Land Of The Found.

Any time I see construction equipment it takes me back to watching Land Of The Lost, the Sid & Marty Krofft adventure show, on Saturday mornings. I think I was too young to watch it from the very start and I’m a little surprised it ended in 1976—it seemed like it went on longer than that, thanks to the telescoping effects of time when you’re young. And for some reason I remember Sigmund & The Sea Monsters coming later, when it was really on at the same time. There was also Wonderbug, about a dilapidated dune buggy that, with the aid of a magical horn, turned into a flying super car.

There were so many other Krofft shows on so I don’t know why Sigmund and Wonderbug are so memorable to me, but I do know why Land Of The Lost has stayed with me: dinosaurs. There only seemed to be two: a T-Rex named “Grumpy”, who was a persistent threat, and a baby brontosaurus named “Dopey”. And there were also the Sleestaks and the ape-like creatures, especially Cha-Ka. There was a kid in my neighborhood who had a dog named Cha-Ka and it’s very funny to me that the dog outlived the series by at least ten years.

I was really only interested in the dinosaurs, though. Plots characters, setting—none of it mattered. I don’t think I’d even seen Star Trek at that point so it wouldn’t have meant anything to me that Land Of The Lost was created by David Gerrold who’d also written “The Trouble With Tribbles”. Even though the dinosaurs were obviously either puppets or stop-motion animation it was really cool to me to see dinosaurs moving around and interacting with people.

That brings me back to the construction equipment. About the same time I was watching Land Of The Lost there was a house being built across the street from where I lived. There was some serious construction equipment brought in: an excavator and also something smaller. It seems like it was a steamroller but with two seats facing in both directions.

Not that it really mattered to me what they were. To me they were Grumpy and Dopey. I played around them, making up my own dinosaur adventures. All it took was a little imagination and I was transported to another world.

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  1. Val

    I created an imaginary friend throughout my childhood: a man-sized T-Rex named (rather unimaginatively) Monster. I couldn’t say when or how I hit upon the conceit of making him human-sized for easier interaction; perhaps he was a dwarf species?? 😉
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    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      Perhaps he was close to your age, hence the smaller size than the usual T-Rex. As famous as the Tyrannosaurus is I always had more of a fascination with the dinosaurs that were closer to human size because they seemed so much more relatable. As well as being, I thought, safer to be around.

  2. M.L. James

    Wow, it’s been literal decades since I heard the Land of the Lost theme song! I don’t really remember watching that as much as Sigmund and the Sea monsters with the guy that was in Family Affair! That was a fun throwback to the past. Do you remember the name of the show that had Bob Denver in it that also aired on Saturdays? I could any of these and it would be as if I were seeing them again for the first time. Mona
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    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      You’ve led me down quite the rabbit hole. I don’t think I’d ever even heard of Far-Out Space Nuts, the Saturday morning show with Bob Denver, until you brought it up. But I did watch The Lost Saucer with Jim Nabors and Ruth Buzzi and I swear I’m not making that up. Also, funny enough, the only character I really remember from Sigmund & The Sea Monsters was Rip Taylor. Go figure.


    Thanks for transporting us to another world, Chris. Everything you do here matters, especially when I’m feeling grumpy and dopey.
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    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      Fortunately Sid and Marty Krofft provide an escape from feeling grumpy and dopey. As I was looking into their legacy I found another gem of theirs that I’d almost forgotten about–“The Lost Saucer” which starred Jim Nabors and Ruth Buzzi as a couple of androids. It was a short-lived series and I only saw one episode but the utter silliness of it stuck with me and still makes me smile.


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