The Bugaloos was Sid and Marty Krofft's second television show; seventeen episodes aired on Saturday mornings for two seasons, 1970–1972. It was shot on a sound stage at Paramount Studios (Stage 19 and 21).
A foursome of half human/half insect youngsters known as "The Bugaloos" had decided they wanted to split from the rest of the world and live on their own in peace and tranquility; so they make a home for themselves in Tranquility Forest, where they spend their time doing the one thing they do best - singing, among other things like trying to help their friend Sparky, a firefly who can't fly learn to fly, and thwart off the schemes of the eccentric Benita Bizarre.
Each Bugaloo was a different "insect" being with a different personality - the leader of the group was I.Q., a wise grasshopper man; there was also Harmony the worldly bumblebee man; Courage the brave ladybug man; and the sweet young Joy the butterfly girl. The Bugaloos' closest friend was Sparky the Firefly, who tends to be somewhat timid, though has been able to work quickly in the face of danger; his biggest fear is flying, which he claims makes him dizzy, and causes him to crash. As far as their band is concerned, The Bugaloos provide their own vocals, though I.Q. and Joy are usually the leads with Courage and Harmony providing backup (though sometimes Joy is reduced to backup as well); I.Q. plays the guitar, Harmony the keyboards, Courage the drums, Joy will don percussion instruments, and occasionally Sparky will add a hint of tamborine to the mix. Their only connections with the rest of the forest are either through The Grape Vine, a vine of talking grapes who act as their messenging service, or Nutty Bird, a vulture who would also act as messenger for The Bugaloos. As far as the comedic aspect of the show was concerned, I.Q. usually played straightman to the cockney Harmony and Courage.
Outside Tranquility Forest was the wild and loud Uptown, home to music-lover and wannabe rockstar Benita Bizarre; Benita destines herself to be a hip rockstar in Uptown, she has just three problems - one is that she can't sing to save her life, two is that the songs she writes are pretty terrible, and three is that she has no decent rock group to back her up when she records her music; all of that changes when she discovers The Bugaloos, and wants I.Q., Courage, and Harmony to sing with her, and she stops at nothing to get them. "The Squares", as Sid Krofft calls them, are Benita's bumbling flunkies - Funky Rat, the German-accented, clumsy rat chauffeur, and twin electrical plug brothers Woofer and Tweeter; they all live together inside Benita's giant jukebox apartment.
- John McIndoe - I.Q.
- Wayne Laryea - Harmony
- John Philpott - Courage
- Caroline Ellis - Joy
- Martha Raye - Benita Bizarre
- Billy Barty - Sparky the Firefly
- Sharon Baird - Funky Rat, Peter Platter
- Joy Campbell - Woofer
- Van Snowden - Tweeter
Voice cast Edit
- Walker Edmiston - Sparky the Firefly, Funky Rat, Woofer, Peter Platter, Flash (talking bulb)
- Joan Gerber - Tweeter, Grapevine, Microphone, Bluebell, Gina Lolawattage
Like H.R. Pufnstuf, The Bugaloos was produced for seventeen episodes for the 1970-1971 Saturday morning lineup, though this show was broadcasted on ABC; popular in it's own right, but not quite so as H.R. Pufnstuf, The Bugaloos was only repeated for one more season (1971-1972) on the network.
- Main article: The Bugaloos Episodes
Wanting to build up on the popularity of The Beatles, and being big music lovers, Sid and Marty Krofft decided to travel to England (along with executive producer Si Rose) to audition the four leads for The Bugaloos; among the thousands of youngsters who auditioned for the parts, they were ultimately given to John McIndoe, Wayne Laryea, John Philpott, and Caroline Ellis, respectively. After her performance of Boss Witch in the Pufnstuf movie, Martha Raye was cast as the villainous Benita Bizarre; Si Rose has said in an interview that Martha Raye was wonderful to work with on the show, and brought so much life and energy to her character.
- Phil Collins, of Genesis fame, was among the finalists for the role of I.Q.
- Still learning on the job as far as television production is concerned, the Kroffts slowly began to take more economical turns for their shows; beginning with The Bugaloos, they decided not to film their shows anymore, and turned to the less expensive (though lower quality) video tape.
- This is also the first Krofft show to feature two of their most prominent puppeteers - Billy Barty and Van Snowden (both of whom first worked with them on the Pufnstuf movie); Billy Barty went on the play a wide variety of characters for the Kroffts including Sparky the Firefly and Sigmund Ooze. According to Marty Krofft, Van Snowden is the only puppeteer who was able to "survive" all of their projects; Snowden later became the Kroffts' puppet captain/head puppeteer for later projects in the 80s, and still performs for them today, making an appearance as Pufnstuf on a 2007 episode of My Name is Earl.
One thing that the Kroffts weren't able to do in the past was merchandise their projects, however with this show, the Kroffts had decided to put out a Bugaloos album while the show was on the air. The original record album was released in 1970 by Capitol Records, and features all of the songs The Bugaloos had sung on their show (though in a studio recording format), including one song that was supposedly never used on an episode of the show; the album was re-released on a CD in the 2000s in different countries.
- If You Became a Bugaloo (Side A on LP)
- The Senses of Our World (Side A on LP)
- For a Friend (Side A on LP)
- Believe (Side A on LP)
- It's New to You (Side A on LP)
- Fly Away With Us (Side B on LP)
- Older Woman (Side B on LP)
- Just the Memory Stays Around (Side B on LP)
- Gna Gna Gna Gna Gna (Side B on LP)
- Castles in The Air (Side B on LP)
- The Bugaloos Theme Song (Side B on LP)