Sunday, August 30, 2009

Bananas In Pyjamas (1992-2000)

There is not an Australian alive who does not remember at least seven episodes of Bananas In Pyjamas in great detail. It's classic kids' programming. It really, really is.

For those of you who perhaps did not live in Australia between 1992 and 2000 (or lived under a really big rock), I'll give you an outline of the show. Basically, it revolved around the daily to-ings and fro-ings of two life-size bananas dressed in pyjamas. Seeing as how 1992 apparently wasn't a banner year for creativity, they were named B1 and B2. (It's not specifically mentioned, but it's generally accepted that the 'b' stood for 'banana'. Crazy, right? Wild guesses don't come much wilder than that.) The Bananas were good friends with their neighbours, the Teddies. Who, in case you're wondering, are also three actors dressed in teddy costumes. Oh, and the teddies tended to wear actual clothing, which was good for them but also a little unfair on the sleepwear-clad Bananas, if you ask me.

Morgan, Amy and Lulu were the names of the Teddies, although I don't know why I'm bothering to tell you -- you probably remember that. Lulu was the dark brown teddy who had an accent, Morgan was a caramel-coloured young chap who looked like he was dressed by my mother circa 1993, and Amy was the white teddy who had pink bows in her hair and therefore was my favourite. (Because of the pink bows, not because she was white. I'm not racist towards either humans or humans dessed as teddy bears.)

The Teddies and Bananas were generally friends...except on Tuesdays, where the Bananas would chase the Teddies for some inexplicable reason. I don't even remember what they planned to do once they caught them, but Tuesdays were Teddy-chasin' days. (In one episode, they even made the Teddies a calendar that had only Tuesdays in it. Good times.) Because that's generally not socially-acceptable behaviour, most of the episodes do NOT take place on a Tuesday.

Looking back now, this show is a prime example of the way kids just Don't Ask Questions when it comes to TV. And if you think about it, there are quite a number of questions that need to be asked. For example, why are these two fully-grown banana twins still living together? Why haven't they settled down yet? Do teddies generally live in share houses? Is 'chasing teddy-bears' some kind of drug lingo? What was in those munchy honey cakes that made them so addictive anyway? On what planet do fruit and bears co-exist peacefully?

One thing that made me a little sad when I grew older was the realisation that the Teddies were not siblings. I always thought they were, but it seems clear from their skin tones (and the fact that Lulu has an accent and the others didn't) that these teddies were merely roommates. Which is actually kind-of cool, if you think about it. How forward-thinking. This veritable melting-pot of teddies also means that perhaps two of them are married now and living somewhere other than Cuddles Avenue with a couple of cubs of their own. Morgan and Lulu always did have a little somethin' somethin'...

Despite its obvious warping of reality, this is still THE quintessential 90s Aussie kids show. And with that in mind, I'm going to give you my top 5 episodes, in a very particular order:

5. Doctor Bananas
Amy falls over at the beach, and the Bananas decide to, uh, play doctor. Not in that way, get your minds out of the gutters!

4. Slipper Fairies
The Bananas make slippers for the Teddies, but they argue over who gets which colour. Or something. I don't remember much of it, to be honest, just that I loved it.

3. Circus Time
The Bananas and the Teddies decide to put on a circus, (for who? I don't know) but all those circus tricks are more difficult than they expected.

2. Take One
The Bananas and the Teddies start a band -- the Bananas on the creaky step, Lulu on the sink pipes, Morgan on the water-filled jugs and Amy singing.

1. Video Clip
After making their hit song (which I could totally sing for you, I remember it that well), the Bananas and the Teddies decide to direct their own groovy music video to go with it.

Are you thinking what I'm thinking, B1? I think I am, B2. It's episode-recapping time!


  1. I'm not Australian but I remember seeing commercials for them! I don't know WHY they were in pjs but damned if they weren't happy about it.

  2. If by happy you, then yes. Yes they were. (See above episode recap for clarification.)

  3. I'm not Australian either, but I seriously loved this show. And yes, I was way too old to be watching this crap, but that's never stopped me before. I still get the theme song stuck in my head from time to time.