Unforgettable Cartoons from ‘The Banana Splits’: A Nostalgic Journey

Hey there, fellow nostalgia enthusiasts! Are you ready to take a delightful trip down memory lane? Today, I want to talk about one of the most unforgettable cartoons from the past, The Banana Splits. This wacky TV show, which aired in the 1960s and 1970s, holds a special place in the hearts of many who grew up during that era. Created by the talented puppeteers Sid and Marty Krofft, who were known for their work with Hanna-Barbera Productions, The Banana Splits was a unique blend of live-action and animated segments that captivated audiences of all ages. Inspired by a troupe of performers from the Australian children’s show The Tarax Show, the show introduced us to four lovable and zany characters: Fleegle the beagle, Bingo the gorilla, Drooper the lion, and Snorky the elephant. Each character had their own distinct personality that added to the show’s charm. But it wasn’t just the amusing characters that made The Banana Splits a hit. The show featured an array of musical numbers, live-action skits, and classic cartoons like Arabian Knights and The Three Musketeers. And who could forget the catchy theme song, The Tra La La Song, which became a hit in its own right and was covered by numerous artists? With its debut in 1968, The Banana Splits quickly became a cultural phenomenon, captivating audiences around the world. It ran for two seasons and even spawned a spin-off show called The Banana Splits and Friends Show, which aired from 1972 to 1979. Fun fact: the first series of The Banana Splits was directed by none other than Richard Donner, the acclaimed director behind films like Superman: The Movie and The Goonies. So, grab your popcorn, kick back, and join me as we reminisce about the unforgettable cartoons from The Banana Splits. Let’s dive into this delightful world of laughter and adventure!

Key Facts

  1. The Banana Splits was a wacky TV show that aired in the 1960s and 1970s, featuring four costumed characters and a mix of live-action and animated segments.
  2. The show was created by Sid and Marty Krofft, who were puppeteers for Hanna-Barbera Productions at the time.
  3. The concept for The Banana Splits was inspired by a troupe of performers from a children’s show in Australia called “The Tarax Show”.
  4. The main characters of The Banana Splits were Fleegle (a beagle), Bingo (a gorilla), Drooper (a lion), and Snorky (an elephant), each with their own distinct personalities.
  5. The show featured musical numbers, live-action skits, and animated segments, including classic cartoons like “Arabian Knights” and “The Three Musketeers”.
  6. The Banana Splits theme song, “The Tra La La Song,” became a hit and was covered by many other artists.
  7. The show first aired in 1968 and ran for two seasons, becoming a cultural phenomenon and being syndicated around the world.
  8. The Banana Splits Adventure Hour also spawned a spin-off show called The Banana Splits and Friends Show, which aired from 1972 to 1979.
  9. Richard Donner, the director of films like Superman: The Movie and The Goonies, directed the first series of The Banana Splits.

The Creation of “The Banana Splits”

“The Banana Splits” was conceived by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, the legendary animation duo behind Hanna-Barbera Productions. Sid and Marty Krofft were commissioned to design and build the elaborate costumes for the show, which seamlessly blended animated and live-action elements.

The show’s format drew inspiration from the popular comedy sketch show “Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In.” The central characters, Fleegle, Bingo, Drooper, and Snorky, were a bubblegum rock group composed of anthropomorphic animals.

“The Banana Splits” premiered in 1968 as a children’s television series. It featured a unique combination of live-action and animated segments, with the Banana Splits characters serving as hosts. The show’s popularity soared, amassing a devoted following during its initial run.

The Main Characters

The Banana Splits consisted of four distinct and memorable characters:

  • Fleegle: A beagle and the self-proclaimed leader, Fleegle possessed a cool and authoritative demeanor. Despite his self-perceived intelligence, he was often frustrated by the antics of his fellow Splits.
  • Bingo: An orange ape with a nasal voice, Bingo injected comedic relief into the group with his playful and mischievous nature. His signature sunglasses and yellow vest added to his distinctive appearance.
  • Drooper: A laid-back lion with a Southern accent, Drooper provided a calm and relaxed presence. His easygoing personality and yellowish-orange sunglasses made him a fan favorite.
  • Snorky: An elephant with pink sunglasses, Snorky communicated through honking noises. His unique form of communication and playful demeanor added a comedic element to the show.

