It’s hard to watch a Sid & Marty Krofft production today and not notice the trademarks of drug use. Except for the case of Land of the Lost, perhaps, their shows were trippy beyond measure with day-glow colors and fantastical landscapes and characters that had more in common with psychedelia than standard children’s programming.
A shining example of drug inspiration in Krofft productions is H.R. Pufinstuf. The reefer references abound. Here’s just a few:
1. Pufnstuf sounds a lot like "puffing stuff"
2. H.R. is believed to stand for "hand rolled"
3. H.R. Pufnstuf is the mayor - a code for marijuana
4. H.R. Pufnstuf is green with red hair - just like cannabis buds
5. The last line of the chorus at the beginning and end of the show can easily be taken as a pot reference: "H.R. Pufnstuf, can't do a little, 'cause you can't do enough!"
6. Witchiepoo makes food called "roach beef sandwiches"
7. Freddie the Flute gets turned into a "magic mushroom"
And so on. Read more on the subject in an article at Cannabis Culture.
Of course the same sort of thing has been said of “Puff the Magic Dragon” with his friend little Johnny Paper (i.e. rolling paper). The artists always deny the drug connection, but the belief persists nonetheless.
Of course, children’s programming is an easy target since it generally involves fantastical creations of some kind. Hell, even Mr. Rogers’ Make Believe Neighborhood could be construed as being a tad trippy. Daniel Stripèd Tiger and X the Owl always kind of freaked me out. And haven’t we heard the same sort of thing in recent times about the Teletubbies?
A prime example of a children's show on acid is the 1970’s Dutch series Ti-Ta-Tovenaar. In this picture, Ti-Ta-Tovenaar is looking for a spell to turn strawberries into camels. Strawberries into camels?!? Also, when Ti-Ka (the lady above) plays her Magic Flute her monkey Tato appears. They must have been smoking some good stuff in Amsterdam back then. (A link to a full episode here. The image was found here on Flickr)
I guess the more appropriate question may be “What WASN’T drug influenced in the late sixties and early seventies?” Take a good long look at the clothes, the wallpaper, the music, the movies… drugs played a hand in nearly all of the cultural products of this era. Why would we expect anything else from children’s programming?