|In the middle of the summer, in the middle of a park,
There began a great adventure for a boy whose name was Mark.
He had come to see the magic man, along with all the children and
'Twas so began the day that Mark was never to forget…”
Intrigued by a performance from magician Merlo the Great at Six Flags over Texas, Mark, a quizzical teenager, stayed behind after the show and sneaked backstage to the magician’s dressing room. Once there, Mark picked up the magician's hat to look inside…
No sooner had the boy done this than Merlo’s hat suddenly began to grow and grow and grow! Startled, Mark set the top hat on the floor and stared in disbelief as it grew much larger than the boy himself. In an attempt to look inside the now giant hat, Mark climbed up and sat on the brim. As he peered in, Mark lost his balance and fell into the giant, mysterious, black top hat.
“…Falling, falling, into the hat he fell,
Spinning, turning, whirling, twirling
When young Mark finally hit the bottom, he landed in Lidsville, the land of living hats. There, our hero was kidnapped by a band of “Bad Hats” that worked for the evil sorcerer, Horatio J. Hoo-Doo. Believing Mark was a spy sent by the Good Hats of Lidsville, Hoo-Doo locked him up in his dungeon. While imprisoned, Mark was befriended by the good-natured, yet magically inept Weenie the Genie. Because Hoo-Doo possessed the Genie's magic ring, Weenie had become a prisoner, too. Hatching an escape plan, Mark freed Weenie by nabbing the friendly Genie’s magic ring back from the nefarious Hoo-Doo, and the two ran from his evil lair.
Back among the Good Hats of Lidsville, Weenie and the Hats worked towards helping newcomer Mark find his way back home to Jackson City. Each week they overcame obstacles like the Shampoo River, Hair Forest, and Hoo-Doo’s half-baked schemes to recapture Weenie and the magic ring. Typically, his nasty plans were ruined by Mark's quick thinking, leaving the sinister sorcerer to cry, “I want my mommy Hoo-Doo,” at the end.
“Lidsville is the Koo-Koo-Kookiest,
Lidsville is the Ki-Ki-Kickiest,
Lidsville is the Groo-Groo-Grooviest
Lidsville is the living end…”
Lidsville's impressive cast included Butch Patrick (TV's Eddie Munster) as Mark, Charles Nelson Reilly as Hoo-Doo, and Billie Hayes (H.R. Pufnstuf's Witchiepoo) as Weenie the Genie.
Seventeen half-hour episodes of Lidsville were produced and ran on ABC for two seasons (the second season comprised entirely of repeats). After two years on ABC, Lidsville moved to NBC for one more season of reruns before finally going into syndication.
“…So if you bump into a bonnet
With ears and eyes and nose upon it,
Nope, you haven't gone bats,