Sunday, April 20, 2014

Rare Treats: Fol-De-Rol (1972)

I've been dying to do this next item for what seems like forever.

Sid & Marty Krofft's 2nd project for ABC, after Lidsville, was Fol-De-Rol, a primetime special that aired in February 1972. I will admit that in watching the video, it was the first time I'd actually seen some footage. As a 9 year old back then, I'd gone to bed that night, had trouble sleeping, and could hear the television in another part of the house, so my folks had this on for a bit, looking for something. I know this because I distinctly remember hearing the voice of no less than Howard Cosell during the show, and hearing part of the theme song.

Anyway, the show, noted by Vinnie Rattolle as an unsold pilot, is set at a Medevial fair, and the segments are such that a number of actors, including Mickey Rooney and Billy Barty, are playing multiple parts. Rick Nelson plays a wandering minstrel. Ann Sothern is the Queen, and you have an ensemble doing a variation on Three Dog Night's hit, "Joy To The World", with new lyrics written for the show. Len Weinrib & Joan Gerber provide the voices for the puppets and other characters. Seeing Mickey Rooney as an executioner having issues with his son is hilarious all by itself.

Anyway, the Krofft logo was not included on the print, but I've got one burning question. What in the hizell is the "Krofft Look"?




Apparently, viewers seemed to agree with network suits that the Kroffts were a wee bit out of their depth with this one, but it would be 4 years before they'd try a variety show-style format again......!

Rating: B-.

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