Cult Cartoon Essentials

Bananaman

“Ever alert for the call to action”

Bananaman was a parody of traditional superheroes, being portrayed as “Little” Eric, a schoolboy who is transformed into a muscled, caped figure when he eats a banana. It ran for three seasons (40 episodes) between 1983 and 1986.

The cartoon featured the voices of Bill Oddie, Tim Brooke-Taylor and Graeme Garden (collectively known as the comedy group The Goodies). It was produced by Flicks Films and DC Thomson’s Other Classics for Abbey Home Entertainment in association with Jim Henson Productions.

Garden voiced the characters of Bananaman, General Blight and Maurice of The Heavy Mob, Oddie voiced the characters of Crow, Chief O’Reilly, Doctor Gloom and the Weatherman, and Brooke-Taylor voiced the characters of Eric, King Zorg of the Nerks, Eddie the Gent, Auntie and Appleman, as well as narrating the episodes. Jill Shilling voiced Fiona and any additional female characters, including Eric’s cousin Samantha (but not Auntie).

In the cartoon parts of the character were changed including Eric Wimp now being known as Eric Twinge. He also now had a distinctive banana shaped hairstyle rather than punk stubble, and had a love interest (only when transformed) in the form of Fiona, an newsreader based on Selina Scott and also a possible homage to Lois Lane.

Some of these episodes would eventually reappear in print form in The Dandy in 1998, coinciding with the BBC repeating the series that year, and were reprinted in the comic in Spring 2007, now promoting the DVD.

 

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