The Banana Splits, 1968
This Hanna-Barbera kids classic made it’s debut in The US in 1968 and was a regular feature in the UK during the 1970’s during summer holidays (although we were unable to track down the UK dates).
The series ran in the US for 31 episodes usually on Saturday mornings, between 1968 and 1970. In the UK it went out weekday mornings if I remember correctly usually during the school summer holidays.
The show featured both live action and animated segments and was Hanna-Barbera’s first foray into mixing live action with animation.
It is known as The Banana Splits here in the UK, but to give it’s proper title – The Banana Splits Adventure Hour.
In 2008, Warner Brothers produced a revival series on Cartoon Network, we think this lasted just one series.
The Banana Splits Adventure Hour was an hour-long, packaged television variety program featuring The Banana Splits, a fictional rock band composed of four funny animal characters. The costumed hosts of the show were Fleegle (guitar, vocals), Bingo (drums, vocals), Drooper (bass, vocals) and Snorky (keyboards, effects).
Each show represented a meeting of the “Banana Splits Club”, and the wraparounds featured the adventures of the club members, who doubled as a musical quartet, meant to be reminiscent of The Monkees. The main characters were Fleegle, a beagle; Bingo, a gorilla; Drooper, a lion; and Snorky, called “Snork” in the theme song lyrics, an elephant.
The show’s live-action segment featured Danger Island, a cliff hanger serial, as well as the short-lived Micro Ventures, an animated series consisting of only four episodes, ran alongside the animated segments Arabian Knights and The Three Musketeers.
Cast (original version)
in the suit: Jeff Winkless (1969) (billed as Jeffrey Brock) voice: Paul Winchell
in the suit: Terence H. Winkless (billed as Terence Henry) voice: Daws Butler
in the suit: Dan Winkless (billed as Daniel Owen) voice: Allan Melvin
“Jimmy” Dove in season 1 song segments, Robert Towers in most other segments
Executive Producers: William Hanna and Joseph Barbera
Channel: NBC (US), BBC1 (UK)
Original Transmission Dates (US): September 7th, 1968 – September 5th, 1970