|Studio||Canadian Broadcasting Corporation|
|Debut||2 January 1969|
The Bananas was a 1969 Canadian teen television series which mixed music, comedy skits, and drama. The series was created by Rod Coneybeare, for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, with the first 30 minute episode airing on 2 January 1969.
Coneybeare had successfully mixed humour and teaching for older children, in partnership with Charles Winter on their AM radio programme, The Rod and Charles Show, and also with Bob Homme on The Friendly Giant, where Coneybeare performed the voices of Jerome the Giraffe and Rusty the Rooster. In collaboration with producer Robert Gibbons (who was also responsible for Mr. Dressup), Coneybeare conceived The Bananas as a vehicle to educate teens about 'attitudes through humour.'
Gibbons and Coneybeare auditioned roughly 150 performers in their endeavours to find dynamic and slapstick leads to perform their series of didactic, Laugh-In style sketches and routines. The four individual Bananas were Melody Greer, Francois-Regis Klanfer, Bonnie-Carol Case, and John Davies. Their make-believe world called Bananaland was inhabited with zany characters: The Blob, an electronically created pet robot; the Big Mouth, which generated facts and trivia when fed wheelbarrows full of food; and an 'Official, Certified, Genuine, Grade-A Gorilla'. The other on-air presence in The Bananas consisted of the 'Great Announcer', a voice-over of Alan Maitland.
The series possessed a theme song, 'The Bananas', composed by Jim Pirie and Rod Coneybeare. The show was targeted at viewers nine years of age and above, and televised each Thursday at 4:30 p.m.. Despite a moderately successful ratings season, the production company ran out of funds, and the show's timeslot was ironically replaced by The Banana Splits. The final episode aired on 6 February 1969.
- Staff writer. "The Bananas Is Created for Kids", TV Weekly, Ottawa Citizen, 1 November 1968, pp. 15. Retrieved on 4 December 2013.