Welcome to the 10th Anniversary page for this website, Tranquility Forest. My name is Bill Ung, and this is my site. I don't think in my wildest dreams I would have imagined all that we've accomplished in the past 10 years. Before I get to that, I'd like to start with a little retrospective...
You may have heard the story before, or you might have one of your own. I grew up in the mid-1970s watching the Bugaloos. I was a bit too young to really enjoy them on their initial run ... I mostly watched them on Saturday mornings, and later on during weekdays after school. I remember watching the Krofft logo spinning on the screen, waiting to see which show they would present for us today ... hoping to be able to spend another afternoon watching the Bugaloos.
I loved the show.
Like any other boy, I fell in love with Joy. She was the prettiest girl I had ever known, and she was so warm, sweet and charming. How could you not fall for her?
The boys, too, were lots of fun. The sets were colorful, and the music was simply enchanting.
Ah yes, the music...
I remember shushing my siblings as I held my little tape recorder up to the speaker and tried to record the songs. Pretty soon I had a collection of Bugaloos tunes of my own.
Unfortunately, most of those tapes didn't survive. I had a limited number of tapes that I owned, so older stuff routinely got taped over with newer
stuff. In my youth, I just assumed that the Bugaloos would be on forever. By the time I figured out this was not the case, it was too late. By the
early 1980s, the Bugaloos had gone off the air, and I only had one tape left ... but it had the Krofft logo, promos for a dozen shows, and about 10
minutes of a Bugaloos episode ... complete with a Bugaloos song! The episode was
Our Home is Our Hassle, and the song was Sparky.
I actually still have this tape...
For many, many, many years, that cassette tape was all I had left of the Bugaloos. Krofft shows gave way to new shows, and the cherished shows from our childhood spent more than a decade sitting in a vault somewhere. It was March 1, 1997, one night at the Rocky Horror Picture Show ... I was standing near a friend when I overheard her mention the word "Bugaloos". My ears perked up ... did you say Bugaloos? Yeah, she replied. Then she told me they were back on the air!!
Rocky Horror takes place on Saturday nights, while the Bugaloos actually aired on Saturday mornings at like 6am. So, as happy as I was with the news of the Bugaloos being back on the air, I also knew I had to WAIT A WHOLE WEEK before I'd have a chance to watch an episode again.
That was long week...
Come Saturday morning, I woke up and checked my VCR. I grabbed a bowl of cereal and sat back as the old familiar "Buga-buga-buga-buga" intro ran. The very next scene was a song. The music came in, I saw the Bugaloos flying, then the camera focused on Joy. The song was Fly Away With Us, and the episode was Courage Come Home.
That was my first Bugaloos episode in at least 15 years. The song alone was enough to bring the memories flooding back. I began to remember how many of the little catchphrases were embedded in my memory ... little things kids pick up and quip back and forth to each other. We probably bugged (no pun intended!) our parents with it to no end!
With this episode, of course, I had to have MORE! I dutifully taped each episode as it was broadcast, but was crushed to learn that I had come in at the tail end of the run. The Bugaloos had been running for the past several months on what was then known as "The Family Channel". After four more episodes, the Bugaloos were once again off the air!!
So now I had four Bugaloos episodes. The various sites on the 'net said there were 17 total episodes. Strange, as way back when, it really felt like a lot more than that. With the Bugaloos off the air, I had to turn to other means to acquire the remaining episodes.
Thanks to other Krofft/Bugaloos fans on the Internet, I was able to procure the remaining Bugaloos episodes. I got most of them from David Holifield,
who ran www.krofft.com. I also picked up additional episodes from Glenn McClain.
The World Wide Web
About that time, I had spent a couple months getting my feet wet on this new fangled thing called "The World Wide Web". I was reasonably familiar with the Internet, but I had only begun to experience the web. Here was an entirely new medium, with the ability to put together fancy graphical pages, with sounds and even video! I set up an account on Geocities and put together a basic page about myself. The Geocities version isn't around anymore, but the basic content of the page is still preserved here. I had a few other ideas for web pages, but most of them were heavily covered territory (ie: Rocky Horror, X-Files, etc.)
The return of the Bugaloos provided me with a perfect subject upon to build a new website. My home computer was not all that spiffy, but it was advanced enough to take some video screen grabs. I registered a new page on Geocities on March 12, 1997, and put up Tranquility Forest. I began by putting up screen grabs from the episodes, built episode summaries, and transcribed song lyrics.
