Saturday, July 29, 2017

Saturday Morning Cult-TV Blogging: The Bugaloos: "Courage Come Home" (October 3, 1970)

In “Courage Come Home,” Benita Bizarre (Martha Raye) fires Funky Rat and all her other minions after an incident with a runaway vacuum cleaner. While these incompetent minions picket the juke box, Courage (John Philpott) unexpectedly falls from the sky in a storm, and is separated from the rest of the Bugaloos.

Benita finds Courage, and learns that he has amnesia. She tells him that he is her cousin -- and house keeper -- Melvyn Bizarre.  The Bugaloos attempt to rescue Courage, but he now believes he is really Benita’s cousin.  Instead of going home to the Tranquility Forest with them, he holds the Bugaloos captive.

In the ensuing scuffle, Courage falls, and gets a second bump on the head, which cures his amnesia.

Benita is also injured, and she develops amnesia. This condition allows her rejected minions to return and pretend that she is their housekeeper.

This week’s installment of The Bugaloos (1970-1971) opens with the song of the week. Some of the lyrics include: “Fly away with us in space and far beyond.” It is sung by the group, in mid-air, before Courage succumbs to amnesia.

Here’s the number:

Other than a memorable song, this episode contends in a very familiar TV cliché: amnesia. In particular, one bump on the head causes amnesia, and a second bump cures said amnesia. Courage gets amnesia this week, and thinks he is related to Benita Bizarre even though, as he rightly notes, she doesn’t have wings like he does.

This episode feels a lot like one of the series’ key inspirations, The Monkees (1966-1968), especially during the sequence in which Joy dresses as a French maid, I.Q. becomes a butler, and Harmony (Wayne Laryea) becomes a chef. The costumes, and the mad-cap nature of the action all recall The Monkees, though in an enjoyable, fantasy-based manner.

Lidsville (1971-1972) later did a story similar to “Courage Come Home” in which Hoodoo (Charles Nelson Reilly) got amnesia, and his minions convinced him that he was their servant, not vice versa.

Next week: “The Love Bugaloos.”

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