The many fans of the Banana Man have sent in interesting emails and other communications telling of the reactions to locating information about an act they had thought they had lost forever. Something about seeing the pictures once again awakens memories of a happy childhood and we have received most interesting communications. We have decided to share some of the memories, pictures and experiences on this page.
J. Bailey Jones (age 12)
son of Banana Man Fan Allan Jones
(Allan Jones had a costume constructed as close as possible to the one worn by A. Robins and bailey produced pumpkins instead of bananas in order to be properly themed to Halloween.)
"Thank you so much for your delightful Web site on the Banana Man. I have been wondering whatever happened to his unforgettable act. He was my absolute favorite as a child. Bunny Rabbit and Mr. Moose were cute, but the Banana Man was magical."
" I recently sent the link to my brother, and he and I have been laughing and remembering so many things from childhood. I also played the sound snippet to several of my co-workers who are my age. The first thing I heard was, "Oh, my God, I remember that." The second thing I saw was a big smile."
"As a child, Capt. Kangaroo was my morning world. I have such vivid memories of The Banana Man and over the years I have tried to explain to my husband (he never watched TV as a kid) about The Banana Man and never even thought to search the web for info about him until this AM when a friend in TN sent me a short note about bananas. Just out of curiosity, I typed in The Banana Man" and clicked go, and to my happiest surprise, I found your site. Thankyou for putting it out there for all of us who remember that sweet man and his big coat and silly song. And now my husband is finally able to see the man who made me laugh so many years. And even hear a bit of his silly song."
"The banana man was the funniest person I ever saw. I can remember seeing him on the Ed Sullivan show. "OH WOOOOW"
"And the little song... oh, boy, it's so funny !!!. I listen to it for minutes and minutes and it makes me laugh always."
"Where I work we have a receptionist who is the nicest lady you would ever want to meet. One day we were just chatting and the topic of TV came up. I mentioned Captain Kangaroo and out of the blue she said " Do you remember the Banana Man?" I was floored. Finally someone else knew about him."
"Over the years, I've gotten many a quizzical look from my kids and others when I launch into that little song when somebody picks up a banana. Now I can point them to your site and try to convince them that I'm not totally wacko."
"I thought you might enjoy a song I wrote about the Banana Man. http://www.arthurthanson.com/music.htm"
"I was born in 1952. One of my most magical memories as a very young child was watching The Banana Man on Captain Kangaroo, but I had a few errors in my remembrance. I remembered the unusual clown as having black hair, much like Shemp in The Three Stooges. I forgot about the musical instruments, and I thought I recalled all the fruit as being real (the misperception of a young child). I also thought I recalled that at the end of his act he pulled the train out of his coat, unfolded it and rode it off the set. Seeing the video stills from the Captain's show has given me a kind of "closure" of sorts."
"This memory had completely left me 'til I saw your website. When I was a kid, my parents took me to Starlight Theatre in Kansas City and I remember very well that the Bananna Man's act was part of the show. I believe it was before the second act began and I strongly think the show was "Cinderella" starring Anna Maria Alberghetti, which had to be in the very early 1960's, maybe late '50's. I remember being frightened of his voice."
I'm in Montgomery, AL doing a 17th Century Faire this week. I was going among the sutlers (merchants) this morning when someone starts doing the Banana Man voice. All of a sudden 4 or 5 others start joining in. One gent says, "I wonder what ever happened to him?" Well, I told them all that I had just read an article in a magazine about that very subject. By happenchance, I have the issue of MAGIC with me. Tomorrow I'm going to bring it to the re-enactment and enlighten all of the history of one of my favorite childhood memories. Your article and research will really begin a bright and cheery day in Alabama. I can't wait to see the reaction and will report to you what happens.
I could be wrong but I remember the Banana Man on Captain Kangaroo doing his act on a trampoline! Is my memory correct? (MANY people mis-remember what they saw the Banana Man pull out of his coat. They have the sequence of the act wrong or attribute to him things they saw other vsarfiety performers do. ed.)
Perhaps an obscure vaudeville act recycled for an old children's show isn't all that important in the grand scheme of things. But if it's not, I don't know what is!
