Puppet shows have long been part of the entertainment offerings at fairs, amusement parks and theme parks. Some of the earliest records of fairs included traditional "Punch and Judy" type puppet shows.
|In an effort to expand the
offerings within Great Adventure's Kiddie Kingdom children's area in
1982, several new additions were introduced to the rear of the park's
These included a Kiddie Scrambler ride, a massive play area named the King's Sandbox, and within that sand lot a ship-shaped puppet theater named Foghorn Follies.
Positioned towards the rear of the sandbox, a wooden three mast ship replica with sails was pulled up alongside a makeshift dock complete with rope-wrapped pilings. Six rows of plastic benches alongside the dock offered plenty of seats for visitors to the show.
|The ship structure offered
multiple levels for a unique cast of puppets to appear and perform their
comedy show. The menagerie appeared both "on deck" as well as
through the three cannon holes on the side of the ship.
A foghorn sound effect which could be heard throughout the sandbox announced the show would soon be starting. As guests assembled, a team of puppeteers located within the hull of the ship would get ready to bring the show's oddball cast to life.
The puppet lineup was lead by the show's host - a black buzzard who considered himself to be a seagull piloting the sailing ship through the South Pacific. The assortment of puppets almost made it seem like they used whatever they had on hand for the performance including a female opera singer and dog, a monkey, skunk, toucan, and a giant green octopus whose tentacles emerged through two of the cannon ports while he sang the Beatle's song Octopus's Garden.
|Another act included rows
cannonballs with smiley faces lining the ship's decks spinning to the
song Wabash Cannonball.
The final act of the show featured a flock of clucking chickens which would pop in and out of all the ship's hatches to the song In the Mood. The act would end with one of the chickens laying a huge stack of eggs to the final notes of the song.
The show would wrap up with the buzzard saying goodbye and telling the guests to go say hello to the park's original puppet show host Perthy Pelican.
|Given the popularity
of the Perthy P. Pelican puppet show at the opposite end of the park, an
expanded ship-shaped puppet theater seemed like a natural idea.
However, the puppet theater suffered in viewership simply because of its
poor choice of location. It was positioned right next to the
Pet-a-Pet petting zoo which tended to provide less than desirable aromas
during the heat of the summer days which often scared off audiences.
The Foghorn Follies was short lived, lasting only two seasons at Great Adventure. In 1984, Kiddie Kingdom was remodeled and updated becoming Shirt Tales Land. Part of the updated section included a much larger stage facility called the Shirt Tales Theatre.
The Foghorn Follies and its ship-shaped theater were removed to their brand new home in Six Flags Atlantis Water Park in Hollywood Florida.
|Special thanks to Jonathan Dolce!
Moves to Six Flags Atlantis
Six Flags had opened Six Flags Atlantis in 1983 and looked to develop it beyond being just a water park by adding shows, games and eventually rides. The Foghorn Follies theater and show made the journey south from Great Adventure where it became the "Flagship Follies".
It would later be joined at Atlantis by Great Adventure's Matterhorn ride in 1987.
|Original Spotlight: March 22, 2013; Updated: May 23, 2022. GAH Reference#: SHOW-1982-001