While The Beatles may have been the first insect-inspired foursome, another quartet of musical misfits came along a few years after their breakup. And unlike Paul McCartney’s solo band, these guys actually wore wings. Straight from the depths of the Tranquility Forest, it’s that lovable flying fab four, The Bugaloos!
The brainchild of Sid and Marty Krofft, The Bugaloos hit the airwaves in 1970, following the success of H.R. Pufnstuf. Consisting of four fairies named Courage, Joy, IQ, and Harmony, and accompanied by a firefly friend, appropriately named Sparky (played by Billy Barty, a familiar face in the many Krofft series that would follow,) The Bugaloos graced Saturday morning airwaves in a short-lived series of 17 episodes that taught lessons of friendship, sharing and honesty, all with a bunch of catchy little tunes thrown into the mix.
While the peaceful foursome had a number of friends in the Tranquility Forest, namely Nutty Bird, Peter Platter, Magico the Magician and Gina Lolawattage, they also had to contend with the evil and jealous Benita Bizarre (played by Martha Raye.) Benita, a horrifically tone-deaf and untalented hack, lived in a jukebox and subjected everyone to her lack of talent, all while longing to possess the abilities and beauty of The Bugaloos. She enlisted the help of Funky Rat, Woofer and Tweeter to help destroy and/or enslave the winged quartet each week with some elaborate plot or another.
The Bugaloos only ran for a single season, followed by a season of reruns. In casting what was to be the British version of The Monkees, some five thousand people auditioned for the roles, including an unknown-at-the-time singer and drummer named Phil Collins. When his application for fairy wings was denied, he decided to join the band, Genesis, instead. He had the last laugh though – while The Bugaloos managed to churn out one minor hit in the pop world, he managed to soar considerably higher.
Today the entire season of The Bugaloos is available on DVD, allowing nostalgic fans of the show to once again enter the Tranquility Forest and take a journey with this lovable flying foursome. If you remember watching The Bugaloos back in the day, we’d love to hear your memories in our comments section, as we pay tribute to another fine show from the minds of Sid and Marty Krofft.