I LOVED that act when I was a kid. I simply loved it. Thanks for making it easier to remember and talk about.
I'm delighted to have stumbled across your web site tribute to the Banana Man&emdash;who's among my earliest television memories, and whose "Ooooooooooo!" cries still ring in my ears.
Thank you! I am 56 yrs old and all my life I have asked people close to my age if they remember the Banana Man! You know what -- EVERYONE remembers him! I'm not kidding here. What other television act from their youth can people even recall the name of, much less what they did -- but EVERYONE remembers him. All you have to do is mention his name and people's eyes light up and they start laughing and recalling what he did in the act. You don't have to do anything else but mention his name and stand back and listen! I dare say there is no one in entertainment with a legacy like that. How blessed we were to have him (or possibly several "hims") with us on the planet and how blessed we are that someone like you has undertaken this labor of love to organize this site.
For years I tried to explain the Bananaman to my friends, but they looked at me like this was simply some sort of childhood dream. It was wonderful to come across your web page and re-affirm that I was not crazy. I believe his charm is that he allowed the viewer to see the gag develop and slowly unveiled it. It was a private affair between the Bananaman and his audience, and no matter what language a person spoke, it was completely understood. The full impact of his act occurs at the end when he puts on the engineer's cap, gathers up all his props, and drives away with a truck full of stuff he amazingly pulled out of his pockets. The viewer saw him do it, but it still defies logic. What great visual comedy.
I'm 56 and honestly don't run into many folks who remember these performances. And, as you know, trying to explain them to someone who hasn't seen them is difficult and generally produces at best, puzzlement and disbelief and, at worst, concern.
I'm dying to obtain a videotape of TBM's act. When you describe it to people who've never seen it, they just stare uncomprehendingly. I was thrilled to find your Banana Man website. His appearances on Captain Kangaroo entranced me when I was a kid and on occasion over the last 25 years or so I've entertained nieces and nephews and now my own kids with my own mini version of his act which is based upon my hazy memory.
I wish my kids could have seen this guy on Captain Kangaroo as I remember him. They laugh when I imitate him! I laugh to myself now, 50 years later, at the memory of it! And all I remembered on my own, before I found your site (thru Google) was his voice and facial expressions as he pulled the watermelons and bananas out of his pockets.
I grew up watching Captain Kangaroo and loved the appearances by the Banana Man. Sadly, I haven't found very many people who also remember him. Your photos and comments provided me with a wonderful return to a sweeter time.
I was born in '53 and can't remember life without "The Banana Man". It was one of the best parts of the show. I loved the way he used to utter the only sounds during his performance: wah wah wah wah wah....WOW. Of course it was done in a high nasal.
I've met less than a handful of people who "knew" the Banana Man but we are a devoted group. One of these friends sent me your url. Thanks for gathering his history. It's brought back great memories and reminded me of details I'd long forgotten.
I can't believe my eyes! My friends thought I was nuts when at a recent dinner party I was reminiscing about the Banana Man. No one else remembers seeing him on Captain Kangaroo.
Have been a major fan for years, as well as a profesional circus clown for 18 years, so his act has been inspiration for circus clowns everywhere.
As a kid I have a fuzzy memory of going to a supermarket with my Aunt Polly and seeing the Banana Man perform in the parking lot. This would have been in Houston, Texas, circa 1949. I recall more about his train that kept getting longer, and his costume change into a railroad engineer than any of the so-called magical productions. It was the first time I was aware of how annoying a kazoo could sound.
A. Robbins was a New York propmaker, specializing in small props for the stage. He was well known for the immaculate state of his shop. His standard "trick," for visitors, was to be blindfolded in his shop. Someone would request an item, like a "One inch,1/4-20 bolt," and he would walk directly to the drawer, open it and remove the bolt.
I really believed that all the bananas and other stuff was real and I couldn't't understand how he did it. Now, when I ask people if they remember the Banana Man, they look at me like I am crazy.
If you have ANY Banana Man stories, material or
Please eMail Rhett Bryson (email@example.com)
Last Updated 11/15/2003