The Amazing True Story of How the Bugaloos Began
YOU CAN ENJOY THE BUGALOOS every Saturday morning on TV. Caroline, Wayne, Big John and Little John sing and act as if they were born doing it, as if it were the most natural thing for them to do! But these four young people couldn't believe their ears when they were picked to be the stars of the series ... just last summer. Now you can share Big and Little John, Caroline and Wayne's happiness--and their worries--as you learn how they found the way to the top!
It all started when American producers Sid and Marty Krofft had an idea for a new "put-together" group and TV show. They'd already worked with British star Jack Wild on the series and full-length movie of "H.R. Pufnstuf" and were very impressed with the British upbringing, schooling, and dedication to work. So they decided to search for four British teenagers to be the stars of the proposed TV series--a fantasy, like "Pufnstuf," to be called "The Bugaloos."
Announcements appeared in newspapers, music papers, and fan magazines all over Great Britain ... and the race was on! Thousands of young people, reading headlines like "Wanted! Four British Monkees" made appointments for auditions. One determined soul walked over 200 miles from his home town to London to make sure he'd get his chance! A potential Bugaloo had to sing, dance, and answer lots of questions asked by Marty Krofft and his set of judges. But no matter how hard and nerve-wracking the interviews became, no one wanted to quit. Hundreds of teenagers attended every audition session. In just two weeks, over 5,000 people were interviewed!
From the start, the Kroffts knew the kind of people they wanted for their Bugaloos. They had to be between 18 and 21 years old. Acting and entertaining talent was the most important qualification, but the quartet also had to sing. It didn't matter whether or not a Bugaloo had grown up with show business experience, as Little John Philpott happily discovered. He'd been working as a pants-presser in his Kent hometown when he spotted a Bugaloo ad!
The selection team decided that the group should include two "very English" boys, one black member and one girl who could speak with a French or Italian accent. Very special requirements, we're sure you'll agree! In addition, since The Bugaloos would be living in the same big house in California, they had to get along with each other and become friends. This meant that each application was watched to see how he got along with others. Consideration, even with your competition, had to come naturally! None of the Bugaloos knew each other before they were selected, but you can believe they're fast friends now!
After narrowing down those 5000 try-outs to twelve (an almost impossible task!), the real hard work began! Twelve talented young people who'd passed the first tests had to be tested all over again. One of those twelve was Arthur Wild, Jack's brother! unfortunately for him, he was eliminated, because he just wasn't exactly right for the Bugaloos. Three more of the twelve were dropped after screen tests ... they were talented people, but not "just right" for this very special series.
Soon, only eight were left in the finals! Caroline Ellis tried to be confident ... "I hoped I'd be selected. It sounds awful, but I hoped I had more talent than the other girl! I never wanted anything so much in my life!"
But John Philpott wasn't so sure. "We were tested all the time. If we got up or sat down, that was a test. Saying hello or goodbye was another test. We were even watched and tested when we went to dinner!"
The finalists stayed together for sixteen hours every day, in view of Mr. Krofft and his team. Since they were all such talented young people, the final selection had to be made based on personality.
"The four Bugaloo characters were in our minds from the beginning," said Mr. Krofft, "and we found just what we wanted!"
And those four young stars were announced to the world just one month before filming began back in California. The Bugaloos were a reality--three guys and a gal who couldn't believe their luck!
Big John McIndoe had worked with his parents as a circus clown and was a road manager for an English pop group. It was as part of the group that he found out about the auditions. John became "I.Q."--cooking up schemes for the Bugaloos, and getting them out of the schemes!
Wayne Laryea was planning to go to a university when he found out about the search for the Bugaloos. He uses his solid background of TV acting and modeling for his part as "Harmony."
Caroline Ellis was picked as she'd hoped, to spread "Joy" all over the place. Her lovely smile helps her make friends so easily! She, too, was no newcomver to show business--she has many film and stage roles to her credit.
And Little John Philpott doesn't have to press trousers anymore! "Courage", as he's known to TV fans, made his very first trip to London for the Bugaloo audition. He'd done some local acting, and was interested in pop music in his hometown of Deal, but now he's thrilled to be able to entertain all the time!
There they are ... the Bugaloos. Four great kids with the brightest future we can think of. All the waiting and worrying was over ... they were off to Hollywood, success, and happiness!