The Banana Splits intro, theme song, lyrics & more about this trippy retro kids’ show (1968-1970)

Note: This article may feature affiliate links to or other companies. Qualifying purchases made via these links may earn us a small commission at no additional cost to you. Find out more here.

Banana Splits TV show characters
In its original run, The Banana Splits Adventure Hour lasted only 31 episodes, 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 (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.

The Banana Splits retro TV show

Banana Splits is 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 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.

The Banana Splits: Meet Fleegle

Vintage Banana Splits TV character patch - 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.

MORE  The Monkees are coming: '60s singer-spoofers offer crazy fun + the TV show opening credits

The Banana Splits: Here’s Bingo

Vintage Banana Splits TV character patch - BingoBingo, 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.

The Banana Splits: Meet Drooper

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

Vintage Banana Splits TV character patch - Drooper

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.

MORE  Sid & Marty Krofft's 'Land of the Lost' TV show & their amazing amusement park (1975)

The Banana Splits: Say hi to Snorky

Vintage Banana Splits TV character patch - SnorkySnorky 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-Barbara.

The Banana Splits Adventure Hour (1968)

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

Get the theme song lyrics below!

Who remembers the Banana Splits kids TV show

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.

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.

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.”

MORE  How the Flintstones TV show got its start, plus see the intro & theme song lyrics... Yabba dabba doo!

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”)

The Banana Splits TV show

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

the-banana-splits-retro-hanna-barbera-tv-show (2)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

More stories you might like

See our books

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Pin It on Pinterest