Saturday, October 22, 2011

Geek TV #7.2: The Banana Splits Adventure Hour - The Arabian Knights!

bananasplits_arabianknights1Concept: A band of rebels with special powers or skills team up to battle the evil Bakaar in the ancient city of Baghdad.

Total Episodes: 18

Original Air Dates: 1968-1970

Original Network: NBC

Geek Factor: 7

Prince Turhan (Jay North): Rightful heir to the throne of the Sultan, leader of the Knights, and an accomplished acrobat and swordsman.

Princess Nida (Shari Lewis): Cousin to Turhan, master of disguise and excellent mimic.

Raseem (Frank Gerstle): Strongman supreme, he claims to have the strength of 30 men.

Fariek (John Stephenson): Short, tubby, jolly wizard whose spells sometimes go awry.

Bez (Henry Corden): Able to turn into any animal he wishes to by saying “Size of a –!” and saying the name of the animal.

bananasplits_arabianknights2Zazuum (Paul Frees): Small donkey with long ears, Raseem's pet – but don't pull his tail, because then he turns into a miniature tornado that will defeat any enemy or destroy any object!

Bakaar (John Stephenson): Evil ruler of Baghdad who usurped the throne, and his only remaining goal is to destroy the Knights.

Vangore (Paul Frees): Bakaar's main henchman and captain of the guards.

Geek Pedigree: Jay North originated the role of Dennis the Menace on television, and did other voices for cartoons, including Bamm-Bamm Rubble on the Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm Show. Shari Lewis, of course, is best known for her ventriloquism/puppetry act, particularlly with Lamb Chop and Charlie Horse, but she also wrote the Original Series Star Trek episode “The Lights of Zetar.” Frank Gerstle had previously appeared in The Green Hornet, “The Four Skulls of Jonathan Drake,” “The Wasp Woman,” Science Fiction Theatre, “The Magnetic Monster,” and Dick Tracy. John Stephenson also appeared on The Lone Ranger, Science Fiction Theater, The Man From UNCLE, Get Smart, The Invaders, The Six Million Dollar Man and other shows, and did voices for The Ruff & Reddy Show (as the narrator), Top Cat (Fancy-Fancy), Jonny Quest (Dr. Benton Quest), Secret Squirrel, The Flintstones (Mr. Slate), Frankenstein Jr. and the Impossibles (Professor Conroy), Birdman, and many more, including several parts in the 1978 Fantastic Four and Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends. Paul Frees had a long voice career beginning in theatrical cartoons and movies (he was the narrator on “The Deadly Mantis”), then on to television, voicing characters on Mister Magoo, Rocky and His Friends/Bullwinkle Show (Boris Badenov), The Dick Tracy Show, Bozo: The World's Most Famous Clown, The Flintstones, and many others, including doing voices for John Lennon and George Harrison's animated counterparts on The Beatles animated series, the Thing on the 1968 Fantastic Four, and many voices for Rankin-Bass's TV specials and animated films.

Notes: A most enjoyable series of cartoons! I particularly liked the humor in it.

1 comment:

  1. I used to love this and it always surprises me that they only made 18 episodes! Feel like it went on and on!


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