The Banana Splits Adventure Hour intro, theme song, lyrics & more on this trippy retro kids’ show

Who remembers the Banana Splits kids TV show

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In its original run, The Banana Splits Adventure Hourir?t=clickamericana 20&l=ur2&o=1 lasted only 31 episodes, from 1968 to 1970, but its funky brand of psychedelia had a lasting impact on a lot of kids born in the sixties. (Your author can attest to this fact.)

The show was created by Hanna-Barbera Productions — the team behind The Flintstones, Yogi Bear, The Jetsons and Scooby-Doo, among others — with the help of Sid and Marty Krofft, who would go on to create the also-trippy H R Pufnstuf, Sigmund and the Sea Monsters, and Land of the Lost.

The premise? A sort of variety show (loosely inspired by Laugh-In) starring a rock band comprised of four outrageously-costumed animal characters (definitely inspired by The Monkees).

The stars were Bingo – gorilla (drums/vocals); Drooper – lion (bass/vocals); Fleegle – beagle (guitar/vocals); and Snorky – elephant (keyboards/synth).

Saturday morning television would never be the same again.

Banana Splits TV show characters

The Banana Splits – the newest kids’ show group (1968)

There’s a swinging new group on today’s scene that made their national debut recently as the stars and hosts of “The Banana Splits Adventure Hour” on the NBC Television Network, Saturdays.

The Banana Splits is the group, and their names are Fleegle, Bingo, Drooper and Snorky.

The four rock musicians‘ and comedians’ zany lives revolve around a “happening” place called the Banana Pad, which is a youngster’s dream house chock-full of all the really fun things kids would have in a combination bed-rec-den room.

The Banana Splits Adventure Hour TV show

The Banana Splits Adventure Hour TV show characters

The pad is decorated with such things as posters and pop art, but for the most part, you can find mechanical devices which include a robot, reacting trash cans and mailboxes, a fireman’s pole and many other gadgets.

Also, the Splits each have a dune buggy for “wheels,” and the buggies resemble each of their respective appearances. They are used by the boys around the Banana Pad and for their outdoor antics.

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Banana Splits Adventure Hour book from 1969

The Banana Splits: Meet Fleegle

Fleegle, who sings lead and plays guitar, is the spokesman for the group.

Cool, authoritative, and usually in control of every situation, Fleegle is always slightly frustrated by the behavior of the others.

Although he’s a born leader and organizer, Fleegle is not as bright as he thinks. And off-stage, he considers himself a present-day Don Juan, which sometimes proves to be quite amusing.

Nevertheless, Fleegle is a very likable guy.

Vintage Banana Splits TV character patch - Fleegle

The Banana Splits: Here’s Bingo

Bingo, the drummer with the Splits, is a simple, good-natured fellow.

He doesn’t realize his great physical strength, and is forever breaking things.

Bingo is usually assigned all the heavy tasks, but he invariably manages to smash everything he attempts to clean or move.

He’s a great drummer, though, and would do practically anything to help a friend.

Vintage Banana Splits TV character patch - Bingo

The Banana Splits: Meet Drooper

The third member, Drooper, delights in fast-talking the others, especially Bingo, knowing that it confuses the big fellow.

He is the ultra-hip hippie of the Splits who is always on, always cool, and always trying to con someone.

Drooper, who also plays guitar, is the group prankster, and makes certain that Bingo and Snorky receive the blame when one of his tricks backfires.

Most of Drooper’s life is devoted to devising diabolical schemes to shift his share of work in the pad to Bingo and Snorky. He claims this allows more time for his philosophical endeavors, being the “braines” (self-proclaimed) of the group.

Vintage Banana Splits TV character patch - Drooper

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The Banana Splits: Say hi to Snorky

Vintage Banana Splits TV character patch - Snorky

Snorky plays the organ, and is considered the runt of the four. He is always late, seldom does anything right, and gets blamed for absolutely everything, even when he’s innocent.

Bingo is protective of the little guy, but he can never stop Snorky from accepting a dare, which Snorky will always do. In any event, Snorky remains dauntless in spite of his constant misfortunes.

Among other things, Fleegle, Bingo, Drooper and Snorky sing, tell jokes and introduce the exciting regularly featured segments of the show.

The show is produced by the award-winning team of Hanna-Barbera.

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The Banana Splits Adventure Hour (1968)

Banana Splits Adventure Hour: TV show opening credits & (catchy!) theme song

(You can also get the theme song lyrics below!)

YouTube video

The Banana Splits characters

For the show’s opening credits: The Banana Splits frolic at an amusement park

By Tom Hopkins, Television Editor – Dayton Daily News (Dayton, Ohio) August 17, 1969

CINCINNATI — Kiddies who think television’s Banana Splits are out of this world aren’t too far wrong. Their animal costumes are almost as intricate as space suits.

