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Stuck in the '70s: This TV show theme song is in the air and everywhere



Being stuck in the ‘80s sometimes means a few childhood memories are actually stuck in the ‘70s, especially when it comes to TV shows. One of the theme songs that constantly invades my brain space is this one, from The Bugaloos.

I could have sworn The Bugaloos was a British TV show that aired in the late ‘70s, but I was wrong on both accounts. The Bugaloos was in fact an American TV show produced by Sidney and Martin Krofft. If they sound familiar, well, they should. Their list of credits include: The Banana Splits, H.R. Pufnstuf, Sigmund and the Sea Monsters and Land of the Lost.

The Bugaloos felt like a psychedelic but still kid-friendly version of The Monkees. The plot revolved around four insect-themed teenagers who live in Tranquility Forest, where they are occasionally bullied by mechanized but bumbling henchmen under the control of the evil Benita Bizarre (Martha Raye).

Despite being tortured by memories of it four decades later, The Bugaloos only lasted for 17 episodes between 1970 and 1972. A collection of all the episodes was released on DVD in 2006.

Here are five things you probably didn’t know about The Bugaloos.

1. Despite its distinct British feel, the show was actually taped in Los Angeles. Only 17 episodes were produced and aired that first season (and were re-run for a second season).

2. Can you name the “bug-like” characters who also played in a band? They are Harmony (the bumblebee), Courage (ladybug), Joy (butterfly) and I.Q. (grasshopper). Among the supporting cast was “Sparky” the firefly, played by Billy Barty.

3. Auditions for the show drew more than 5,000 actors. Among those trying out for the role of I.Q. were John Reid (Elton John’s future manager) and Phil Collins, who would join Genesis later that year when he didn’t get the part.

4. None of the four lead actors (Wayne Laryea, John Philpott, Caroline Ellis, John McIndoe) found much success in the acting business after The Bugaloos ended.

5. The Bugaloos’ theme song, which taunts us to this day, was written by Norman Gimbel and composed by Charles Fox. Gimbel and Fox also gave us Killing Me Softly With His Song and the theme songs to Happy Days and Laverne and Shirley.

[Last modified: Thursday, June 16, 2016 9:37am]


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