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!


Dwayne "the canoe guy" said...

Bingo was a gorilla? I always thought he was a cat.

FoldedSoup said...

Well, that's good news, I suppose... It'll never match up with the old memories of this young Saturday morning cartoon viewer, though!

Drooper had that kick-ass teardrop Gibson guitar that I always drooled over, even as a youngin'.

And I remember being slightly afraid of Bingo back then, too.

Uh oh, Chongo!

Sea_of_Green said...

Yup, Dwayne, Bingo was supposed to be a gorilla. I can very easily see why you'd mistake him for a cat. *I* always thought he should be an orangutan. He IS orange after all.

SOUP -- that Danger Island clip is great! I'm gonna edit the post to include it!

Baal said...

I'm shocked you didn't mention the Dickies' version of the theme song!

SallyP said...

I am flummoxed. This apparently completely was under my radar, because I don't have the foggiest recollection of this show!

Sea_of_Green said...

LOL! Baal, the Dickies will never be better than when they did Killer Klowns from Outer Space. ;-)

Sally, I'm not sure you missed out on a whole lot. The Bananas WERE admittedly very funny at times. The show as a whole, though ... You really didn't miss much.

Here's some trivia: Danger Island was actually directed by Richard Donner!

googum said...

I seem to recall Danger Island...maybe I'm thinking of Lost, I don't know. The only thing I know about the Banana Splits is that Liz Phair covered that Tra-La-La song on Saturday Morning's Greatest Hits. Mmm.

Is that what "Uh-oh, Chongo" is from? I thought Evan Dorkin made that one up.

Oh, and I was going to take you with this meme from the Fortress Keeper, but I reckoned someone'd tag you first: what's your favorite blog post, ever? It's tough!