TV Cream

TV: G is for...

Gentle Ben

HUGE FUCK-OFF grizzly “befriends” chipmunk-faced son (CLINT “RON’S BROTHER” HOWARD) of Everglades patrolman for sub-Flipperian “adventures”. Countless repeats down endless decades culminate in wanky Broom Cupboard chorus of “Beeeeeaaannnnn!” from Messrs Anstis and Peters.



  1. Richard16378

    April 17, 2012 at 8:26 pm

    In one episode Ben nearly gets run over by a train but escapes by jumping off a bridge.

    My friend was sure it was a stuntman in a bearskin suit.

  2. Terry

    March 28, 2015 at 10:07 am

    I recall the parpy bit in the title sequence where Ben is introduced very fondly.

  3. THX 1139

    February 11, 2017 at 7:01 pm

    If Leonardo Di Caprio’s experiences are anything to go by, Brutally Violent Ben would be a more accurate title. On the other hand, Hercules the Bear advertised “toilet tissue” as The Big Softy (not The Bog Softy), so which was it?

  4. Glenn Aylett

    January 24, 2021 at 10:51 am

    It featured Dennis Weaver as a forest ranger and was a staple of BBC1’s children programming in the days before the Broom Cupboard and for some time afterwards as it was cheap schedule filler when Blue Peter was off air. OK, a clever concept and kept kids amused in America and then over here, but as has been pointed out, the bear didn’t always live up to his name and had to be treated with great care.

  5. Richardpd

    January 24, 2021 at 2:16 pm

    The episodes with young adults acting irresponsibly were a little cringe-worthy but also unintentionally amusing at the same time.

    One was a junior ranger who seemed to be more interested in acting flash & driving a hotrod than being a ranger.

    Another with a hippy couple is so bad it’s hilarious.

  6. Droogie

    January 25, 2021 at 7:15 am

    Like with so many American tv shows and movies, I first read the Mad Magazine parody before seeing the original show. ( Weirdly, instead of getting one of their usual Mad tv and film artists like Mort Drucker or Angelo Torres to draw this, they got Don Martin to do this instead who was more known for his wacky gag cartoons than for his caricature skills.)

  7. Palimpsest

    November 9, 2023 at 8:37 pm

    Unknown to the viewing public; distance shots of Ben were Shelley Winters in a bear costume and Henry Kissinger provided the dubbed bear noises. “Ben!”, “Nooo! Ben, don’t carpet bomb Cambodia!”.

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