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Series / Sigmund and the Sea Monsters

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"Now Sigmund the Sea Monster, and Johnny and Scott are friends"
This Saturday-morning series, produced by Sid and Marty Krofft Productions for NBC, starred Billy Barty as a sea monster named Sigmund who found his way into the human world. He was befriended by two boys who helped Sigmund elude his sea monster family.

The series ran for two seasons, from 1973 to 1975. It was the first Krofft show to last more than one season.

In 2016, as part of Amazon Studios Pilot Season, a brand new pilot featuring an updated, slightly tweaked version of the show with much higher production values made its debut. Six more episodes were released in October 2017.

This series provides examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: Kidnaping Sigmund has become routine for them!
  • Ascended Fangirl: Margaret Hamilton was a fan of the Kroffts' work, particularly Witchiepoo from H.R. Pufnstuf. (She and Billie Hayes later became really good friends, and starred in a primetime special with Paul Lynde and KISS later in the 1970s as Witchiepoo and the Wicked Witch of the West.)
  • All Animals Are Dogs: Prince the Lobster barks and gets walked on a leash.
  • Continuity Reboot: In 2015 the Krofft brothers announced they were going to create an updated version of Sigmund and the Sea Monsters, and they were partnering with Amazon Studios. In June of 2016 they released the pilot episode during Amazon's pilot season. In November of 2016 it was announced that Sigmund was being picked up for a first season, which was released in October 2017. The new series has a villain, Captain Barnabas, who everyone believes is crazy because he thinks sea monsters exist. Instead of living with a housekeeper, both Johnny and Scott are spending the summer visiting their aunt and cousin when they discover Sigmund.
  • Creator Cameo: Sid and Marty Krofft share one in the revival’s pilot episode where they are passed by Johnny and Scotty carrying Sigmund on a surfboard, and later again in Episode 7 when Robyn tries to sell them some lemonade.
  • Crossover: With H.R. Pufnstuf. Jack Wild appears in one episode, now established as a famous movie star wanting to take a break (yet, after being on Pufnstuf, he appears dazed and confused by the ruckus with Sigmund and his family). Pufnstuf the character also appeared in a much later episode.
  • Drop-In Character: Season Two had a few of these, most notably, Rip Taylor as Sheldon the Sea Genie.
  • Expository Theme Tune: The second season used this.
  • Expy: Word of God is that Big Daddy and Sweet Mama were modeled after Archie and Edith Bunker (see No Celebrities Were Harmed).
  • Fantastic Comedy
  • Fish out of Water: Kind of taken to a whole new level.
  • Halloween Episode: "Trick or Treat" from Season One, where Sigmund as himself is able to pass for a little boy dressed is a costume.
  • Laugh Track
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Big Daddy and Sweet Mama strongly resemble Archie and Edith Bunker.
  • Nosy Neighbor: Margaret Hamilton as the busybody neighbor from across the street, who kept seeing Sigmund, but nobody believed her.
  • Parental Abandonment: Just where the hell were Johnny and Scott's parents supposed to be for two years?
  • People in Rubber Suits
  • Police Are Useless: Sheriff Chuck Bevans.
  • Plant Hair: Most sea monsters have some kind of kelp-based pseudo-hair.
  • Replaced the Theme Tune: Each of the two seasons had its own theme song. Season One had "Friends", as sung by Johnny Whitaker, which was originally a song he performed for The World of Sid & Marty Krofft at the Hollywood Bowl, and later used as the theme song for Sigmund (the end titles for Season One had "Better Run, Better Hide", which was the featured song of the pilot); Season Two's theme song was a more direct ballad about Sigmund being kicked out of his family, and eventually meeting Johnny and Scott and becoming friends.
  • Remake Cameo: Johnny Whitaker (Johnny in the original) plays Zach in the 2016 remake.
  • Short-Runner: Ironically, at two seasons, this show was literally twice as long as most Krofft shows.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Considering this is one of the few Krofft shows that takes place in a more realistic world, there were a lot of cultural references, such as:
    • Big Daddy's favorite TV shows, Serpent and Son and The Cod Squad, both of which can be seen weekdays on MBC.
  • Those Two Guys: Sigmund's "meat head" brothers, Blurp and Slurp.
  • Treehouse of Fun: More like Johnny and Scott's clubhouse in the backyard.