The Banana Splits burst onto our Saturday morning screens in 1968, a surreal acid trip of a kids TV show, The Banana Splits Adventure Hour was a show presented by a manufactured band of wacky animal characters. Produced by Hanna-Barbera and sponsored by Kellogg's the show was a mix of slap-stick live action skits (think Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In with costumes), and regular featured animation series.
This cool band of animals called Fleegle, Drooper, Bingo and Snorky lasted for 2 series (31 episodes in total) from 1968 to 1970. The first season was directed by now famous movie director Richard Donner, well known for movies such as Superman (1978), the Lethal Weapon series (1987 -1998) and one of the all time best kids movies ever The Goonies (1985).
Fleegle: (Fleegle the beagle) the self-appointed leader (as well as lead singer and guitar player) of the Banana Splits. He would fail over and over to organise the band, the futile voice of semi-reason in the chaos. He would often appear as a magician "The Great Fleegali", with Snorky as his assistant. He owuld pose "banana" related riddles for the rest of the band to solve.
Drooper: The bass playing lion, a seriously cool dude! He would present the "Dear Drooper" segment, where he and Bingo would try to give advice to viewers who wrote in. Drooper was a big softy and fall-guy for the the rest of the band.
Bingo: The drumming gorilla. Demanding "Coach Bingo" would cause chaos in his exercise segment. Bingo would usually solve Fleegle's riddles.
Snorky: The keyboard playing elephant. Snorky never spoke. He started out all shaggy haired, and then during the episode "The Great Banana Splits Race", and new shaved Snorky was introduced. The new Snorky was used throughout the second season, and in Banana Splits merchandising. However for die-hard fans it's old school Snorky all the way.
Weird Retro Fact: In 1968 an album was released We're The Banana Splits, featuring the theme song "The Tra La La Song (One Banana, Two Banana)" which didn't do well on it's release as a single. It found success when in 1978 The Dickies covered 1978 the song, reaching No. 7 in the UK.
Weird Retro Fact: The vehicles in the show were converted Amphicat was a six-wheel-drive, skid steer ATVs.