Can I resist the temptation of Bluth’s Original Frozen Banana stand?

I’ve only been a part-time follower of the zany Bluth family, so in preparation for this post I went to Wikipedia and refreshed my memory of the primary characters, complete with family tree.

I can almost hear narrator Ron Howard trying to “explain” George, Lucille, Buster, Lindsay and Tobias…if you’ve never seen episodes from the critically acclaimed series  Arrested Development, I think it’s worth a peek simply for the combination of an excellent cast and comedy of the absurd.

I’m not current with the series, but I have seen enough of the shows to know that the family’s Original Frozen Banana Stand is its own character.

And this weekend, as part of the publicity tour for the release of 15 new episodes to Netflix, the Bluth banana stand will make its way to Balboa Island, home of the fictional Bluth family. We don’t live on Balboa Island, but we’re frequent visitors–and one week every summer is spent in Newport Beach/Balboa.

So I’m very tempted to make another visit.

The Bluth’s won’t be selling any actual frozen bananas this weekend, but there are other places to purchase the iconic treat.

I am so tempted to be a part of this zany banana stand tour, but my experience on Marine Avenue on any given weekend without the hype of a publicity stunt, tells me we’d have difficulty finding a square inch of parking.

Of course, we could park on the peninsula and take the ferry over to the island…

Or if the ferry is busy, there are some interesting yachts. I wonder if we could borrow this one?

Balboa Bay Yacht

Once we get there, other delights tempt us unrelated to the Bluth’s Frozen Banana Stand.

Would you like to join me? There are lovely places to eat and spots to sit and people watch, and if you’re inclined, you can shop till you drop!

I guess I’m always on the go…June 1st is summer on MY calendar.

And there are 1,100 miles of beautiful California coastline, so I plan to use long summer days to visit many little beach pockets similar to Balboa–although I don’t think I’m going to be able to get to the Bluth Banana Stand this Sunday. Still, I am so tempted!

I have other things tempting me even more. It’s been a year since I’ve seen Balboa Island from the sky. I’m “home” sick.

Nan and Sophia on Ferris Wheel

I’ll meet you at the FUN Zone! 

51 thoughts on “Can I resist the temptation of Bluth’s Original Frozen Banana stand?

  1. Yes! Frozen bananas. I stumbled across the Arrested Development marathon on IFC last weekend, and even though I had not paid much attention to it when it was first broadcast, I did get swept up in it for awhile. Pretty funny. And there is always money in the banana stand.

  2. Frozen bananas don’t hold much appeal . . . but I love your photos from the island! Hope you get back there soon. Without an “island fix” . . . your development might become arrested. ;)

    • I just love your play on the “Arrested Development” theme. You and the Col. seem to be able to pull puns and clever”isms” so well! I rarely create a pun unless it’s accidental. LOL! I do love a frozen banana (dipped in chocolate) but the Balboa Bar–a rich ice cream bar, is more to my liking! :-)

  3. Oh my. When I was twelve, I ate a chocolate-covered frozen banana and threw up afterwards. I haven’t eaten one since! That was more than thirty years ago, and the thought still makes me feel a bit queazy. I love the “unattended children” sign!!

    • Oh dear, Linda! You have a terrible frozen banana story. I wonder if it was too rich, or something else was going on…regardless, once burned, you’re not going back! I wouldn’t either! :-(

    • Thank you for the compliment on the photos, Meg. I think if you come again to Southern California this would be a region you’d really enjoy. There are some wonderful surprises. If you’re ever really interested, let me know. I’ll give you some good direction! :-) Balboa Island is a fascinating little place to begin, and then just head south down the coastline. :-)

  4. I use to love banana splits (remember them?), and would enjoy one with all the trimmings when I was younger and burned calories quickly. Nowadays, I stick to the low cal variety. A trip by yacht to reach the banana stand would be my choice! :D

    • I sure do remember banana splits, Marie! I haven’t even thought of one in years, but now I’m going to be thinking about them. LOL! I don’t think I could handle that many calories gracefully, but it would be fun in the eating. :-)

    • I’m so glad you are familiar with frozen bananas, Yummy! I was starting to wonder if they were that rare! So many people have responded that they’ve never heard of them, and that really surprised me. Talk about an easy treat, right?

