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The Banana Splits

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[[Image:Bananasplitstitle|282px]]

Characters Episodes
Locations Puppeteers
BananaSplits-flier1
One of the promotional fliers for the syndicated show
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Bananasplitscostumes
Flier showing the Banana Splits costumes
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The Banana Splits was a television show produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions about a fictional band called the Banana Splits. The characters are Fleegle (a dog), Bingo (a gorilla), Drooper (a lion) and Snorky, (an elephant). The characters were portrayed by live-action actors in costumes; the costumes were designed by Sid and Marty Krofft. The Banana Splits Adventure Hour ran for 31 hour-long episodes from (1968 to 1970). The show featured live action and animated segments.

Dan Winkless, the actor inside the Drooper costume, told Mike Rutherford: "At some point it becomes obvious that the old stuff costs more to store than it would cost to remake (especially sets -- flats are easy to paint). I suppose the costumes still exist somewhere. In 1968, I was impressed that the costumes cost $40,000.00 to build. That sounded like a lot of money to me. But it's a drop in the bucket for today's production costs." [1]

Another group of characters from the show was The Sour Grapes Bunch, A "rival" club of the Banana Splits. In each episode one of the Sour Grapes would give a note to one of the Splits (usually Drooper) and challenge them to something. None of the Sour Grapes were ever shown talking.

Other members of the cast include Banana Vac who hangs over the door and somewhat resembles a mounted moose head, Cuckoo, pops out of the cuckoo clock and Goofy Gopher who pops up from a flower pot. There was also Mildred the Robot, a reburished Robby the Robot from the movie "Forbidden Planet"

The series of Banana Splits comic books were somewhat different than the actual show. The comics took the splits out of their "Banana Pad" And portrayed them as a group of good-natured bunglers that could never seem to avoid trouble. The stories centered around the Splits either trying to find work as musicians or getting caught up in wild adventures on the road between gigs.The supporting characters (Cuckoo, Banana Vac, Goofy Gopher) were never used in the books though the Sour Grapes and Mildred the Robot did make appearances in issue #1.The artist for the books (except most of #1) was Jack Manning, who did layout art for many Hanna-Barbera series as well as actual promotional material for the show itself. Each of the Splits had their own buggy they drove that also was seen in the television show. These comics are very rare and expensive to purchase.

Cast

Recurring Segments

Locations

Only a handful of locations in the series were shown. The primary location is the Banana Splits clubhouse. In the opening segment the splits are shown entering the clubhouse and in some episodes they are all announced by Allan Melvin. The amusement parks shown in the show were Six Flags Over Texas in the first season of the show and Coney Island in Cincinnati, Ohio in the final season.

Merchandise

A large amount of Banana Splits merchandise was produced such as plushes, comic books, cereal boxes and model kits. For a list of merchandise visit the List of Banana Splits Merchandise main article.

Episodes

See: List of Banana Splits Episodes

Rebirth of The Banana Splits

In 2008, Warner Brothers Consumer Products announced a rebirth of The Banana Splits after nearly a two decade hiatus. Included are new segments on Cartoon Network and a revival of their original series on Boomerang, a new Banana Splits-themed kids area at Hard Rock Park, a rock-and-roll themed amusement park in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, as well as a web site and record album - check that - CD release with Universal Records.

Trivia

  • They were originally called the Banana Bunch later changed to the Banana Splits because of Copyright issues. [2]
  • Three of the four actors inside the costumes of the Splits were brothers (Jeffrey, Terrence and Daniel Winkless). Their last names were changed in the credits to avoid confusion. Additionally, they were the sons of N.B. Winkless, who was the uncredited writer of the "Tra La La" theme song. Under contractual agreements, the songwriting was credited to Ritchie Adams and Mark Barkan.

References

  1. Interview with Dan Winkless (Drooper)
  2. Interview with Terry Winkless (Bingo)

External Links

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