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Series / The Banana Splits

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"Tra-la-la, la-la-la-la! (x4)
One banana, two banana, three banana, four!
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!"

The Banana Splits Adventure Hour 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 and 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 on CBS. (Some sources had 1969's The Cattanooga Cats on ABC as live/animated with the Cats in 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:

Finally, a short-lived revival of the series aired on Cartoon Network in 2008, featuring Keith Scott as Fleegle, Bingo, and Drooper.

The series was revived in 2019... as a horror film, The Banana Splits Movie, with Eric Bauza as Fleagle, Bingo, and Drooper. The Splits also appear in Jellystone!.

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.
    • Within the show, "The Three Musketeers" was quite faithful to the original source (especially for Saturday morning kids show standards!).
  • The Big Guy: Porthos from "The Three Musketeers"
  • Cannibal Tribe: Three of the them in the Danger Island segments.
  • Canon Foreigner: For the Three Musketeers segment, Lady Constance's nephew Tooly.
  • Character Catchphrase: "Uh oh, Chongo!" for Danger Island, often said by the Splits before introducing it.
  • Comic-Book Adaptation: Published by Gold Key Comics. The Splits had a cameo in issue #12 of Marvel Comics' Laff-A-Lympics book.
  • Cool Car: C'mon, admit it—you always wanted one of those six-wheeled Banana Buggies.
  • Cuckoo Clock Gag: The Splits' clubhouse has a clock containing a large bird's head, which usually announces the next segment.
  • Damsel in Distress: 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.
  • Dogs Are Dumb: Inverted, Fleegle's the smartest and most serious of the Banana Splits. He still gets into wacky events like the others, but he's the first to dial it back, and is often weary of the others.
  • Early Installment Character-Design Difference: Snorky originally started out as something of a wooly mammoth with eye-obscuring sunglasses in Season One, and became a clean-shaven elephant wearing a vest and with visible eyes in Season Two.
  • Edutainment Show: Micro Ventures.
  • Fake Band: Sure, the Splits weren’t real, but you can’t deny they could carry a tune.
  • Fanservice: The camera *loves* Link (a young Jan-Michael Vincent) in Danger Island, especially when his swimming trunks are wet. Morgan (Rockne Tarkington) also spends most of the time nearly shirtless in a way that emphasizes his chest. Oddly enough, averted with the lone female character Leslie.
  • Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal: All four Banana Splits.
  • Hollywood Torches: Danger Island had these.
  • Incredible Shrinking Man: Micro Ventures
  • Island of Mystery: Danger Island. Possibly home to the lost city of Tobanya. Contains castaways and comes with three different tribes of cannibalistic natives.
  • King of Beasts: Averted. Drooper the Lion isn't the lead guy, Fleegle the dog is.
  • Laugh Track: Even the 2008 revival has one, too.
  • Misplaced Wildlife: On Danger Island. Lions and leopards on an island, in the middle of the Pacific? Well, justified as the tribes might brought them to the island.
  • Open Sesame: on The Arabian Knights.
  • People in Rubber Suits: Wouldn't be a series involving Sid & Marty Krofft without them.
  • 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.
  • 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!".
  • Three Shorts: When the show was cut down to a half hour for syndication, it would follow a sort of ABC format, with the cartoon segments Arabian Knights and The Three Musketeers rotating each episode for the A, a Banana Splits music video for the B, and Danger Island as the C, all with our hosts engaging in comedy sketches in-between, introducing each segment.
    • Often times when Micro Ventures was shown the format would always have The Three Musketeers as the A, Danger Island as the B, and Micro Ventures as the C.
  • Toon Transformation: The ABC Saturday Superstar Movie The Banana Splits In Hocus Pocus Park has a live action little girl and the normally live action costumed Splits turning into cartoon figures after entering a mysterious billboard.
  • The Unintelligible: Snorky spoke entirely in honking noises. Also, Chongo from Danger Island.