Sid and Marty Krofft were television producers who were responsible for shows like Sigmund and the Seamonsters, Land of the Lost, and Lidsville. If you need an explanation for why American kids who grew up in the 70s are the way they are those three shows are as good an explanation as any. The show that their case against McDonald's was about was the one I loved the most, H. R. Pufnstuf.
The gist is that McDonald's advertising agency approached the Kroffts to license the characters from H. R. Pufnstuf but were turned down. McDonald's went back to the drawing board and came up with characters that looked nothing at all like the Krofft prperties. The end. Oh, wait, no they didn't. I don't know about you but I think there might be a teensy resemblance between Mayor H. R. Pufnstuf
|Photo courtesy of 70slivekidvid.com|
and Mayor McCheese.
|Photo courtesy of The Wacky Deli|
Actually, the whole of McDonaldland seemed a little too close to H. R. Pufnstuf. The Kroffts didn't take it lying down, they sued and were initially awarded $50,000 but that was later RAISED to $1M. How often does that happen? Eventually McDonald's phased out all the McDonaldland characters that could be claimed to be based on Krofft characters.
Nostalgia is a powerful thing, though, and as Foodiggity wrote about in January there's a Facebook campaign to bring back Mayor McCheese. There are at least two posts that refer to the lawsuit and a plea that McDonald's and the Kroffts put aside their differences and work to bring the campaign back. I don't know, do you think kids today would respond to Mayor McCheese? In that vein, today's song is all about nostalgia. "Against the 70s" is from Mike Watt but features Eddie Vedder and Dave Grohl and Krist Novaselic on their first post-Nirvana recording.