"The Bugaloos. The Bugaloos. We're in the air and everywhere."The Bugaloos
was a TV show created by Sid and Marty Krofft Productions
. It was about four British insectoid fairies: Joy, I.Q., Courage and Harmony, who sang and played instruments. They also flew since they had wings. The Bugaloos were pestered by a rock witch named Benita Bizarre and her flunkies Woofer, Tweeter and Funky Rat, a Nazi rat. The show aired from September 12, 1970, to September 2, 1972. The show lasted for one season of 17 episodes.
I.Q. was a grasshopper who played guitar, Joy was a butterfly who sang and played the tambourine, Harmony was a bumblebee who played the keyboard and Courage was a ladybug who played the drums. Five thousand kids tried out for this series. Phil Collins and John Reed were two of the three finalists for I.Q. Unfortunately, the role went to John McIndoe, a musician who worked at Apple Records. The four lucky winners were John McIndoe, John Philpott, Caroline Ellis and Wayne Laryea. They flew to Los Angeles, where the show was filmed.
This series provides examples of:
- Amazing Technicolor Population
- Amnesia Episode: Practically every single Krofft show had one at one point or another. For this series, it happens to Courage, so Benita uses this to her advantage, by having him believe he is her long-lost nephew, Melvin.
- Ascended Extra: Later in the series, uptown disc jockey Peter Platter was featured more frequently.
- The Board Game: Milton Bradley made one in 1971.
- Break the Cutie: Subverted, but Benita does frequently target Joy specifically to lure the other Bugaloos to her power (also, because she doesn't want any other girl singer in her own band).
- Catchphrase: Benita frequently exclaims, "Holy humperdink!"
- Cool Car: Benita has one, and later, the Bugaloos have one of their own.
- Distaff Counterpart: Benita could be viewed as this to Witchiepoo from H.R. Pufnstuf. Also, later in the series, a female firefly is introduced as a love interest for Sparky.
- The Eeyore: Sparky the Firefly. The Bugaloos even tell him from the beginning, "If you don't believe in yourself, you can't expect any one else to."
- Expy: Literally. Funky Rat is entirely recycled from the character Heinrich from the movie adaptation of H.R. Pufnstuf, likewise, one episode features a frog magician, that is basically the same puppet/costume used for Judy the Frog in the former series, just with different hair and wardrobe.
- Fantastic Comedy
- Hot Gypsy Woman: Joy dresses up as one in the finale in order to trick Benita.
- Ms. Fanservice: Many fans just can't get enough of Joy, in her extremely short tutu and her pink tights that show off her killer legs.
- Five-Man Band:
- Hollywood Tone-Deaf: It varied a little from episode to episode just how bad Benita's singing was, but a number of episode had her as this.
- Large Ham: Benita Bizarre to a 'T'. Producer Si Rose has even praised Martha Raye for her over-the-top and outlandish performance.
- Laugh Track
- Lovable Coward: Sparky, with traces of Cowardly Lion at times.
- One Steve Limit: Not in-universe, but because the cast had two John's, Mc Indoe (I.Q.) was nicknamed "Big John", while Philpot (Courage) was "Little John".
- Paper-Thin Disguise: Almost on a weekly basis, when Benita captures one or more of the good guys, while the others pose as conveniently needed service workers in order to penetrate her jukebox, and rescue their comrade.
- Parental Bonus
- People in Rubber Suits
- Ray Gun: Benita's Zapper, which she frequently used to zap either the Bugaloos or other hapless victims unconscious. It usually worked as a sort of Stun Gun which didn't actually harm the ones zapped apart from knocking them out — but it could be used lethally as well, as Benita would frequently warn her cronies not to overdo the zapping since a too-big dose would kill rather than just stun.
- Short Runner: Like H.R. Pufnstuf before it, The Bugaloos only lasted for 17 episodes, not only because of financial problems, but also because the actors returned to London, against the Kroffts' wishes.
- Shout-Out: The concept of The Bugaloos was basically the Kroffts wanting to capitalize on the popularity of The Beatles.
- Stop Trick: A staple with many Krofft shows.
- Surrounded by Idiots: Benita Bizarre's flunkies.
- Those Wacky Nazis: Benita Bizarre and her flunkies could count, especially her chauffeur, Funky Rat, who essentially wears something similar to a Gestapo uniform.
- What Could Have Been: Among the many young people who auditioned for the series, future singing sensation Phil Collins was considered for the role of I.Q.
- Also like H.R. Pufnstuf, a movie adaptation of the series was planned, but was ultimately shelved because the actors returned to London, and because Columbia Pictures (the original distributor) went bankrupt.
- On that token, the Kroffts also tried to shoot for a second season.
- Wicked Witch: Not entirely clear what Benita is supposed to be, but rest assured, this trope could very well apply to her.