Chimpanzees in Entertainment

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Big Time Rush: "Big Time Demos"

Mar 5, 2010
Big Time Rush:

In season 1 of Nick Jr's TV show "Big Time Rush," a boy band group called "Big Time Rush" tries to get their demo liked.  When they realize the person who chooses the demos is actually a chimpanzee dressed in a suit and tie named "Lolo," the boys kidnap Lolo and try to train him to like Big Time Rush with the positive reinforcement of bananas.

Nip/Tuck: "Sheila Carlton"

Jan 27, 2010

In the seventh (and final) season of this controversial drama on the FX network, cosmetic surgeons operate on a woman, Sheila Carlton, whose face was horrifically scarred by the pet chimpanzee owned by her best friend Jane, who herself is emotionally crippled with guilt over killing the animal to save her friend's life.

The episode is eeriely reminescent of the actual story of Charla Nash who was severely mauled by a pet chimpanzee named Travis in Conneticut.

Unser Charly

Unser Charly

Unser Charly ("Our Charly") is a popular family drama television show airing on the major German television station ZDF.  The first debuted in 1995 and is promoted as "the most widely watched family series on German TV."

The show portrays a German family with a pet chimpanzee named Charly.  The series is set at the veterinary clinic which the family operates.

Though the television show is German produced, the "actor" chimpanzee is owned and trained by Steve Martin and his company "Working Wildlife" in California.  The show also airs in twenty other countries including Finland, Italy, Greece, and Hungary.

In 2010, the series ended after 15 years of production.

Desperate Housewives: "Everybody Ought to Have a Maid"

Oct 25, 2009
Desperate Housewives:

Desperate Housewives is an American television comedy-drama series produced by ABC. In one episode, called "Everybody Ought to Have a Maid", a chimpanzee "actor" is featured at a child's birthday party causing a ruckus.

Late Night with Conan O'Brien

Jan 22, 2009
Late Night with Conan O'Brien

The show's web site highlights an episode in which Mr. O'Brien has Noah the chimpanzee on the set dressed as a chauffeur.

The photo (right) is used as his profile picture on Twitter.

Keeping up with the Kardashians

Keeping up with the Kardashians

In 2009, Kim Kardashian posted photographs of her and her family holding a young chimpanzee named Suzy, stating "we got a monkey."

The timing was unfortunate.  Just 5 days beforehand, Travis the chimpanzee had been fatally shot after mauling a friend of his owner in Connecticut. 

Kim Kardashian apologized on her website and explained that the photos were a "joke" on her mother.  Nonetheless, the chimpanzee was rented by the family for the "Keeping up with the Kardashians" series on the E! network.

Suzy is owned and trained by Steve Martin and his company "Working Wildlife" in California.

How I Met Your Mother: "Shelter Island"

Oct 20, 2008
How I Met Your Mother:

In the fourth season of this comedy airing on CBS, Robin gets a job as an anchorwoman in Japan but things don't go as planned.  She sits next to a chimpanzee with a giant bowl of marshmallows which he throws at Robin while she is talking about the stock market.

Eli Stone

Apr 10, 2008
Eli Stone

Eli Stone is an American TV comedy-drama which originally aired on ABC from January 2008 to July 2009.

In April 2008, an episode aired in which a practical joke resulted in a lawyer being forced to represent the rights of two gay chimpanzees -- Steve and Pete -- who had been forced to live apart at the zoo by anti-gay-chimp activists.

1 vs. 100

Feb 1, 2008
1 vs. 100

The February 1st episode of the NBC game show "1 vs. 100" featured a chimpanzee "actor" dressed in human clothing as a member of the 100-member "mob" against which the contestant competes.

The chimpanzee, named Jake, made only a single appearance on the show, which received harsh criticism from several animal advocacy groups.

Jake is owned and trained by Steve Martin and his company "Working Wildlife" in California.

Tori & Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood

Tori & Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood

In the fourth episode of the series' third season, Tori Spelling and Dean McDermott rent a chimpanzee for their son Liam's first birthday party.  The couple, their son, and the chimpanzee were featured on the cover of OK! magazine that week.  The television series is aired on the Oxygen network.