  5. Have never seen “Arrested Development” and may have had a frozen banana….but I don’t remember…. so maybe I should try it again….. Love that ferris wheel shot. :)

    • Arrested Development may not appeal to everyone. It has a wonderful cast and some absurd situations that do make me laugh–so that’s a good thing! And a frozen banana is real treat. Do you think that I can still count it as a fruit if it’s dipped in chocolate and covered in nuts? LOL! I think I will anyway!

    • I do admire Ron Howard. Are you familiar with this goofy show, Charlie? I can never tell when what I’m speaking about is tied so directly to an American audience or has broader reach. Anymore, it’s impossible to know! I have also found out with this blog post that many Americans have never had a frozen banana, and it never occurred to me that it was simply a Southern California treat. Thanks for stopping by, my friend.

    • Oh you know the delight! I am taking friends to the Island in a couple of weeks, and for one, the whole trip is so she can have a frozen banana. LOL! Just a day as you describe it can be a vacation! :-)

    • I so badly wanted to go to the beach this weekend, BD, banana stand or just ocean waves! But it didn’t happen. It’s amazing how many things on the weekend simply “need doing” around the house. Some weekends I play even without first having done my chores. LOL! But I was more disciplined this weekend. Not nearly as much fun, though. :-)

    • You know, I didn’t really think about how the frozen banana was kind of a regional treat. I’m finding that many Americans from other states aren’t familiar either. It’s such a simple little dessert. Maybe the silly television show will make them more popular around the world. Ha!

  6. Ok, we are BIG fans of the Bluths, Newport Beach and of course, the Crab Cooker! Every year we come over from Phoenix with our tongues hanging out from the 120 degree heat and relax for a few days at the Balboa Bay Club…eat at Crab Cooker, walk the pier, of course have the little donuts from that little donut stand that is open 24 hours a day, then finally go home. However, NOW I have to look for the banana stand! (I can still hear Lucille Bluth saying, “I’ll have the Ike and Tina Tuna”) :D

    • One of my good friends lives in Phoenix, Sandi, and I’ve taken her to Newport before during the summer, and she is freezing cold. LOL! The contrast is so great. But I’m glad you get the chance to visit. We love the Crab Cooker, too. I used to come to Balboa for a week or two each summer with my grandparents, and we rent a house on the peninsula for one week a year, so that our grand-daughters grow up with similar memories. I am tremendously nostalgic about that entire area. And the Bluths! I am trying to get caught up with all the Arrested Development episodes before I start in on the new season, and I’m laughing my head off. Such great (ridiculous) characters! ox

  7. Haven’t seen much of southern California, only passed through on my way to Baja, except for a few trips to Disneyland. Looks like I’ve missed a lot of good living!

    • There are some wonderful things to see in Southern California, and probably the beaches are my favorite! Despite the many things about California that we could complain about, we have a lovely long coastline, don’t we?

  8. I grew up in Newport and Balboa. One of the big treats was to ride our bikes to the Fun Zone where we would have a frozen banana or a Balboa bar. Your post brings back some wonderful memories!

    • Eva, this post most surely have made you nostalgic! Do you know that I have many friends who have lived here all of their lives and they have NEVER been to the Fun Zone? Probably the only thing that remains that is clearly dating back to my childhood is the Ferris Wheel. They took the Carousel out about two years ago and I was so sad! I grew up in the Pasadena area, but we always went to Balboa in the summer with my grandparents, and for the past 20 years we’ve gone to Newport for one week a summer, at which point I like to pretend I actually live there! :-) I hope you can visit again sometime and revisit some of those happy memories. ox

  9. Yay! And hurray for summer! It sounds like you have a lot of fun lined up already Debra. And I know I would not be able to resist a frozen banana treat. That sounds too good to be true to me. :)

    • Kristy, you can certainly make frozen bananas at home. LOL! I didn’t realize what a west coast treat it is! It’s a banana dipped in chocolate and rolled in nuts–then frozen! That’s it! LOL! Do you have Trader Joe’s markets? Ours sell frozen banana pieces. But if that’s not a familiar treat across the country, perhaps even that packaging is regional. I have resisted the urge to drive to Balboa today, though. *sigh*

  10. At last, the long-awaited final episodes of Arrested Development! I could forgive FOX their supposed news station but I boycotted them when they took AR off the schedule. (To be honest, it wasn’t much of a boycott since I rarely watch any of their programming.) Parking or no, I’d be there just in case Gob showed up to do a magic trick. Now I have to get caught up with my blogging duties before I can download them all. :)
    I’m all for Summer starting on June 1st, if only this area’s weather gods were onboard with the plan.

