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The Banana Splits Adventure Hour (later renamed The Banana Splits and Friends Show) was an hour long, live action/animated variety program featuring The Banana Splits, a fictional rock band composed of four animal characters: Fleegle (guitar, vocals), Bingo (drums, vocals), Drooper (bass, vocals) and Snorky (keyboards, effects). The series was produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions, and ran for 31 episodes on NBC Saturday mornings, from September 7, 1968, to September 5, 1970. The costumes and sets were designed by Sid and Marty Krofft and the series was sponsored by Kellogg's Cereals.

The series featured both live action and animated segments and was Hanna-Barbera’s first foray into mixing live action with animation.

In 1992, the re-edited episodes that aired in syndication began airing on Cartoon Network and eventually Boomerang.


In 1967, William Hanna and Joseph Barbera approached Sid Krofft and Marty Krofft to design costumes for a television series which would feature animated and live-action segments, with the whole show hosted by a bubblegum rock group of anthropomorphic characters. The format of the series was loosely based on Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In. The Krofft brothers give credit to the success of the series for opening the door to their own entry into television. NBC picked up the Krofft series H.R. Pufnstuf, which was launched during an hour-long special hosted by The Banana Splits on August 30, 1969. The show's live-action segment Danger Island, a cliffhanger 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.

Each episode 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. Fleegle would assume the role as leader of the Banana Splits and preside at club meetings.

The characters were played by actors in voluminous fleecy costumes similar to later Sid and Marty Krofft characters such as H.R. Pufnstuf. They all spoke in English, except for Snorky who "spoke" in honking noises, Drooper with a Southern drawl in the manner of Michael Nesmith and Fleegle with a pronounced lisp. The Splits' segments, including songs-of-the-week and comedy skits, served as wraparounds for a number of individual segments. For the first season, some of the live-action segments, specifically those used during the musical segments, were shot at Six Flags Over Texas, an amusement park located in Arlington, Texas.

For the second season, filming took place at the Kings Island amusement park, located in eastern Cincinnati, Ohio. In many episodes, the Banana Splits would be seen riding on the Runaway Mine Train roller coasters, Log Flumes, Bumper Cars, Merry-Go-Rounds, and many other rides at Six Flags and Kings Island. Also featured were the "Banana Buggies" mentioned in the theme song. These were seen driven by each live-action character in the opening and closing segments and occasionally in the wraparound and music video segments as well. The buggies were customized Amphicat six-wheel drive all-terrain vehicles each decorated to resemble the character who drove them.

The Banana Splits was one of the first Saturday morning cartoons to utilize a laugh track, which would become commonplace for future Hanna-Barbera series.

Season 1

During the first season, the Banana Splits segments often concerned the group's confrontations with a rival club: The Sour Grapes Bunch. The Sour Grapes were not seen on camera, but would send notes (usually a challenge or some other kind of threat) delivered by one of the "Sour Grapes messenger girls," who would dance into the Splits' clubhouse wearing purple minidresses, matched with pink leotards, tights and black go-go boots. They would normally intimidate or frighten the Splits until they gave the note to Fleegle. They would then dance out and take a bow before leaving. Five young actresses appeared as the messenger girls: Debra Thibodeaux, Colette Chenault, Julie Graham, Kathy O'Dare and Shirley Hillstrom; only one would appear at a time, always called "Charlie" in the context of the show, except for the performance of the song "Doin' The Banana Split" (the segment first appeared in episode 5, originally telecast October 5, 1968) which featured all five girls dancing with The Banana Splits. Their dance instructor was Byron Gilliam. Both Julie Graham and Kathy O'Dare would later appear in the 1970s TV series Happy Days.

The Splits also occasionally were visited by the Mariachi-tuned Dilly Sisters (an actual musical act from Mexico), who would appear at their door playing guitars and singing "The Mexican Hat Dance" or "Ta-ra-ra Boom-de-ay". In other recurring features during the first season, Drooper and Bingo offered advice to viewers in the "Dear Drooper" segment, while Fleegle served as the reporter for Banana Splits News. Other running gags included Fleegle repeatedly hitting himself by accident with his oversized gavel. The show introduced some catch phrases: the line, "That's an ooch," would be said every time a member was hit or injured (sometimes, it would be a double or triple-ooch depending on the extent of the injury). Other memorable sayings included "Hold the bus!" and "Uh-oh, Chongo!" (the latter from the serialized Danger Island segment).

Season 2

In the second season, all new live-action segments were produced with the Banana Splits characters, while the animated segments and Danger Island serial were reaired. (Arabian Knights and Danger Island were reruns from Season 1, while The Three Musketeers were replaced by repeats of The Hillbilly Bears, previously seen on The Atom Ant/Secret Squirrel Show.) For the new season, the set was slightly modified, and the Splits' recurring routines were all new: Fleegle attempted (quite unsuccessfully) to perform magic tricks as alter ego The Great Fleegali, while Super Drooper fought crime and Coach Bingo kept the rest of the group active in sports competitions.

Other new elements included School Time, Nursery Rhymes and a Gag Wall segment (reminiscent of Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In), as well as Fan Club meetings where the Banana Splits would read viewer mail. Goofy Gopher (voiced by Paul Winchell) would pop out from a flower pot to deliver the occasional one-liner, joining Cuckoo, who popped out of the Cuckoo Clock, and Banana Vac (an electric talking moose head) as secondary characters. The characters' costume designs also received an overhaul (introduced in the next-to-last Season 1 episode, "The Great Banana Splits Buggy Race)," with Snorky, who was originally covered in hair, now clean-shaven and sporting a yellow and blue striped vest.

