And once he was whisked off to Living Island by Witchiepoo's boat, we never learned anything more about his past life back home in England.
I'd like to make the suggestion that his name was Jimmy Fulton.
In 1967, Jack Wild played "Jimmy Fulton" in a two-part episode of 'Z Cars': "You Want 'Em, You Get 'Em". I'm still searching for details about the story, but according to the BBC Online archive, the episode no longer exists. Its tape was probably wiped clean like so many episodes of 'Doctor Who'.
"Auntie Beeb" was a right bitch back then.
So far I've only found an extensive cast list courtesy of the IMDb.com and this summary from TVTome.com:
"DCS Miller has forced DI Hudson, under the threat of being sent back to a little desk job at H.Q., to tell him about an armed attempt to 'knock off' a prison van and release its occupant."
In the cast listing, Jill Riddick is listed as "Marilyn Fulton", and Barry Linehan played "Arthur Fulton". Since Linehan was born in 1925, and Ms. Riddick was one of the three children in 'Not In Front Of The Children' in 1970, I'm assuming Marilyn was Jimmy's sister and Arthur was their father.
Perhaps Jimmy knew something, saw something in connection to the attempted hijacking of the prison van; maybe the family was being held hostage by those involved.
Unless Jimmy Fulton died at the end of that two-parter, I see no reason why he can't be the same character to be found later hanging out with H.R. Pufnstuf and Ludicrous Lion. Even if he had been leading a life of crime, the supposition could apply; juvenile delinquents can mend their ways.
Let's say Jimmy Fulton was in trouble with the Law, and Detective Chief Inspector Charlie Barlow nicked him for it. There's still a two year stretch where he could have served his time in a juvenile hall, giving him plenty of time to be out gamboling in the glade.
And if he had been represented by Horace Rumpole down at the Old Bailey, chances are good he'd have served even less time, if at all.
If Jimmy Fulton was a street urchin-thief, that could splain how he came into possession of the magically alive flute named Freddie. But from wherever Jimmy may have filched the flute, Freddie must have been glad to be free of the place - from the first moment we saw them together in 'H.R. Pufnstuf', Jimmy and Freddie were already fast friends.
Maybe Freddie just liked the way Jimmy blew him......
Sorry. I couldn't resist.
So. If Jimmy is the same character in both shows, do you know what this means? 'Z Cars' can be linked to 'CHiPs'!
It's twue! It's twue! In an episode of 'CHiPs', Mayor H.R. Pufnstuf had traveled to America from Living Island and was pulled over by Jon and Ponch for driving without a license. And it had to be the REAL H.R. Pufnstuf and not some guy in a suit, because in the real world the guy in the suit (Robert Gamonet) only provided the bodily movements; Lennie Weinrib supplied the vocals. Here we had both in the same package and so therefore it's the real deal.
And with all the connections to other shows made possible by members of the League of Themselves, especially Milton Berle, 'H.R. Pufnstuf' and 'Z Cars' can be officially considered linked in the TV Universe, and not just floating about randomly in the cosmos.
I KNEW you knew that.
"Well, I'll be hornswaggled!"