I Saw That!

One woman's opinions about popular entertainment.

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Location: Chicago, Illinois, United States

Amateur boxing coach, Christian (but not so heavenly-minded that I'm no earthly good) singer, writer, self-defense advocate, childfree. feminist www.smartwomenboxingtraining.org

Friday, November 25, 2005

"The Banana Splits" (1969-1971)

Joe Hanna and William Barbera ("Huckelberry Hound", "Shazzan", "The Hillbilly Bears", etc.) did a mix of live action and animation in a show centered around an animal rock bank. Droopy (a lion), Fleegle (a beagle), Bingo (an ape), and Snork (an elephant) lived in their own clubhouse located within an amusement park. In between their hi-jinks and songs, they served as MCs for the other segments of the show.

I remember a couple of regular cartoon shorts: "The Three Musketeers" and "The Adventures of Gulliver" both based on the famous stories of the same name. In the latter cartoon, there was a particularly depressing character who always saw the bad side of every situation he and his companions were in. I remember my cousin Renee saying, "I can't stand that character. . .never has anything good to say!"

There was a mounted head of an animal on the wall in the clubhouse. When he said, "Uh-oh, Chongo!" that was a big hint that an episode of the live action serial "Danger Island" was about to begin. It was about some explorers who got lost on a tropical island and ran into trouble with natives and pirates alike. Chongo was a friendly native who helped the explorers. Actor Jan Michael Vincent was in the cast, and the serial was directed by Richard Donner (Lethal Weapon).

Once the show was put in reruns, it was cut up into half-hours centered around a theme. Some episodes consisted of all cartoons, some focused on the Banana Splits, some were all "Danger Island". There were also half-hours that featured "The Adventures of Huckelberry Flynn". It had been a stand-alone show on its own. The show was loosely built on the Mark Twain novel, and it mixed live-action with animation.


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