D.C. Follies (lost pilot episode of satirical comedy puppet show; 1987)

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D.C. Follies Pilot - Tom Poston, Fred Willard.jpg

A behind-the-scenes photo from the lost Tom Poston episode that was first posted on Puppet Studio's Facebook page in 2013.

Status: Lost

"D.C. Follies" is a comedy that aired in weekly syndication from 1987-1989 featuring Fred Willard manning a bar that was frequented by celebrity puppets. It was inspired by the popular UK series "Spitting Image", and produced by Sid & Marty Krofft. 44 half-hour episodes plus an hour-long pilot were broadcast.

The so-called "complete series" has been available for streaming on amazon for many years, plus it attained a DVD release from Shout Factory that's now out of print. However, the series pilot, which was broadcast as a TV special 5-6 months prior to the show's premiere, has been omitted from all media releases.

The episode guest-starred Tom Poston and originally aired between March and April 1987 (since it was syndicated, airdates wildly fluctuated by market). With airdates having conflicting information on different states such as in Antioch, Illinois where it cites it in their local TV listings for March 28, it aired in Bridgewater, New Jersey, on April 4;,The Washington Post cites it as airing on April 12, along with a vague description: "WJLA comes up with a current events special, 'D.C. Follies,' featuring puppets of Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, Imelda Marcos, boxing promoter Don King and Pope John Paul II and (live) Fred Willard."

According to the February 9, 1987 issue of "Broadcasting" magazine, Syndicast Services had already sold the rights for a year's worth of episodes of the show to "more than 30 stations" nationwide, and by the April 27 issue, it had jumped to "130 markets covering 86% of the country." It's unknown how many networks ran the pilot in the interim, and/or if it was broadcast anywhere between April and the show's regular run in September.

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