Bananas, The (Series) (1969)

Rod Coneybeare had successfully blended teaching and humour for young people in collaboration with Charles Winter on their radio program, The Rod and Charles Show, and with Bob Homme on The Friendly Giant, where Coneybeare played the voices of Rusty the Rooster and Jerome the Giraffe. With producer Robert Gibbons (who also produced Mr. Dressup), Coneybeare created The Bananas as an attempt to teach young people "attitudes through humour."

They auditioned about 150 performers in their search for versatile and zany principals to play their series of didactic, Laugh-In style sketches and blackouts. The four Bananas were Melody Greer, Francois-Regis Klanfer, Bonnie-Carol Case, and John Davies. Bananaland was populated with other "characters": The Blob, an electronically created pet "thing"; the Big Mouth, which spouted facts and information when fed wheelbarrows full of food; and an Official, Certified, Genuine, Grade-A Gorilla. The other human presence in the show could be found in the Great Announcer, the offscreen voice of Alan Maitland.

The show had a theme song, "The Bananas," written by Jim Pirie and Rod Coneybeare. The series was aimed at viewers nine years of age and above. Producer Gibbons explained that the CBC planned to produce six or seven episodes, with the possibility of more in the coming seasons if it proved popular.

Bonnie Carol Case
John Davies
Melody Greer
Francois-Regis Klanfer
Alan Maitland .... The Great Announcer (voice)

Original Broadcaster(s): CBC

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For an in-depth look at CBC programs (1952-82),
Blaine Allan's directory