Saturday, October 15, 2011

Geek TV #7.1: The Banana Splits Adventure Hour - The Banana Splits!

bananasplits2Introductory Note: Because the Banana Splits Adventure Hour had so many different aspects to it, I've decided to split it into multiple parts. This first part will deal with the segments featuring the Splits themselves, and then we'll have separate entries for The Arabian Knights, The Three Musketeers, and then a final one combining the Micro-Ventures and Danger Island.

Concept: Four anthropomorphic rock-and-roll playing animals have fun in their clubhouse, introducing cartoons and a live-action serial, and basically being a Saturday morning version of Laugh-In.

Total Episodes: 37 hour-long episodes, split into about 70 or so half-hour episodes for syndication.

Original Air Dates: 1968-1970

Original Network: NBC

Geek Factor: 7

bananasplits1Fleegle the Dog (suit acting by Jeffrey Brock/Jeff Winkless, voiced by Paul Winchell): Guitar-playing leader of the band.

Bingo the Gorilla (suit acting by Terence H. Winkless, voiced by Daws Butler): Drummer of the group.

Drooper the Lion (suit acting by Dan Winkless, voiced by Allan Melvin): Bass player, with a southern accent.

Snorky the Elephant (suitacting by James “Jimmy” Dove and Robert Towers): Keyboardist, Snorky usually communicated just by honking.

Fleegle, Bingo, and two of the "Charlies".
Charlie (Debra Thibodeaux, Colette Chenault, Julie Graham, Kathy O'Dare, Shirley Hillstrom): Messenger girl for the rival Sour Grapes Gang, she would show up, dance and intimidate the Splits, and hand them a message before leaving.

Dilly Sisters: Mexico musical act who would appear at the door of the Splits' clubhouse playing “The Mexican Hat Dance” or “Ta-ra-ra Boom-de-ay.”

Geek Guest-Stars: None, really.

Geek Pedigree: Daws Butler is known for originating the voices of Yogi Bear, Huckleberry Hound, Quick Draw McGraw, Snagglepuss, and many other Hanna-Barbera characters. Paul Winchell, known for his ventriloquist act, has also done many voices for Hanna-Barbera (especially Dick Dastardly), but is probably best known as the original voice of Tigger in the Winnie-The-Pooh movies. Allan Melvin also did a number of voices for cartoons, probably his most famous character was Magilla Gorilla.

DVD Release: None, sadly, because existing video of the show isn't of high enough quality.

bananasplits4Website: is the current Splits' official website, although it's the modern Splits, not the classic ones.
Notes: One of my favorite shows from my childhood, the Splits were a lot of fun! When the show went into syndication in the 1970s and was shown locally, for some reason, some of the students in my junior high school tried to nickname me “Bingo,” thinking that I resembled him... I'm not sure why!



    UK only release of edited versions. 36 half hour episodes so, like i sais, edited.

  2. Fleagle the dog was my favorite. And we watched this so many times as kids I thought the show went on for years and years!

  3. Manic Man - Apparently they weren't as concerned about the quality in the UK, I guess?

    Joe - Of course Fleegle was your favorite, he's the greatest of the Splits!


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