Syndication & Cable

In syndication, the show was re-edited into a half-hour format and retitled The Banana Splits and Friends Show. That package consisted of 125 half-hours, including 36 Banana Splits Adventure Hour cutdowns (edited from the 18 original first season episodes; the 13 additional episodes produced for the 1969-1970 season were not included in the syndicated package; reconstructed versions of the 36 syndicated edits continue to air on Boomerang occasionally). Several other Hanna-Barbera series (originally unrelated to The Banana Splits, apart from having been produced by the same studio) were folded into the syndicated series as well: Atom Ant, Precious Pupp, Hillbilly Bears), Secret Squirrel, Squiddly Diddly, Winsome Witch), Yogi's Gang, and The New Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

The syndicated Atom Ant, Precious Pupp, Hillbilly Bears, Secret Squirel, Squiggly Diddly, Winsome Witch and Yogi's Gang episodes had a rotation of eight repeating clips edited into them, with Jimmy MacDonald redubbing Fleegle's voice to introduce various cartoon segments. The clips originated from Season 2 episodes, as did the syndicated series's opening and closing titles. It was the only Season 2 material included in the syndicated package.)


Live Action Performers

  • Fleegle - Jeff Winkless (billed as Jeffrey Brock)
  • Bingo - Terence H. Winkless (billed as Terence Henry)
  • Drooper - Dan Winkless (billed as Daniel Owen)
  • Snorky - "Jimmy" Dove (Singing Voice); Robert Towers (Vocal Effects)

Voice Actor

  • Fleegle - Paul Winchell
  • Bingo - Daws Butler
  • Drooper - Allan Melvin

In Other Media

  • Gold Key Comics began publishing a comic adaptation featuring the characters in 1969, releasing eight issues through 1971. Drawn by Jack Manning, these comics followed the musicians trying to find work or on the road between gigs.
Hanna-Barbera Series

1970 Where's Huddles?Harlem GlobetrottersJosie and the Pussycats
1971 The Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm ShowHelp!... It's the Hair Bear Bunch!The Funky Phantom
1972 The Amazing Chan and the Chan ClanWait Till Your Father Gets HomeThe Flintstone Comedy HourThe Roman HolidaysSealab 2020The New Scooby-Doo Movies
Josie and the Pussycats in Outer Space
1973 Speed BuggyButch Cassidy and the Sundance KidsYogi's GangSuper Friends
Goober and the Ghost ChasersInch High, Private EyeJeannieThe Addams Family
1974 Hong Kong PhooeyDevlinPartridge Family 2200 A.D.These Are the Days
Valley of the DinosaursWheelie and the Chopper Bunch
1975 The Tom & Jerry ShowThe Great Grape Ape Show
1976 The Mumbly Cartoon ShowThe Scooby-Doo ShowDynomutt, Dog WonderClue ClubJabberjaw
1977 The Robonic StoogesFred Flintstone and FriendsCaptain Caveman and the Teen AngelsLaff-A-LympicsCB BearsThe Skatebirds
1978 The All-New Popeye HourYogi's Space RaceGodzillaJana of the Jungle
1979 The New Fred and Barney ShowFred and Barney Meet The ThingCasper and the AngelsThe New ShmooThe Super GlobetrottersScooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo
Fred and Barney Meet the ShmooAmigo and Friends

1980 Drak PackThe Flintstone Comedy ShowThe Fonz and the Happy Days Gang
The Richie Rich/Scooby-Doo Show
1981 Laverne & Shirley in the ArmySpace StarsTeen ForceThe Kwicky Koala ShowTrollkinsThe Smurfs
1982 The Flintstone FunniesMork and Mindy: The Animated SeriesThe Little RascalsPac-ManJokebookShirt TalesThe Gary Coleman Show
1983 The DukesMonchhichisThe New Scooby and Scrappy Doo ShowThe Biskitts
Lucky Luke
1984 SnorksChallenge of the GoBots
1985 Paw PawsYogi's Treasure HuntGaltar and the Golden LanceThe Berenstain Bears
The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-DooThe Greatest Adventure: Stories from the Bible
1986 The New Adventures of Jonny QuestPound PuppiesThe Flintstone KidsFoofurWildfire
1987 Sky CommandersPopeye and Son
1988 A Pup Named Scooby-DooThe Completely Mental Misadventures of Ed Grimley
The New Yogi Bear ShowFantastic Max
1989 The Further Adventures of SuperTedPaddington Bear

1990 The Adventures of Don Coyote and Sancho PandaTom & Jerry KidsWake, Rattle, and RollRick Moranis in Gravedale HighMidnight Patrol: Adventures in the Dream Zone
1991 The Pirates of Dark WaterYo Yogi!
1992 Fish PoliceCapitol CrittersThe Addams Family
1993 Droopy, Master DetectiveThe New Adventures of Captain Planet2 Stupid Dogs
SWAT Kats: The Radical Squadron
1995 Dumb and DumberWhat a Cartoon!
1996 Cave Kids: Pebbles & Bamm BammThe Real Adventures of Jonny Quest
Dexter's Laboratory
1997 Johnny BravoCow & ChickenI Am Weasel
1998 The Powerpuff Girls