Banana Republic

I hope that's not gonna take longer than four hours.

I hope that’s not gonna take longer than four hours.

prompt logo 2It’s time to end another so-called workweek with our usual contribution of utter nonsense that you yourselves have chosen to filter through my gunked up mind.  Welcome to this week’s edition of Prompt the Squirrel Friday!  I was going to say I was down to just four suggestions left to sift through, but someone else jumped in just today to add to my pile of junk!  You can still do that yourself if you haven’t played along this year by going here… Johnny and Janie Come Latelies are always welcome at The Nest.  You just won’t get the first choice of seating at the cool table…

It beats sitting on the dirty floor.

It beats sitting on the dirty floor.

This week’s prompt is an unusual one, and it comes from the only nun in the world to own a handpainted portrait of Rainbow Donkey, Faith Hope and Chocolate!  The request itself isn’t really odd, it’s just based on something that’s probably very obscure to most of my readers… though a subject to which I actually have some familiarity with…

There was a kids’ cartoon in the 80’s here in the UK called Bananaman. What would happen if Eric/Bananaman were to meet Buster?

Yes, Virginia, there really is a Bananaman.

Yes, Virginia, there really is a Bananaman.

When the internet first came into my daily life back in May of 2000, the very first thing I decided to use the “information superhighway” to look up was all of those classic shows from Nickelodeon that kept me occupied as a bored 80’s child.  At first, I was impressed with some of the detailed websites people had built as shrines to these great, forgotten cartoons and shows that would never make it past the sponge-filled dreck of children’s TV today.  But as I branched out socially on the net, I also realized that this was apparently the domain of serious nerd-dom, and in fact, most normal children who grew up in the 1980’s either didn’t watch Nick, or only remember it for this…

I guess the other cartoons wound up in the burgers...

I guess the other cartoons wound up in the burgers…

While You Can’t Do That On Television was undoubtedly The Only Network For Kids’ flagship program, like almost all of its content back then, it was a show Nick had no hand in producing.  A lot of the cartoons they exposed my generation of mini couch potatoes to were anime style and other internationally made series that would have never seen the light of day in America without the network’s help.  The British-made Danger Mouse, which I’ve mentioned before as being a personal favorite of mine, was just such a toon that was quite popular on Nick at the time…

Before he teamed up with Cee-lo Green to form Gnarls Barkley.

Before he teamed up with Cee-lo Green to form Gnarls Barkley.

Occasionally, there’d be a handful of minutes left after Danger Mouse ended that needed to be filled with whatever animation the interns in the orange blimp could find.  Sometimes that dead air was covered by a two-minute Sports Cartoon, but often it was the parking spot for another cartoon series that was created under the Union Jack, and that was Bananaman!

Just as fucked up as you expected it would be.

Just as fucked up as you expected it would be.

Bananaman‘s origins were as a character in the UK comic book series Nutty in the early 80’s, where he served as a parody of more popular comic superheroes you know that are just as ridiculous if you ignore their iconic, commercially licensed status.  He soon made his way to the telly on BBC, appearing in 40 five-minute cartoons that aired from 1983-1986.  Bananaman’s alter ego is Eric, a young schoolkid who somehow transformed into a fully grown adult superhero whenever he ate a banana.  Despite the alarming age progression Eric would undergo, apparently his mental faculties trended in the opposite direction as Bananaman was about as intelligent as a greasy black peel, and often had to be rescued from danger by his caretaker crow who kept a stash of emergency bananas somewhere in his ebony plumage.

But at least he was more successful than Aquaman.

But at least he was more successful at saving the day than Aquaman.

