1 9 7 0 – 1 9 7 1 (USA)
17 x 30 minute episodes
The Bugaloos – Joy (Caroline Ellis), Courage (John Philpott), IQ (John McIndoe) and Harmony (Wayne Laryea) – were your average half-bug half-human do-gooders and a smashing British-flavoured rock group to boot.
They lived in Tranquillity Forest where they looked for good deeds to do. They also sang a few songs in between, many of which were quite memorable and some even hit the US music charts at the time.
Sparky (Billy Barty) was their timid firefly friend, who often helped The Bugaloos – but just as frequently got himself into trouble from which they had to rescue him.
Their wicked nemesis was rich but failed celebrity Benita Bizarre (Martha Raye) who was desperate to be a successful and popular singer and was constantly trying to manufacture a hit song. She lived in a giant high-rise jukebox in the forest.
Pointy-nosed Benita was also hell-bent on trying to destroy the “disgusting goodness” of The Bugaloos. With her henchmen, Woofer (Joy Campbell), and Tweeter (Van Snowden,) and her Nazi chauffeur Funky Rat (Sharon Baird), Benita hatched a new scheme each week against The Bugaloos.
Peter Platter was the DJ from Uptown who refused to play any of Benita’s recordings and sponsored many events, such as a beauty contest, talent show and rock festival.
In the final episode, ‘The Good Old Days’, Benita bought Tranquility Forest and evicted The Bugaloos (she wanted to erect a taco stand where they lived) but was eventually thwarted once again by the ingenious winged band.
The four young British actors who played the Bugaloos were selected from over 4,000 hopefuls (including Genesis drummer Phil Collins) who tried out for the parts.
To prepare for their roles, Caroline Ellis, John Philpott, John McIndoe and Wayne Laryea were flown to the US where they stayed in a mansion in Hollywood and spent weeks taking dancing, singing and acting lessons.
21-year-old John Philpott (Courage) was pressing trousers in a factory in Kent when he got the part. 22-year old John McIndoe (IQ) grew up in Scotland where he performed in a circus where his parents did a trapeze act.
Firefly Light My Fire | The Great Voice Robbery | Our Home Is Our Hassle | Courage Come Home | The Love Bugaloos | If I Had The Wings Of A Bugaloo | Lady, You Don’t Look Eighty | Benita the Beautiful | Now You See ’em, Now You Don’t | Help Wanted – Firefly | On A Clear Day | Today I’m a Firefly | The Bugaloos Bugaboo | Benita’s Double Trouble | Circus Time at Benitas | The Uptown 500 | The Good Old Days