Thursday, July 4, 2013

From out of the Recycling Bin: Banana Splits & Friends (approx. 1978)

10 years after their initial debut, the Banana Splits returned in a syndicated rerun package under the umbrella title, Banana Splits & Friends, which utilized an edited version of the show's theme song, and trimmed the original hour-long episodes into half-hour packages for daily syndication. In order to sell the show to stations, Viacom, which packaged the show, mixed in repeats of:

The Atom Ant Show (1965)
The Secret Squirrel Show (1965)
The New Adventures of Huckleberry Finn & The Adventures of Gulliver (which, like the Splits, bowed in 1968)

Ironically, one of Atom Ant's backup features, The Hillbilly Bears, had been added to the original series, to replace The Three Musketeers, in season 2. 10 years later, viewers would see the cartoons as they were originally presented, save for the fact that the original bumpers from the above shows had been excised, and that Fleegle (Paul Winchell) recorded new intros.

Following is a sample intro, queuing up an episode of Gulliver, with the closing credits to that series on screen at the end of the show while the familiar Banana Splits theme and open/close plays over.

Rating: B.


magicdog said...

I remember watching this on weekday afternoons after school on WPIX.

At the time, I didn't realize how many older cartoons were added onto the syndication package. I remember Aton Ant, Precious Pup, The Three Musketeers, The Arabian Knights, Danger Island, Gulliver, Huckleberry Finn, and Secret Squrrel. I think Squiddly Diddly and Winnie Witch were also tossed in.

The live action segments reminded me of The Monkees, but I guess that was the intent. The scenes filmed in Six Flags Over Texas and Kimgs Island were also fun to watch.

hobbyfan said...

I recall a time when 'PIX actually aired the show around lunch time (12:30 specifically). Might've been due to a Yankee matinee, for all I knew.