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The Bugaloos: The Show About Musical Bugs From Britain In The 1970s
From 1970 to 1972, every Saturday morning, children could tune in to watch The Bugaloos, one of the shows produced by Sid and Marty Krofft as a follow-up to H.R. Pufnstuf. This trippy show helped to take some of the ideals of hippie culture and make them age appropriate. According to the Kroffts, however, the show was more about the confusion that comes with adolescence, and the desire to escape from it. The show, set in Tranquility Forest amongst anthropomorphic plants, is about a musical group made up of four peace-loving, hippie British teenagers. The Bugaloos, which were touted as the British version of The Monkees, attracted more than 5,000 young people to audition for one of the four leads; Phil Collins and John Reid, the Elton John’s future manager were among those who auditioned. The two were finalists for the role of I.Q. which Scottish musician John McIndoe landed.
The Show Was Filmed in Hollywood
Shortly after the show was cast, the four main stars (who had never been on television before or been to the United States) were flown to Los Angeles, where they would begin taping the show during the days and recording their accompanying album in the evenings. While in L.A., they lived in a shared mansion in Beverly Hills. The group was sent on an American tour once taping ended. After that, they were sent back to England to wait for the taping of the second season.
The Main Characters
The band is comprised of I.Q., a guitar playing, lead vocal singing grasshopper, Harmony, a bumblebee who plays the keyboards, Courage, a drum playing ladybug, and Joy, the butterfly who plays percussion and sometimes sings lead vocals. Each of the band members have antennae as well as wings so that they can fly. Every so often, they fly using surfboards. They also travel around in their colorful dune buggy, the “Bugaloo Buggy.” In their insect themed outfits, they contend with their nemesis, Benita Bizarre (Martha Raye).
Their nemesis, Benita Bizarre, is a terrible singer and lives in a jukebox, which she uses to broadcast her own music, which, of course, is obnoxious as compared to the more melodious music from the Bugaloos. Benita Bizarre is not happy with the popularity of the Bugaloos music, and so she plots and schemes against them, using a weapon called the Stereo Zapper to knock the victim unconscious. Benita also has some evil sidekicks: Woofer and Tweeter, two anthropomorphic speakers and Funky Rat, a German-accented chauffeur.
They Planned For Another Season And A Movie
There were several other supporting characters as well, including Sparky, the firefly who the Bugaloos rescued, Nutty Bird, who delivers messages, a talking microphone named Mike, Bluebell Flower, who acts as their “alarm bell” to alert them, and the Grapevine, a bunch of talking grapes.
Only 17 episodes of the show were produced for the first and only season. The following year, NBC showed the reruns. They did try to shoot a second season, however, there was miscommunication with the actors, which led to the actors returning to the UK, and so the second season was never made. They were also planning to produce a movie with Columbia Pictures. Unfortunately, Columbia declared bankruptcy, so the film did not happen.
About The Music
Hal Yoergler was the music director, and he also wrote many of the songs. The lyrics for the title song were written by Norman Gimbel, with music composed by Charles Fox; the duo also composed “Killing Me Softly,” as well as the theme songs to shows like Laverne and Shirley. The Bugaloos released an album in 1970, and the single that was released in conjunction with the album, “For a Friend” reached number 118 on Billboard, the week of December 18, 1970. Over the course of their existence, they recorded 15 songs, 11 of which were on their album, and four of which were part of the show, but not released.
In 2006, the series was released on DVD, including commentary the Kroffts and some of the actors. It also included a video jukebox with some of the songs. In 2015, The Kroffts announced that they were trying to release a new version of the series, but it has not happened. Two of the Bugaloos, John McIndoe (I.Q.) and John Philpott (Courage) continued their careers in music.
Tags: 1970s | 1970s Music | british | TV In The 1970s
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