of whom wore vests, walking around with zero purpose other than dragging their rogue member back to the caves, which is impossible anyway, since these guys have no arms. Of course, the fact that they look more like bananas, trees, or banana trees isn't helping their case any.

This show really captures the essence of a decade where people were too busy pointing at mirror balls to care what kind of shitty television shows were being thrown at them. And while Sigmund and the Sea Monsters might seem pretty awful, it certainly wasn't alone:


Bigfoot & Wildboy!

Hollllly shit. A television show starring a sasquatch in a serious atmosphere. There's only been two tv shows with Bigfoot as the focal point - and they both failed miserably.

In this case, Bigfoot is a good guy. Or ape. He's a good something. Amazingly enough, Bigfoot takes a secondary role in both stature and weirdness to the star character, Wildboy. Yep, Wildboy. Its all in the name. Wildboy was raised by Bigfoot from a young age, and as a result of that, is kinda primal and can only wear underwear. Because the forest isn't always an exciting place, Bigfoot and Wildboy decide to use their combined talents to fight the forces of evil, sometimes getting help by some little bratty girl named Suzie.

A strange twist: Peter Brady also stars on the show. Only he's not Peter Brady...he's some guy who has trouble keeping himself from morphing into the White Wolf.

Its no wonder all the girls want him so bad. The show changed format a few times, going from a 15 minute short to a full half hour and getting cancelled and restarted a few times. If you're curious what's so significant about this show, and why it deserves your attention, let me introduce you to Bigfoot...

Fucking guy looked like a cross between Jesus and Chewbacca. There goes the whole romance aspect of the show. We ain't gonna get any tearjerking Ross-loves-Rachel episodes in this series. Honestly, would you care if Bigfoot got laid? And more specifically - would you want to see it?

Anyway, Bigfoot needed a gimmick. Being a monster with superhuman stength is cool, but its been done a thousand times before. The creators of the show desperately sought something special for Bigfoot to do. An ability that would make the audience cringe in fear and delight. They couldn't come up with anything, so they just let Bigfoot do these ridiculous mega-jumps.

This had to be the greatest thing shown on television in the entire decade. In virtually every episode, Bigfoot would go out of his way to bring himself into a situation where he needed to jump about 600 feet. Crazy music would start playing, and you'd see a flash that, when stared at long enough, vaguely looked like a monkey outfit being tossed in the air.

Surprisingly enough, even with Bigfoot's mega jump, the series didn't last long.

Everytime Bigfoot jumped, Wildboy got pissed. Bigfoot always tried to steal the show. Sure, Wildboy might've acted like some freaky wilderness beast, but Christ...he's standing next to the real Bigfoot. All eyes on the monkey.

It might not seem like the greatest cast ever assembled. Hell, this might've very well been the silliest idea for a show since What a Dummy!. But, you're forgetting one very important thing. It also starred Sorrell Booke as the Outlaw Bigfoot.

Yup, Boss Hog is back!

The seventies were obviously a time when people were more accepting of their own misdeeds, allowing themselves to be exposed to these awful shows in hope of virtual penance. These two are only the tip of the iceberg - many more evil 70s live-action shows like this lay in wait, biding their time until someone's foolish and forgetful enough to watch them again.

Unfortunately, I can't be the one to show you these beauties. But if you really want to get a taste for the overall cheese of these shows, check out Bigfoot and Wildboy's opening theme song: click here!! This song's got everything from a horrible announcer relaying an even more horrible backlog of events, plus your standard porn beat mixed in with some wild howls and explosions. Get those CD burners ready.

Enjoy!

- Matt
matt@x-entertainment.com