I also added the Bugaloos Chat Board since the Bugaloos fans were apparently a constant irritant over on the main Krofft discussion boards. Bugaloos fans are well known for their exuberance.
The Tranquility Forest website grew on Geocities, until the entire service was absorbed by Yahoo. They then introduced us to a new "Terms of Service" agreement, where Yahoo claimed all content on their webservers as their own intellectual property. My friend Byron offered me free hosting on his server, so I registered Bugaloos.com and moved the site to its permanent home.
Over the years, the site has grown considerably. Pictures from all sorts of Bugaloos memorabilia has surfaced, and new Bugaloos merchandise has been generated. Over 500 Bugaloos related images are currently posted, plus some sound clips from the episodes. I even had songs (MP3s) and music videos (MPEGs) up here till the music licensing people made me take them down. :-(
It is fair to note here that Tranquility Forest did indeed have a predecessor. Jeff Reid's site, Bugaloony! pre-dates us, and is still around today ... go check it out!!
We'd also like to direct you over to Sandy Johnston's Bugaloos website, Fly Away With Us.
Sandy is the #1 contributor to Tranquility Forest. We certainly wouldn't be where we are today without her! Definately go visit her site, there's a
ton of stuff on there that's unique to her site!!
The Bugaloos Cast
At this point, we had all of the Bugaloos Episodes, a handful of websites, and our own private Bugaloos Chat Board. The fans reminisced about the old days, and rejoiced with finding each other. The one thing missing was the cast! Nobody really knew what had happened to our beloved Bugaloos since they returned to England. There were rumors that John M. lived in Arizona ... but that was basically it.
It was actually less than a year after launching the site when we found our first Bugaloo. Or should I say, they found us. It was on December 17, 1997 that I received an Email from a man who introduced himself as Tony Ellis. Caroline Ellis was his sister!! He forwarded me a nice note from Caroline, and shortly thereafter I got a handwritten letter from her in the mail. We had found Joy!!
The next Bugaloo to find us didn't occur for more than a year after that. On June 10, 1999 ... an Email arrived from a man named Wes McIndoe. He was John McIndoe's son! He confirmed that John had been living in Arizona, and he put us in touch with one another. I.Q. had returned to the forest!!
Things began to move quickly after that. John McIndoe got us in touch with John Philpott (Courage) in England, who got us in touch with Wayne Laryea (Harmony)!! By the end of 1999, we had gotten in touch with all four of the main Bugaloos, and I even got audio (holiday) greetings from the Bugaloos cast to the Bugaloos fans.
Benita's henchmen were played by Sharon Baird (Funky Rat) Joy Campbell McKenzie (Woofer) and
Van Snowden (Tweeter). I was able to meet Van Snowden at the
Hollywood Collectors Show on November 8, 2001. The original guest list
also featured Sharon Baird and Joy Campbell McKenzie ... but due to the events of 9/11, air travel was still considered quite hazardous.
In mid-2002, I was then contacted by a man named Mark Jackson. He introduced himself as the CEO of Moreson Teleconferencing, and a Bugaloos fan. He had an idea: Let's get the Bugaloos on a teleconference!!
On November 10, 2002 ... we made it happen. 32 years after the fact, we held an international teleconference featuring all four Bugaloos, plus all three of Benita's henchmen, and topped it off with a visit from Walker Edmiston ... who did the voice of Sparky, as well as a number of other Bugaloos/Krofft characters.
I don't think words can properly describe this monumentous event. The Bugaloos cast had not been in the same "room" in over 30 years.
Listening to them greet each other, renewing old friendships and reliving old memories ... it was as if not a day had passed. It was
a simply incredible experience.
The DVD Box Set
Over the years, various entities released somewhat random episodes of the Bugaloos on VHS. Rhino Home Video even released a full box set on VHS.
Due to a strong (and growing!) fan base, the Bugaloos were finally given the proper DVD treatment. Rhino released a
Bugaloos DVD Box Set, complete with cast interviews, episode commentary,
and even a Bugaloos Trivia Contest (thanks Tami!) Since it's release in mid-2006, the Bugaloos DVDs have enjoyed strong sales.
The creation of this Bugaloos website has led me to an entire network of Bugaloos fans from around the globe. I appreciate the comments, the warm feelings, the fond memories, and the new (or renewed) friendships. This website has always been a labor of love, and you have all truly made it all worthwhile. Thank you all for your years of support, even if was just passing this site along to a friend.
And keep an eye on the webpage, too. I'll be posting some new stuff as we celebrate 10 years of Being a Bugaloo.
- Bill Ung