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The Banana Splits and Friends Show

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After “The Banana Splits Adventure Hour” ended in 1970, the series was syndicated in half-hour form as “The Banana Splits And Friends Show.” The syndicated series consisted of 125 half-hour episodes. These combined “Banana Splits” episodes with those of other Hanna-Barbera cartoon series (“Atom Ant,” “Secret Squirrel,” “The New Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn” and “The Adventures Of Gulliver”). (“Atom Ant” was supported by “Precious Pupp” and “The Hillbilly Bears,” and “Secret Squirrel” featured “Squiddly Diddly” and “Winsome Witch.”) Aside from having been produced by the same studio, these series originally were unrelated to “The Banana Splits Adventure Hour” (except for “The Hillbilly Bears,” whose cartoons were repeated during Season 2). The syndicated series included 36 half-hour episodes derived from the first season of “The Banana Splits Adventure Hour” (essentially the first eighteen hours cut into half-hours, with a couple minutes edited from each one). The thirteen Season 2 episodes were excluded from the package, and indeed have not been shown since 1970 (perhaps because all the cartoon segments and “Danger Island” chapters were repeats), but eight brief (ten to fifteen seconds long) clips of the Banana Splits scenes were edited into the “Atom Ant,” “Secret Squirrel” and “Gulliver” episodes to introduce the various cartoon segments, repeating throughout the series (curiously, other than the opening title sequence, the Banana Splits characters did not appear in the “Huckleberry Finn” episodes at all; those episodes even retained their original closing credits). A few more Season 2 clips surfaced in the 1995 special, “Saturday Morning Cartoons Greatest Hits” (during the music video of “The Tra La La Song” performed by Liz Phair and Material Issue).

The repackaging of these series as part of the syndicated "Banana Splits And Friends Show" has led to some confusion over the years, with some viewers insisting, for instance, that "Huck Finn" was a segment on "The Banana Splits" show. Actually, this was not unlike other syndicated packages mixing episodes of more than one series together (the Filmation cartoons "The New Adventures Of Gilligan" and "Lassie's Rescue Rangers" were not originally part of "The Groovy Goolies" either.) Nevertheless, the inclusion of five different series in the syndicated "Banana Splits And Friends" package not only padded out the episode number count, but also worked well for weekday scheduling; in Chicago, WFLD-Channel 32 aired “Atom Ant” on Monday, “Secret Squirrel” on Tuesday, “Banana Splits Adventures” on Wednesday, “Huckleberry Finn” on Thursday, and “Gulliver” on Friday. Other stations aired the episodes in sequence with, for example, all the “Secret Squirrel” episodes followed by all the “Atom Ant” episodes (as cable superstation WGN did in the early 1990s). By 1980, Worldvision Enterprises was offering the various series to stations separately, and also offered a choice of a half-hour or one-hour version of the "Banana Splits" episodes (but still only the Season 1 shows). In the mid-1980s, WPWR-TV in Chicago carried the “Atom Ant” and “Secret Squirrel” episodes (only), usually airing them under the “Atom Ant/Secret Squirrel” title (with the Banana Splits titles and bumpers left out), but sometimes under the “Banana Splits And Friends” title as well.

As aired on Cartoon Network and Boomerang, “The Banana Splits And Friends Show” today consists solely of the 36 “Banana Splits Adventure Hour” cutdowns. The various cartoons originally featured on the "Atom Ant" and "Secret Squirrel" shows have periodically appeared on the Cartoon Network and Boomerang channels, sometimes including the original "Atom Ant" and "Secret Squirrel" show openings and closings (both of which were also included in early 1980s home video compilations released by Worldvision Home Video). One "Gulliver" episode ("The Forbidden Pool") appeared with its original opening and closing (even including the ABC "in color" opening logo) during the WGN cable run of "The Banana Splits And Friends Show" in 1990-1991 ("The Adventures Of Gulliver" subsequently has appeared from time to time on Cartoon Network and Boomerang with its original opening and closing intact). Boomerang also has shown episodes of "The New Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn," but those showings have not included the opening titles (any opening titles, in fact).

