Banana Wackies cereal is a forgotten cereal that was introduced by General Mills in 1965. The boxes actually only read ‘Wackies’ cereal, but the television commercials used the name Banana Wackies.
General Mills ran a series of animated television commercials featuring a small boy and a talking gorilla, using the catch-phrase “what’s wackier than a __ gorilla,” like the ones below, and other similar ads.
Banana Wackies was also a sponsor of the “Happy the Clown” TV show which aired every weekday. Happy would sing the Banana Wackies jingle and tell kids to start their day with some Banana Wackies cereal.
The cereal itself consisted of oat cereal and sweet banana flavor bits, which, according to some people who remember this cereal from their childhood, they were delicious and had a strong banana flavor. Others, in plain language, found them yucky. Post Alpha Bits, introduced in 1958 and still around today, were a contemporary competitor along with such classics as Lucky Charms, Apple Jacks, Honeycomb Cereal, and Quake. Wackies only lasted around a year before they were discontinued.
Like many cereal commercials for General Mills, these were produced by Jay Ward Productions, who also produced the Cap’n Crunch TV ads from the 1960’s and ’70s, as well as the legendary Rocky and Bullwinkle.