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"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. Sid and Marty Krofft Productions designed the Banana Splits' character costumes.
The foursome did comedy sketches, performed songs and introduced the following action segments:
- The Arabian Knights: A Five-Man Band of heroes fought evil in pre-Islamic Arabia.
- The Three Musketeers: These short adventures were adapted from the book by Alexandre Dumas père.
- Micro-Ventures: A scientist and his two teenage children visited Mouse World to observe insects up close.
- Danger Island: This was the serialized live-action segment, set on and around a Pacific island. Memorable for the Catch Phrase, "Uh-oh, Chongo!". Directed by future-Goonie Richard Donner.
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 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 and Secret Squirrel
- 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
- Comic Book Adaptation
- 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: Farik 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.
- Hey, It's That Voice!: Ventriloquist Shari Lewis voiced Nida in The Arabian Knights.
- Hollywood Torches: The Arabian Knights and Danger Island segments.
- Incredible Shrinking Man: Micro Ventures
- King of Beasts: Drooper
- 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?
- 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.
- The Red Stapler: Don't tell me you didn't want a six-wheeled amphibious vehicle of your own as a kid.
- 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.
- 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.