Syndicated episode lists:

List of syndicated intro segments:

For the syndicated series, the opening and closing titles came from Season 2 shows. Eight short interstitial segments also were cut from Season 2 shows to introduce most of the various added cartoon elements. Each episode had thirty seconds worth of this footage which repeated throughout the series, except for the Huckleberry Finn episodes, in which the Banana Splits characters were only seen in the show opening itself. Joe Alaskey returned to dub short announcement intros over the end of the opening titles of each show: "The Banana Splits Present The Atom Ant Show!" "The Banana Splits Present The Secret Squirrel Show!" "The Banana Splits Present The Adentures Of Huck Finn!" "The Banana Splits Present The Adventures Of Gulliver!" And of course, lest we forget, "The Banana Splits Present The Banana Splits!" Each was punctuated with Alaskey's trademark Jerry Mahoney/Fleegle/ laugh. Short intros for the various cartoon segments were cut from the Season 2 "Banana Splits Adventure Hour" shows, with redubbed music, sound effects, and a line or two of dialogue for Fleegle, who is the only character who spoke in these brief segments:

  • Atom Ant (0:00:10)

Edited from "Exercising" EX #1 (Barbell).

  • Precious Pupp (0:00:10)
  • The Hillbilly Bears (0:00:10)
    • Edited from a "School Time" segment
  • Secret Squirrel (0:00:10)
    • Edited from "The Great Fleegali" G.F. #2 (The Tablecloth Pull)
  • Squiddly Diddly (0:00:10)
    • (Did you see that? When Bingo turns to leave, the zipper on the back of his costume is plainly visible!)
  • Winsome Witch (0:00:10)
  • The Adventures Of Gulliver (Show intro) (0:00:15)
    • Edited from "Malibox" M.B. #1 (Gavel)
  • The Adventures Of Gulliver (Commercial intro) (0:00:15)
    • This footage is probably from the Season 2 "Club Opening" intro segment.

The Banana Splits drive into the clubhouse, then in separate shots, Snorky enters the clubhouse on a scooter, Bingo does a cartwheel, Drooper enters on a swing, and Fleegle rides in on a bicycle for his one line of redubbed dialogue: "Stay tuned, we'll be right back!" This could have been used in any show, but was only seen in the re-edited "Gulliver" episodes.

Promo flier text:

Hanna-Barbera's THE BANANA SPLITS and Friends Show

Featuring... The Banana Splits Huck Finn Tom Sawyer Becky Thatcher Young Gulliver Atom Ant Secret Squirrel Danger Island Arabian Knights Three Musketeers Hillbilly Bears Winsome Witch Squiddly Diddly Precious Pupp Micro-Venture

Trend starters in new children's entertainment

"The Banana Splits and Friends Show" offers TV broadcasters a variety of children's entertainment. Always on stage for the package are four live performers, the Banana Splits--crazily costumed as cartoon animals--Fleegle (brown dog) (Editor's note: actually green!), Bingo ( gorilla), Drooper (tan lion) and Snorky (grey elephant). These zany kooks host the show as they sing, dance, tumble, play musical instruments and match wits with the home audience.

The fanciful extensions of the imaginations of children spark to life through the video antics of the zany Banana Splits. These masters of slapstick comedy sing, tell jokes, play musical instruments, dance, tumble, match wits with the video viewers and engage in 101 other amusing stunts. (Editor's note: Did anyone actually proofread this release? Didn't the previous paragraph say pretty much the same thing?)

The Splits perform from a happening scene called the "Banana Pad," a combination bed-den-rec room more colorful than a room filled with psychedelic posters. Adding spice to the Splits' abnormal behavior are a series of special skits presenting Fleegle as "The Great Fleegali," world-famed magician; Drooper as "Super Drooper," the indefatigable caped crusader; and Bingo as "Coach Bingo," athletic prowess expert.

The Kellogg Company has featured the four characters on its breakfast food boxes as part of a fantastic promotional campaign that included a fan club (attracting more than two million kids to date) along with a series of self-liquidating premiums. Decca Records is furthering the Splits' popularity with single records and albums from the show music. The Splits tour the nation each spring and summer, entertaining at fairs and teen-oriented rock festivals.

(Editor's note: This flier is dated 1975. The information here must have been cribbed from a vintage original ABC press release; note references to "The Great Fleegali," "Super Drooper" and "Coach Bingo," segments which only appeared in Season 2 shows and were not included in the syndicated series. The Splits were indeed featured on Kellogg's cereal boxes, in Canada in 1970. The fan club was long defunct by 1975; the "We're The Banana Splits" album was long out of print, and Decca Records had changed its corporate name to MCA Records by 1972. The Splits certainly were not touring as a rock band by 1975.)

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