NYC Arrested Development Banana Stand customers/Photo: Aaron Sagers
By Aaron Sagers
There must be money lining the walls of Bluth’s Original Frozen Banana stand because Netflix was just giving away the chocolate-covered goodness today in New York City.
To celebrate 15 new episodes of cult comedy “Arrested Development,” premiering May 26 on Netflix, the on-demand Internet streaming company brought the big yellow banana stand from the show on a road trip from the Oceanside Wharf on Balboa Island to right across the street from Radio City Music Hall. OK, so this is just a replica of the stand from the show, but after it debuted in London last week, this is the first U.S. stop for the Bluth family business on a tour around the country leading up to the new season.
NYC Arrested Development Banana Stand Crowds/Photo: Aaron Sagers
People lined up around the block -- at least one of which was a Never Nude sufferer in tight jean shorts under his jean shorts -- as a man dressed as a banana (no, not Mr. Bananagrabber) distributed “Mr. Manager” stickers. Meanwhile, a banana stand worker in a yellow button-up shirt and a blue Bluth’s Original Frozen Banana apron handed out the treats.
For an all-too-brief period of time, that worker was yours truly. Let me tell you, you could taste the happy from the fans – both for the season and for the bananas. As I handed out bananas, I chatted with some Bluth customers about the day’s experience.
Amanda Cove, who called frozen bananas her “favorite frozen treat” will be celebrating her birthday on the same day the episodes become available.
“I couldn’t ask for a better gift; I’ve been waiting for this for seven years,” said Cove. She is most looking forward to seeing Tobias (played by David Cross), regardless of what he’s up to.
“It could be the nicest day out, but I do not care, I am marathoning it,” she said, adding she already marathons old episodes “at least every two weeks.”
This is the type of super-fan Netflix wants to reach with the banana stand.
“We anticipated an enthusiastic turn around, but this is beyond our expectations,” said Karen Barragan.
Barragan said the stand is a very real way to bring the "Arrested Development" -- which ended its run on Fox in 2006 -- to the fans because “there’s been such a groundswell of goodwill towards this show.”
As a result, New York will be receiving three more locations of the roaming banana stand. Assuming it doesn’t burn down, and the insurance check is in the mail, the stand will show up in Columbus Circle on Tuesday, Times Square on Thursday, and will have an as-yet unannounced location on Wednesday.
Future locations will be announced via the “Arrested Development” Twitter account, which is where Mike Sigouros and his friends discovered this stand.
Sigouros, wearing a Bluth’s Banana Stand tee, said he was looking forward to some Lucille and Buster action.
As for the banana? Upon eating the frozen treat, he said it was good but glad that it was free instead of $10.