The Bugaloos
The Bugaloos in Tranquility Forest (L-R): Caroline Ellis as Joy, Wayne Laryea as Harmony, John McIndoe as I.Q., Billy Barty as Sparky & John Philpott as Courage
StarringJohn McIndoe
Caroline Ellis
John Philpott
Wayne Laryea
Martha Raye
Billy Barty
Sharon Baird
Joy Campbell
Van Snowden
Country of origin United States
No. of episodes17
ProducerSid and Marty Krofft
Running time0:25 (per episode)
Original release
ReleaseSeptember 11, 1970 –
September 2, 1972

The Bugaloos is an American children's television series produced by brothers Sid and Marty Krofft, airing on NBC on Saturday mornings from 1970 to 1972. The show featured a musical group composed of four British-accented teenagers, who lived in fictional Tranquility Forest. They wore insect-themed outfits with antenna and wings which allowed them to fly (though on occasion flying on surfboards), and were constantly beset by the evil machinations of Benita Bizarre (played by comedienne Martha Raye), who was covetous of the Bugaloos' musical prowess.[1]

Production and airing

Touted as the British version of The Monkees, The Bugaloos attracted more than 5,000 young actors and actresses to audition for the show's four lead roles, each having to demonstrate aptitude in dance, singing, and acting. Among those auditioning in spring 1970 were Elton John's future manager John Reid, and Phil Collins, who joined the art-rock band Genesis later that year.[2][3]

Reid and Collins had been two of the three finalists for the role of "I.Q." given to McIndoe. "If one of those guys had gotten it instead of me, rock-'n'-roll history might have changed," McIndoe later joked. "Whenever I see them, I say, 'Hey guys, you were lucky you didn't get the part.'"[4]

The show was taped in Los Angeles, California. Seventeen episodes of the series were produced. Like its predecessor H.R. Pufnstuf (1969), The Bugaloos ran for only one season (1970–1971), with reruns airing the following year (1971–1972).

Like most children's television shows of the era, The Bugaloos contained a laugh track. Phlipott and Ellis discussed its usage while viewing an episode of the show for DVD commentary.


Actor / Character Name / Role In the Band

Supporting characters were:

Martha Raye as the outrageous Benita Bizarre.

Though peace loving and hippy-like, The Bugaloos were pursued by an evil, jealous old crone named Benita Bizarre (Martha Raye) who lived in a gigantic jukebox, and used it to broadcast her own brand of blaring, obnoxious, unpleasant music. A terrible singer, she was furious at the popularity of The Bugaloos' more melodic, upbeat sound, and she plotted elaborate, unsuccessful schemes to destroy or enslave them.

Benita was aided by two bumbling henchmen, the anthropomorphic speakers Woofer and Tweeter (Joy Campbell and Van Snowden), and her chauffeur and chief flunky, the German-accented Funky Rat (Sharon Baird). She frequently made use of a powerful ultrasonic weapon called the Stereo Zapper, which could render its victim unconscious in seconds.

Raye also appeared the same year in the HR Pufnstuf movie as the Head Witch. The Funky Rat costume was also used for essentially the same role (the Head Witch's Chauffeur).


The title song "The Bugaloos" was written by Norman Gimbel and Charles Fox, the songwriters of "Killing Me Softly with His Song"[1] and the theme songs to films and programs such as Last American Hero ("I Got A Name," sung by Jim Croce), Happy Days, Laverne and Shirley, and The New Adventures of Wonder Woman. A cover of the Bugaloos theme performed by Collective Soul is included on the 1995 tribute album Saturday Morning: Cartoons' Greatest Hits, produced by Ralph Sall for MCA Records.

The Bugaloos released an album in 1970 (Capitol Records ST-621), featuring studio-recorded versions of some of the songs performed on the show. The track list is as follows:

Side 1

  1. "If You Become a Bugaloo"
  2. "The Senses of Our World"
  3. "For a Friend"
  4. "Believe"
  5. "It's New to You"

Side 2

  1. "Fly Away With Us"
  2. "Older Woman"
  3. "Just the Memory Stays Around"
  4. "Gna Gna Gna Gna Gna"
  5. "Castles in the Air"
  6. "The Bugaloos (Theme Song)"

One single was released in conjunction with the album: "For a Friend"/"The Senses of Our World" (Capitol 2946). "For a Friend" charted as a minor hit.[citation needed]

The track "Just the Memory Stays Around" did not appear in any episode, and is available only on the LP. The LP was re-released on CD in January 2000 by Vivid Sound in Japan and in 2006 by Cherry Red Records of London.

The Bugaloos recorded 15 songs. Aside from the 11 that appear on their album, there are 4 unreleased songs that can be heard in episodes of the TV series. The 4 unreleased songs are: 1. "Sparky" 2. "I'm As Happy As Can Be" 3. "I Really Love You" 4. "Flicker Town"

DVD re-release

The complete Bugaloos series was released on DVD in May 2006. Cast members John Philpott, Caroline Ellis, and John McIndoe and creator Sid Krofft added commentary tracks to several episodes.


  1. ^ a b CD liner notes: Saturday Mornings: Cartoons’ Greatest Hits, 1995 MCA Records
  2. ^ Dave Itzkoff. "A Band With the Life Span of an Ant," The New York Times, July 30, 2006, page 28, column 1.
  3. ^ Phil Collins listing on [1] (Accessed October 17, 2007)
  4. ^ Mike Hughes. "Phil Collins on 'Live By Request'", The Seattle Times, October 1, 1998, page E4.