1 9 7 0 – 1 9 7 2 (USA)
17 x 60 minute episodes
This series featured real-life chimpanzees (with human voices overdubbed) acting out spy spoofs.
Lance Link and Mata Hairi – both secret agents working for A.P.E (Agency to Prevent Evil) – performed songs at the Coconut Groove nightclub as part of a psychedelic band called The Evolution Revolution.
The group would pass on coded information in their songs to other A.P.E agents, all under the guidance of their head, Commander Darwin – “Darwin” geddit?
Some of the villains were; Dr Strangemind; negative Asian stereotypes Dragon Woman and Wang Fu; negative Arab stereotype Ali Assa Seen (pictured below) who rode around in a dune buggy; negative Spanish stereotype Creto and negative German stereotype Baron von Butcher, the head of C.H.U.M.P. (Criminal Headquarters for Underworld Master Plan).
ABC released an album of The Evolution Revolution and the TV station also realised that the show could be easily re-dubbed and shown in almost any TV market in the world.
In the first season, the show ran for an hour and featured two additional elements: old Daffy Duck cartoons and new musical numbers from Link’s chimp rock band, The Evolution Revolution.
The extras were trimmed in the following season when the show was cut to half an hour.
After one more season, the show went off the air completely, leaving a chimp-size void in the TV line-up that wouldn’t be filled until BJ and the Bear seven years later.
The show did extremely well when it ran in Central Africa, and in 1987 became the #1 show in Zaire!
There’s No Business Like Snow Business | The Lone A.P.E. / Missile Beach Party | The Mysterious Motorcycle Menace / The Great Beauty Contest | C.H.U.M.P. Takes a Holiday / To Tell the Tooth | The Great Brain Drain / The Great Double Double Cross | Lance of Arabia / The Doctor Goes A.P.E. | The Surfin’ Spy / The Missing Link | Bonana / The Greatest Chase in the World | The Reluctant Robot / The Royal Foil | The Great Great Race / The Great Plane Plot | Landlubber Lance / The Temporary Thanksgiving Turkey Truce | The Dreaded Hong Kong Sneeze / The Great Bank Robbery | The Sour Taste of Success / The Baron’s Birthday Ball | The Golden Sword / The Chilling CHUMP Chase | The Spy Who Went Out in the Cold / Too Many CHUMPs | The CHUMP Code Caper / Weather or Not | The Evolution Revolution / The Great Water Robbery