One Of The Most Popular Teen TV Shows Of The 1970s Was Filmed Here In Columbus

What would you say if I told you that one of the most popular, groundbreaking teenage television shows was filmed right here in Columbus?

America Goes Bananaz was a variety show presented by Michael Young and Randy Hamilton back in the late 1970s on QUBE, the local station that eventually went on to become Nickelodeon.

The program was originally called Columbus Goes Bananaz and it was filmed at Westland Mall in it’s earlier episodes. In case you think this was just your average local programming, I’d like to point out that it had some incredible guests over the years, including Arnold Schwarzenegger, Todd Rundgren, the Sanford-Townsend Band, Andy Kaufman, and Bob Zmuda.

Once QUBE made the transition to Nickelodeon, Bananaz became one of the most important shows for the network. The teenaged audience helped show that Nickelodeon wasn’t just for little kids who enjoyed Pinwheel.

Bananaz was inspired by The Mike Douglas Show, but it was built specifically for adolescents. It had all kinds of segments, from karate to advice columns. It also helped teens tackle some pretty impressive topics for the time, like drugs and birth control.

The show only aired from 1977-1980, but it helped shape teenage television for decades. And the craziest thing is that it started right here in Columbus at Westland Mall.

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