Monday, August 18, 2008
You gotta be kidding -- The Banana Splits are back?!?!?!
Monday mornings are usually challenging enough without running across weird announcements in the entertainment news -- announcements like the fact that Hanna-Barbara's old 1960s "groovy" animal-costume-rock-band-TV-show hosts, the Banana Splits, are making a comeback.
For you youngsters who have never heard of the Banana Splits: They were live-action animal-costume critters who hosted a kiddie variety show called "The Banana Splits Adventure Hour." Their show was sort of like "Sid & Marty Krofft meet The Monkees and Pee Wee's Playhouse," presenting little kiddies with Saturday Morning-type fare like the cartoons Atom Ant (no, not the '80s pop star) and The Arabian Knights, and the live-action "thriller" Danger Island. Believe it or not, the Banana Splits also managed to release a couple of hit bubblegum-pop tunes.
There were four members of the Banana Splits "band" --> Fleegle Beagle, Bingo the gorilla (orangutan?), Drooper the lion (who always looked more like a wolf to me), and Snorky the elephant. I always found Fleegle a bit disconcerting because his voice was exactly like Tigger's from Disney's Winnie the Pooh cartoons (actor Paul Winchell supplied the voices for BOTH characters). Fleegle, Bingo and Drooper were all very chatty characters, but Snorky didn't talk. That's probably why I always liked Snorky best. (Overall, though, I always liked H.R. Pufnstuf better than the Banana Splits, anyway.)
Yeah, for those of you born too late to have witnessed this TV phenomenon, I can imagine your eyes glazing over at this point. Believe me, I exhibit the same reaction whenever my parents start talking about Howdy Doody. That's one reason why I'm astonished that this "comeback" is even being attempted. Sure, the Banana Splits were good, campy fun for the time. I can't even imagine how they'll be received now -- if at all. It'll be interesting to see what happens.
Tra, la, laaaa ... tra, la, la, laaaa ... tra, la, laaaaaa ... tra, la, la, laaaaa!
EDIT: Folded Soup has very helpfully supplied a video clip of Danger Island. Highly recommended viewing, especially if you wanna totally dig the craziest, GROOVIEST, and most happenin' opening of a TV show EVER. Thanks, Soup!