“Bigfoot and Wildboy” (1977 – 1979) is another obscure TV show that is perhaps best forgotten. It was a segment on something called “The Krofft Supershow” in 1977, I think, before the segments were re-edited into a half-hour program. I became a fan of it as second grader in the fall of 1979. (Or maybe I watched its reruns in third grade, in 1980 — to be honest, this was so long ago that I hardly remember.)
They don’t make TV shows like they used to. And that’s a good thing. “Bigfoot and Wildboy” seemed to rely heavily on three ingredients: an utra-cheesy 70’s score; truly terrible special effects (even for the time); and lots of shots of its two title characters either jumping, or running at the camera in slow motion. (I actually just watched a few minutes of the full episode you see posted below.)
I was pretty preoccupied with “Bigfoot and Wildboy” when I was very young. I remember having to make journal entries in the classroom, in which we could write and illustrate anything we wanted. (It was precisely the sort of open-ended journal writing exercise with little academic value to which I’d be subjected, occasionally, throughout my school career — even in my college poetry class.) But we were allowed to select our own topic in the second grade, and that was at least some fun for an imaginative kid. The nuns (it was a Catholic school) sometimes prodded us to write about real-world events; 1979’s Space Shuttle Columbia, for example, was high on their list of suggestions.
Given a blank slate, though, I tended to write almost exclusively about imaginary characters and monsters — peppered, perhaps, with intermittent entries about dogs. I distinctly remember drawing Bigfoot and Wildboy one day. (If memory serves, we wrote and drew in our journals after recess, maybe to get us refocused.) I drew them leaping over a fence and running toward the viewer. (Seriously, the show had a lot of shots like that. Check out the opening credits below.)
I remember a nun looking over my shoulder and inquiring delicately about the giant hairy humanoid and the half-naked boy … when I explained the characters to her, she suggested with (uncharacteristic) patience, “Tomorrow, let’s try to write about something from the real world.”