Thanks to a sharp reader, we now know a little more about "D.C. Follies":

First of all, great site,,some AWESOME stuff there (especially the "lost" bloom county strips). Now, as for that "D.C. Follies" show you have in the "on beyond yeller" article,,i have on tape, the precursor to it,,a cbs special called "redeye express". Basically, its just like D.C. Follies, with the following changes: the only humans are ron reagan (yes, ronald's son) and the bouncer, capt. lou albano, it takes place in a trendy nightclub (with performances by 80s synth pop singers like rick astley, eric carmen, and comedian paul rodreguiz), and its slightly less political (though there is a fair amount of politcal humor). Just a tidbit i thought you might want to know.

Based on this and my knowledge of TV, I think I can figure that "Redeye Express" was the first attempt by the Kroffts to replicate Spitting Image, and the "special" that aired on CBS was actually a pilot that the network passed on picking up. Networks used to run their rejected pilots as specials quite often.
The trendy nightclub, the pop singers and the fact that they actually got Reagan's son to do the show makes it appear to me that "Redeye Express" was a much better adaption. For whatever reason, they must have gone back to the drawing board, made it worse and sent it to ABC, who said "Now THIS is MUCH better!" Yep.