Monday, April 03, 2006

Wildboy, Wildboy, Wherefore Art Thou Wildboy?

Back in the 1970s, the Kroffts were kings of Saturday Morning live action tv shows. One that I really enjoyed was Bigfoot and Wildboy. What kid wouldn't love a show about a crime fighting Bigfoot and the Wildboy he raised after finding him in the hills? The show originally aired as part of the Krofft Supershow. After that went off the air, Bigfoot and Wildboy came back as it's own half hour show in the summer of 1979. It was during this time that I sent a fan letter to Wildboy, aka Joseph Butcher. The response to my letter was an offer to join his fan club. Love that hand drawn lettering.

The offer of a poster plus a personally autographed photo was enough to make me scrounge up the five dollars. After what seemed like forever, my fan club packet arrived. My official welcome letter informed me that I had just joined the best fan club in the world - wow! It even said that Joey wanted to know about me so I should fill out and return the enclosed form, which I must have done since I don't have it anymore.

The photocopied letter was a bit disappointing, but at least Joey wrote my name in at the top and put his signature on it.

What could any teenage girl want more than a personally autographed 8x10 photo of a good looking wildboy who runs around fighting evil with the Bigfoot that raised him?

The membership card rules. I should put it in my wallet and use it when people ask for identification.

What I like about the poster is that it isn't a posed headshot. You can tell it's from the live action kids show because Joseph is wearing his Wildboy garb. Well, thats assuming he didn't wear the tunic around town due to some sort of psychosis brought on from spending all his time acting with Bigfoot. And in case you're wondering, yes, I put this poster on my bedroom wall.

This might be my favorite item from the whole package, although I really like the membership card. Behold, a beautiful 8x10 showing Bigfoot and Wildboy looking for some evil to stomp out. Dig that Wildboy outfit!

I would have much preferred another 8x10 of Wildboy rather than this one with the feathered hair and what looks to me like a velour shirt. Yikes!

The fan club packet also included a biography of Joseph. This was the front of the bio folder. Another headshot with the feathered hair and velour shirt, damn it!

The inside of the folder showed the many faces of Joseph Butcher. See how good he cleans up? He's not always hanging out with Bigfoot. Sometimes he does sensitive performances as a blind boy in "When Butterflies Are Free." From Wildboy to Blindboy, that's a quite a range. I'm hoping Blindboy also has a seeing eye Bigfoot pal.

Fan club members were kept up to date with a newsletter that came out three times a year. It contained such scintillating reading as "The new Bigfoot and Wildboy shows are really super. They are even better than the ones before." Or "The new 1/2 hour shows are great! And Joey looks cuter than ever."
Sadly the second newletter had a big rubber stamp on it, asking fan club members to write to the president of ABC because Bigfoot and Wildboy might not be back on the air. The third newsletter I got said that the show was not picked up for the next season, and that the fan club was disbanding as Joey was planning to work more on the production side than continue acting.

And now you know the short but sweet story of the Wildboy fan club.


Jason said...

Wow, I'm practically speechless at how great this all is. All I know is that it sure as hell tops my first fan-club (that would be the Six Million Dollar Man) by a country mile.

Chris Jart said...

Wow! I'm impressed that you were in the Six Million Dollar Man fan club. That's fantastic!

Sharry A. said...

Wow! That's so cool! I was, and still am, a major Krofft fan, and BF & WB was definitely one of my faves. I had a mad crush on Joseph Butcher. I swear he must have been a track star in high school (anything about that in the fan club bio?)the way he used to run and jump over the camera. I have some eps of the show on tape and love re-living Saturday morning in the 70s.

Chris Jart said...

Krofft rules!! I watched most of their Saturday morning shows. Always liked the live action shows better than the cartoons.

Anonymous said...

I am pretty sure I went to Hamilton Jr High with him. I think they fudged on his date of birth. Should be 1951.

Anonymous said...

Chris, what an amazing entry re: BIGFOOT & WILDBOY.

I'm currently completeing a book for publication next year via McFarland Press all about Sasquatch films and t.v. shows.

I was wondering: would it be possible for me to obtain a JPEG scan of your super-rare Super Krofft Bros. 8 x 10 of Bigfoot and Wildboy.

To date, I've sadly been unable to locate any stills from the series to utilize.

My best and thanks!