Bananaman would have likely been toast a long time ago if he had to face Lex Luthor, The Joker or even Gargamel’s cat… but fortunately for him, his mortal enemies were even more handicapped than he was.  His archrival General Blight apparently had his brain addled by too much exposure to Agent Orange in the war, and the nefarious Doctor Gloom was done in a long time ago from huffing too many of his top secret chemicals.  Then there’s the Heavy Mob, whose sheer brilliance is demonstrated in this random selection from the Bananaman series I’m going to embed for your viewing pleasure…

Each five minute tribute to British humour is more absurd and full of awful puns than the next.  I could have watched the entire 40 episode run of Bananaman in three and a half hours (and starting from here, you can watch them all in order if your heart so desires)… but since I didn’t want to waste spend that much time watching a cartoon about a banana-themed superhero, I just picked a handful of episodes at random this morning to view and give me a refresher on a show I hadn’t seen in almost 30 years.

I saw enough to know that Bananaman prefers the Kool Aid Man method of exit and entry...

I saw enough to know that Bananaman prefers the Kool Aid Man method of exit and entry…

So…. just what would happen were Buster to meet up with Bananaman?  Well, it’s probably criminally reckless to put two superheroes together as completely incompetent as Bananaman and Buster’s crimefighting alter ego The Masked Marsupial.  Given the collective intelligence and penchant for creating collateral damage of our new dynamic duo as well as that of their adversaries, the destruction of the entire universe may not be an entirely far fetched concept.

No, instead I think the result would be something like this…

Thank you ever so much Juliette for introducing me to this!  I can’t believe I found a way to work this 46 seconds of total cuteness seamlessly into a post!

Well, that post may not have gone exactly as planned… but such is the way it usually goes in the comic book world of mutants in tights.  Thank you FH&C for taking me back on a trip down memory lane, and I’ll have another prompt to slip on like a banana peel next Friday!

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About evilsquirrel13

Bored former 30-something who has nothing better to do with his life than draw cartoon squirrels.
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19 Responses to Banana Republic

  1. Trisha says:

    OMG, those possums are so cute! My money would be on The Masked Marsupial in a showdown between he and Bananaman. Things may always go wrong for Buster but he definitely has a crafty side.

  2. Where the heck was I that I never saw any of these gems? Thanks for completing my cartoon education – I think.

    Pam

  3. I can never get enough of possums eating bananas.

    When the movie Batman vs Superman came out I assumed it was about a fight over the last pair of XL Capezio tights. I gotta ask… Do male super heroes shave their legs? Do they wear footless tights and socks? I’ll have to write a post about this now, with more possums.

    • That is a good question that I have never thought to seek out before… and might not want to know. I’m pretty sure Buster’s suit is just a glorified set of footie pajamas….

  4. Quirky Girl says:

    I don’t remember Danger Mouse…but he sure looks like a scary guy. Yikes!

  5. You are fabulous that you can appreciate Britt humor. Not all Amurricans can. I love the puns but of course grew up with a very multicultural exposure to comedy. The only comedy I find a bit hard to laugh at is Japanese ritual humiliation and bruising. Those possies were darling. 💖

    • I don’t think I’ve watched any Japanese shows before, but thanks to Nick (Bananaman, DM and its spinoff Count Duckula), I did get exposed to the oddness of British humour. I’m apparently one of the few here who have never seen Monty Python!

  6. I liked the bananaman, he was the only guy who became a superhero after eating stuff what wasn’t disgusting ( like popeyes darned spinach uuuh!)… but I think this boy had big problems in the bathroom after all that bananas…. it’s really not easy to become a superhero…

  7. draliman says:

    I grew up on Bananaman and Danger Mouse.
    And thanks for the cinematic treat “Opossums Eating Bananas”. The Oscars really missed a trick with that one 🙂

  8. But you see … the Masked Marsupial actually HAS real super power. He can consume more TICKS than anything else except a Rhode Island Red. In fact, we might consider an all out contest between MM and RIR. It might be a photo finish. So Buster might NOT be completely useless after all. Okay, ugly. Not your cuddliest critter … but hey, anyone who eats ticks is a hero in my (very small) book 🙂

    • I don’t know if Buster would look as cute chomping on a mouthful of ticks as he does putting away those nanners, but I’d take him over a glorified chicken any day. Even if he’d eventually get pecked to death after the Red lost…

  9. Brilliant, thank you. 😀

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