Chimpanzees in Entertainment

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Criss Angel Mindfreak

Criss Angel Mindfreak

Criss Angel Mindfreak debuted in 2005 and features unusual stunts and street magic acts by magician Criss Angel. One episode featured the illusionist performing tricks for chimpanzees named Cody and Sable in a hotel room.

Cody and Sable were owned by trainer Syd Yost and have now been retired to the sanctuary Save the Chimps in Fort Pierce, Florida.


Hogan Knows Best: "Monkey Business"

May 28, 2006
Hogan Knows Best:

This reality TV show, centered around the family life of professional wrestling legend Hulk Hogan, featured a baby chimpanzee in one of its episodes. Hogan's wife, Linda, learns about a baby chimpanzee in need of a home. She brings the baby chimpanzee home for a trial adoption, but the family realizes the chimpanzee is too much for them to handle and give the chimpanzee back to its owner.


General Hospital

Feb 1, 2006
General Hospital

One episode of this popular soap opera features a chimpanzee "actor" playing the part of an escaped pet chimpanzee.



In this spinoff of the popular Jackass series on MTV, Chris Pontius, Steve-O, and Wee Man spend a day with skateboard professionals Bob Burnquist, Tony Hawk and Louie the chimpanzee.  Louie, who starred in MXP: Most Extreme Primate, skateboards with the humans who are dressed in ape suits.

Louie has since been retired from the entertainment industry and currently lives at the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore.

E.R.: "Dream House"

Nov 3, 2005

ER is a critically acclaimed medical drama that aired on NBC from 1994 to 2009.  It was created by novelist Michael Crieighton and received 124 Emmy nominations over its 15 seasons.

In its 12th season, an episode featured a storyline in which an infant chimpanzee required intensive care at the hospital.  A young chimpanzee "actor" watches as her sick infant (an inanimate prop) lies under treatment.

Seinfeld: Episode 109

May 11, 2005
Seinfeld: Episode 109

In this episode, Kramer gets spit on by a chimpanzee at a zoo and retaliates by throwing a banana peel back at him.  The zoo demands an apology when the chimpanzee (played by a chimpanzee "actor" named Ripley), becomes depressed over the altercation.

Unfortunately, Ripley's acting career came to an inevitably early end, and he ended up at Zoo Nebraska, an unaccredited zoo.  In September of 2005, Ripley and three other chimpanzees escaped from their enclosure.  Ripley eventually returned to his cage, but the other three chimpanzees were shot and killed.

Ripley moved between several facilities after Zoo Nebraska, but finally found permanent refuge at the Center for Great Apes in Wauchula, FL.

That 70's Show: "Beast of Burden"

Sep 29, 2004
That 70's Show:

That '70s Show was an American television sitcom that centered on the lives of a group of teenagers in the 1970's. One episode featured a chimpanzee "actor" dressed in a racing suit and walking hand-in-hand with Kelso, played by Ashton Kutcher.

Extreme Makeover Home Edition

Sep 26, 2004
Extreme Makeover Home Edition

An episode of the show featured one of the chimpanzees that was later removed from the custody of trainer Sidney Yost after allegations of chronic abuse.

Monk: "Mr. Monk and the Panic Room"

Jun 25, 2004

Monk is a police procedural comedy-drama that aired on the USA Network. One episode, called "Mr. Monk and the Panic Room", features a chimpanzee "actor" in a diaper suspected of murdering a big-league record producer.


Man vs. Beast

Man vs. Beast

Man vs. Beast was a U.S. reality television show that involved a variety of challenges in which people and animals competed against each other. One episode featured a U.S. Navy SEAL race a chimpanzee through an obstacle course. Another episode featured a Sumo wrestler compete in a tug-of-war against a female orangutan.