Each character brought their own unique traits and personalities to the group, creating a balanced and entertaining dynamic. Their interactions and camaraderie were crucial to the overall success and enjoyment of “The Banana Splits.”

Memorable Episodes and Storylines

The Banana Splits Adventure Hour featured a variety of memorable episodes and storylines:

  • Danger Island: A live-action segment directed by Richard Donner, “Danger Island” followed a team of archaeologists and castaways who faced perilous adventures on a remote island. Each episode ended in a cliffhanger, keeping viewers engaged.
  • The Arabian Knights: An animated segment inspired by Middle Eastern tales, “The Arabian Knights” featured a young prince, princess, strongman, magician, shapeshifter, and donkey battling against a corrupt tyrant in Baghdad.
  • The Three Musketeers: Another animated segment, “The Three Musketeers” was based on the classic novel and featured references to other European literature.

The show’s catchy theme song became a popular hit, with a high-speed cover version by The Dickies featured in the film Kick-Ass.

The Banana Splits Theme Song

The Banana Splits Theme Song, also known as “The Tra La La Song,” is a memorable and enduring pop song that contributed to the show’s overall appeal. Its catchy lyrics and melody made it easy for viewers to remember and sing along, creating a sense of fun and excitement. The theme song’s enduring popularity is a testament to its enduring appeal.

Impact and Legacy

“The Banana Splits” had a significant cultural impact and a lasting legacy:

  • Cultural Impact: Created by Hanna-Barbera, the show’s innovative format and lovable characters made it a cultural phenomenon. Its catchy theme song remains popular today.
  • Influence on Subsequent Cartoons: The show’s unique blend of live-action and animation influenced future cartoons, demonstrating the appeal of music and comedy in children’s programming.
  • Continued Popularity and Revivals: Despite ending in 1970, “The Banana Splits” maintains a dedicated fan base. The characters and music have been featured in merchandise, and the franchise has seen revivals and reboots, including a 2019 horror movie.

Nostalgia and Fond Memories

“The Banana Splits” evokes strong nostalgia and fond memories for many fans who grew up watching the show. They share anecdotes and memories of their experiences with the show, highlighting its impact on their childhood and the fondness they still have for it. The enduring appeal of nostalgic cartoons like “The Banana Splits” lies in their ability to transport viewers back to a simpler time and evoke feelings of joy and nostalgia.


I hope this trip down memory lane has brought back all the warm and fuzzy feelings of nostalgia. The Banana Splits was truly a treasure from the past, with its wacky characters, catchy theme song, and delightful blend of live-action and animated segments. It’s amazing how a TV show from the ’60s and ’70s can still hold such a special place in our hearts today. Whether you were a fan of Fleegle, Bingo, Drooper, or Snorky, or you simply enjoyed the toe-tapping tunes and hilarious skits, The Banana Splits left an indelible mark on the world of cartoons and children’s entertainment. So, let’s raise a glass (or a banana split!) to this timeless gem, and may it continue to bring joy and laughter to generations old and new. Long live The Banana Splits!




What were The Banana Splits?

The Banana Splits were an American live-action/animated children’s television series that aired from 1968 to 1970. The show featured a group of four anthropomorphic animal rock musicians: Fleegle, Bingo, Drooper, and Snorky.

Who created The Banana Splits?

The Banana Splits was created by Hanna-Barbera Productions.

What were the names of the Banana Splits?

The Banana Splits were Fleegle (a dog), Bingo (a gorilla), Drooper (a lion), and Snorky (an elephant).

What was the name of the Banana Splits’ human sidekick?

The Banana Splits’ human sidekick was named Charley Chips.

What was the name of the Banana Splits’ band?

The Banana Splits’ band was called “The Banana Splits.”

What was the name of the Banana Splits’ theme song?

The Banana Splits’ theme song was called “The Tra La La Song.”

What was the name of the Banana Splits’ catchphrase?

The Banana Splits’ catchphrase was “Split-a-nana!”