    • I’m so glad to learn you’re an Arrested Development fan, John! I can’t recall if I made it all the way to the end of the series. I didn’t even know about it on Fox, but I heard about it later. We’re going back through the episodes before we move on to the new ones so we can refresh our recollection. The cast alone makes this a great show! I hope you’re getting caught up with your other duties so you can indulge in a Netflix feasting! :-)

  11. You make your posts so much fun! I haven’t been to Balboa for many years – Looks like it has had a bit of developement going on since I was there :) Megan is excited about comments she is getting on her posts. I’m trying to figure out how she can respond to you and her ‘fans’ Thanks for checking in. Carla PS You check out the summer spots and I’ll follow your lead.

    • Thank you for your kind comment, Carla. If you haven’t been on Balboa Island in quite some time you’d be amazed at the houses. You know how “compact” it is, but some of the houses that have been built on the bay front are imposing! And there are, of course, more and more people visiting. It’s a busy place, but still charming. I hope Megan just continues to develop her obvious talent! :-)

  12. This series sounds fun, I will have to see if I can find it in Indonesia (via the wonders of the endless stalls of pirated DVDs – don’t judge!). Unfortunately I don’t eat bananas, even frozen ones so I would definitely avoid anywhere selling those.!!!! Interesting post as always!

    • Sally, I think if you can find Arrested Development (no matter how you get hold of a copy–ha!) you’d get a kick out of it. It’s ridiculous, but clever silly! I always think of bananas as kind universally popular, but I’ve had several people comment they don’t like them. Frozen and dipped in chocolate does kind of kick it up a notch! :-)

  13. I have to admit I have not watched an episode of Arrested Development yet but interestingly, just as I started to read your post the Netflix commercial came on the television promoting the program. I guess I have to make the time to check it out. A frozen banana sounds very interesting, especially on a hot summer day. ~Thea

  14. I haven’t had a frozen banana in years! We can get them here, Debra, but they are usually at street festivals. One summer, my dad took us every Saturday night to a different ice cream place. One Saturday was our introduction to frozen bananas. How wonderful that night was with my sister, my cousin, and I, dripping all over with chocolate and the freezing cold of the bananas. Wish I could join you on Balboa Island. Looks like great fun! Loved this post, my California friend.

    • I would be thrilled to spend the day with you on Balboa, Penny. I think of how your daughter was here all that time and we just hadn’t yet met! Well, we never know, do we? I do remember you talking about how your dad was so interested in treating you girls to the different ice cream places. I thought that was just so special. And it must have been, because look at how those memories stay fresh! I’ve had more fun hearing different reactions to frozen bananas. I would never have thought there’d be strong negative reactions to them, but for some, yes. LOL! I love almost anything frozen, and then if it’s dipped in chocolate, you can count me in! ox

  15. Pingback: Balboa Island Show-Offs! | breathelighter

  16. I too have to admit I haven’t watched an episode of Arrested Development (and in fact haven’t even heard of it)… Netflix and I have a date this weekend.

    A memory: After walking around the ancient Mayan city of Tikal on a very hot day in Guatemala we bought frozen bananas dipped in chocolate from a private home set up as a shop. It was delicious-cooling-satisfying…

  17. Wasn’t that stand got burned down? with lots and lots of money hidden inside it? Bwahahaha Love the Season 1. I didn’t get to follow it though. And the pilot episode is one of the most memorable pilots in TV.

    • Yes, the banana stand was burned down with all the money inside. Those crazy Bluth’s. I get such a kick out of that show. I’ve yet to make it through all the episodes, but I do intend to at some point!

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