Ah, Millennials. They bitch and whine about pretty much everything. Of course, that fact is usually offset by what a bunch of tight wads they seem to be. That aside, I’ll tell you where the “me” generation got a few things right over mine: children’s programming.
As a parent, I’ll tell you straight off that the new kids on the block have learned Spanish, math and a general understanding of quantum mechanics through the power of kid’s television. Joking aside, today’s programs actually make a half-assed attempt at teaching some valuable things rather than when I was a kid. Oh, don’t give me that look. It’s true.
When I was a kid, sure there were maybe a couple shows that taught some light subject matter, but for the most part it was frying pans to the face and explosions. Seriously, it was like Michael Bay directed all things animated. However, if one really wants to dissect the spaghetti bowl nightmare that is the mind of a kid that grew up in the 70’s, look no further than The Banana Splits.
Look, everyone in the 70’s took so many drugs that it even bled over into cartoons. How else can one explain four adults vaguely dressed as some form of animal doing stupid stunts before introducing a live action/animated cross over show about Huckleberry Finn? Messed. Up.
Here’s the thing, though. It was either watch this horrific, furry version of child reprogramming or tune into all the other Hanna/Barbera garbage. And when I say garbage, I mean a cartoon featuring crime solving teenagers that round out the show with a musical number. Hanna/Barbera had a monopoly on kid’s shows simply because much like Jimi Hendrix, they did their best work soaring as high as a kite.
Of course, none of this made The Banana Splits any less freaky. As my father, the great Woogie Bloomquist keeps reminding me, I was so tortured by The Banana Splits that I closed fist slugged a guy dressed up as a giant parrot on a family visit to Busch Gardens. Makin’ up a mess of fun, indeed.
So, I have given a name to my pain and I’ve decided to share it with everyone. Gaze into the face of the darkened void, friends, if one truly dares. Feel free to sing along with the theme song, though, it’s kinda catchy. So catchy, I’m convinced they play it on repeat in the fourth circle of Hell, so enjoy.
Until next time, America.