The Banana Splits Adventure Hour (or The Banana Splits and Friends Show, as many people know it) was a children’s program that ran from about 1968-1970. The show was about a band of animals, supposed to be reminiscent of bands like the Beatles or the Monkees, who played disturbingly good children’s music. Of course, they would get into some kind of hijinks that allowed for comedic results in funny animal costumes, but it was really the music that made the Splits relevant and kept them there.
Michael Stipe once said that the Banana Splits music was more influential for him than anything the Beatles ever wrote. Joey Ramone has been quoted saying that the only band in the early 70s that he really loved was the Banana Splits. The Dickies, one of the first L.A. punk bands, covered their theme song, as did Liz Phair, the queen of grunge, and then Hit Girl from “Kick Ass” kicked ass to those covers in the movie. The great rock critic, Lester Bangs, claimed that the Banana Splits theme song would be in his head until the day he died. The Beastie Boys even dressed up as them in their “Alive” video. Maybe that all had something to do with the fact that Barry White was one of their songwriters!
If you listen to Buffalo Soldier by Bob Marley, you can even hear the Banana Splits at 2:12!
I rest my case!