"One banana, two banana, three banana, four! The Banana Splits Adventure Hour
Four bananas make a bunch, and so do many more!
Over hill and highway the Banana Buggies go,
Coming on to bring you the Banana Splits show!"
was a Saturday morning series from Hanna-Barbera
shown on NBC
in the late 1960s. Live actors in full-body costumes portrayed Fleegle the dog (voiced by Paul Winchell
), Drooper the lion (voiced by Allan Melvin
), Bingo the gorilla (voiced by Daws Butler
) and Snorky the elephant, who didn't talk
. Sid & Marty Krofft Productions
designed the Banana Splits' character costumes.
The foursome did comedy sketches, performed songs and introduced the following action segments:
After the Banana Splits became popular, Hanna-Barbera tried to duplicate its success in 1977: Skatebirds
. (Some sources had 1969's The Cattanooga Cats
as live/animated with the Cats live costumes, but it was all animated.) When The Banana Splits
was shown in broadcast syndication, and later on TBS
, the following series were added to the package:
- The Atom Ant Show, accompanied by Precious Pupp and The Hillbilly Bears
- Secret Squirrel, accompanied by Squiddly Diddly and Winsome Witch
- The Adventures of Gulliver
- The New Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Interesting trivia: The Banana Splits title song (or rather, a high-speed cover version by The Dickies) puts in an appearance as Hit Girl's theme music in Kick-Ass
The Banana Splits provides examples of:
- Animated Adaptation: Hardly surprisingly, the band appeared both in live action and in animated form in a full-length feature, The Banana Splits in Hocus Pocus Park (1972), on the animated anthology series The ABC Saturday Superstar Movie.
- The Big Guy: Raseem from The Arabian Knights; Porthos from The Three Musketeers
- City of Gold / Treasure Is Bigger in Fiction: Baghdad in The Arabian Knights seemed to be overflowing with sapphires and rubies the size of your fist.
- Characterization Marches On: At least physically for Snorky, who originally started out as something of a wooly mammoth in Season One, and became a clean-shaven elephant in Season Two.
- Comic Book Adaptation
- Cool Car: C'mon, admit it—you always wanted one of those six-wheeled Banana Buggies.
- Distressed Damsel: Leslie Hayden from Danger Island, who was captured by Captain Mu-Tan's band or native headhunters in practically every episode and tied up, although all the main characters get this treatment at one point or another, especially late in the serial.
- Easy Amnesia: Fariek in the The Arabian Knights episode "The Coronation of Bakaar".
- Everything's Better with Monkeys: Bingo
- Fake Band
- Flying Carpet: Often used on The Arabian Knights. Fariek could even create one out of Raseem's sash.
- Hey, It's That Voice!: In Arabian Knights, Ventriloquist Shari Lewis voiced Nida, Jay North voiced Prince Turhan, and Paul Frees voiced the villanous henchman Vangore.
- Hollywood Torches: The Arabian Knights and Danger Island segments.
- Incredible Shrinking Man: Micro Ventures
- Inept Mage: Fariek in Arabian Knights.
- Island of Mystery: Danger Island. Possibly home to the lost city of Tobanya. Contains castaways and comes with three different tribes of cannibalistic native.
- King of Beasts: Averted. Drooper isn't the lead guy, Fleegle the dog is.
- Laugh Track
- Master of Disguise: Nida in The Arabian Knights.
- Misplaced Wildlife: On Danger Island. Lions and leopards on an island, in the middle of the Pacific?
- Missing Episode: The entire second season hasn't been seen since 1969. The reruns in syndication and on Cartoon Network only featured the first season.
- Old Shame: The Danger Island segments were directed by Richard Donner; Jan-Michael Vincent (credited as simply "Michael Vincent") appeared in them as "Link".
- Open Sesame: on The Arabian Knights.
- People in Rubber Suits
- The Red Stapler: Don't tell me you didn't want a six-wheeled amphibious vehicle of your own as a kid.
- Roger Rabbit Effect: In the New Adventures of Huckleberry Finn segments. Tom, Huck and Becky are live action and everyone & everything else is animated.
- Ruthless Modern Pirates: Captain Mu-Tan and his rag-tag band of modern day pirates from Danger Island.
- Super Breath: Raseem in The Arabian Knights.
- Super Strength: Raseem again.
- Theme Tune Roll Call:
Flipping like a pancake, popping like a cork,
Fleegle, Bingo, Drooper and Snork!
- In one segment, Fleegle started their regular meeting, and insisted that they had to first call the roll. Cue the other three walking around crying "Here, roll!".
- The Unintelligible: Snorky spoke entirely in honking noises. Also, Chongo from Danger Island.
- Unintentional Period Piece: It's so sixties it hurts.
- Voluntary Shapeshifting: Bez from The Arabian Knights. Preceded by his catchphrase "Size of a <name of animal>!", which changed not only his size but his shape.