“They look like the astronauts heading for the moon,” said producer Joe Barbera in describing the dress-up procedure for each show.

1968 Banana Splits single

The Banana Splits, stars of the NBC Saturday morning children’s show, were visiting Coney Island amusement park [in Cincinnati, Ohio], where several segments were being filmed for next season.

They drew cheers from the crowds as the animal characters swooshed down the giant slide, took a ride on the Log Flume, leaped from horse to horse on the merry-go-round, and generally had a ball while cameras whirred.

“They have to be in great physical shape to do this stuff,” said Barbera. “They’re not only great pantomimists, but performers and acrobats. I would say it’s one of the toughest acting jobs in the business.”

Banana Splits - Amusement park slides in Ohio 1969

THE ACROBATIC training is a necessity for maneuvering around in the air-conditioned animal suits, which for the group, cost $40,000.

“First they put on their underclothing — it’s a perspiration absorbing material,” explained Barbera. “Then over that, they put on a jumpsuit — this holds the perspiration in.

“Then comes a shoulder harness that hooks onto the head to hold the head on, Then an air conditioning unit is strapped around the waist.”

Comprising the zany quartet are four young men between ages 18 and 24: Bob Towers (Snorky the elephant) and the three Winkless brothers, Jeff (Fleegle the dog), Danny (Drooper the lion) and Terry (Bingo the gorilla).

Bob is also starring as Snoopy in the Los Angeles production of “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown,” and Terry is a student at the University of Southern California.

Vintage Banana Splits comic book 1970

THREE OR FOUR other groups will be on tour across the country as the Banana Splits this summer promoting Hanna-Barbera Productions’ most successful children’s show.

Four new shows by Hanna-Barbera are in the works for the fall, and their titles are humdingers: “Dick Dastardly, Muttley and Their Flying Machines,” “The Catanooga Cats,” “The Perils of Penelope Pitstop Starring the Ant Hill Mob” and “Scooby Doo, Where Are You?”

Shows to be renewed besides the Splits are “Jonny Quest,” “The Flintstones” and “The Jetsons.”

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Most of the segments are filmed in Hollywood. The Coney Island filming was a production of Taft Broadcasting Co., which recently purchased the amusement park and also owns Hanna-Barbera and Fouad Said Productions. Fouad Said’s 35-foot “Cinemobile,” a movie studio on wheels, was flown in from California for the occasion.

The Splits also plan several shows at Coney Island next month. Also involved in the filming of several “Banana Splits” segments will be Dennis Wholey, whose syndicated show will premiere Monday.

Banana Splits - Amusement park in Ohio 1969.jpg

The Banana Splits theme song (full lyrics)

(also known as “The Tra-la-la song”)

Banana Splits theme song 45 single

The Banana Splits Adventure Hour TV show music

Tra-la-la, la-la-la-la (x4)

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
Comin’ on to bring you
The Banana Splits Show

Makin’ up a mess of fun (x2)
Lots of fun for everyone

Tra-la-la, la-la-la-la (x4)

Four banana, three banana
Two banana, one
All bananas playing in the bright warm sun
Flippin’ like a pancake, poppin’ like a cork
Fleagle, Bingo, Drooper an’ Snork

Makin’ up a mess of fun (x2)
Lots of fun for everyone

Tra-la-la, la-la-la-la (x4)

Two banana, four banana
One banana, three
Swingin’ like a bunch of monkeys
Hangin’ from a tree
Hey there everybody
Won’t you come along and see
How much like banana splits
Everyone can be

Makin’ up a mess of fun (x2)
Lots of fun for everyone

Tra-la-la, la-la-la-la (x4)

Banana Splits cover

How many of these vintage Saturday morning cartoons & TV shows can you remember?

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Comments on this story

4 Responses

  1. Thanks for the trip down memory lane! I was absolutely obsessed with this show as a child and even had a club. Highlight of my fandom was to see them play a concert in St. Louis. Believe it or not, the 3 Stooges were the warm up act and I didn’t think that they were that big of a deal!

  2. I was hooked on this show, unfortunately living in England we only got to see them on the TV. Sad as it may be I have soft toy version of each of the splits sitting in my study. Best kids show ever

  3. After Mister Rodgers, the Banana Splits was the earliest TV show I remember. Everyone I knew in the preschool set loved it. I remember hearing a story that not only were the Banana Splits patterned after the Monkees, but they were meant as a replacement for them. After the Monkees became big stars, they wanted more creative control over their projects, and they caused trouble for the suits. But a group in costume wouldn’t do that, as no one would know the people inside the costumes, and you could swap them out at any time. If the guy who wore the Fleegle costume threatened to quit unless he got more money or the band played his songs, they’d just show him the door and move on.

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