I am rarely in the company of children, which I’ll use as my excuse for not knowing about Nick Jr. show Mutt & Stuff until now. Get this, though: it stars the “nephew” of H.R. Pufnstuf—arguably the biggest star* to emerge from the psychedelic world of Sid and Marty Krofft, kings of 1970s kiddie TV shows.
And it gets better, nostalgia fans. The folksy Mayor of Living Island is set to make a guest appearance on Mutt & Stuff—which was co-created by the Kroffts, who are still going strong at 78 (Marty) and 86 (Sid)—next week.
The show’s human star is Calvin Millan (the intensely cheerful son of the show’s producer, Cesar Millan, aka the Dog Whisperer). His Krofftian co-star is “Stuff,” a giant, talking stuffed dog. Together, they run a school for (real) dogs. (How Stuff the dog is the nephew of H.R. Pufnstuf, who is a dragon, is a question probably best left unanswered.)
When the show debuted last year, the Wrap described it thusly:
In addition to showcasing adorable puppies and dog tricks, the series sets out to balance moments of heart and comedy with a social-emotional curriculum that helps preschoolers identify and manage emotions, build interpersonal awareness and develop social skills.
Aww. (Also, in addition to real canines, there are sassy cat puppets commenting on the action ... but no Living Island-style comical witches dreaming of sabotage, alas.)
On a special double episode (first teased last fall) that will air on Monday, February 15, worlds will collide, according to TV Line. Good ol’ H.R. drops by for a visit with sidekicks Cling and Clang AND Freddy the Talking Flute along for the ride.
Hasn’t aged a day!
The Mayor, looking sharp in his trademark white cowboy boots, comes bearing magic seeds that spawn talking trees, in the grandest trippy Krofft tradition; TV Line has a clip. Otherwise, tune in Monday for the full episode, and in the meantime, here’s the eternally mindblowing intro for the original H.R. Pufnstuf show.
*Apologies to the Sleestak from Land of the Lost