Me and the Chimp
|Me and the Chimp|
Ted Bessell and Buttons
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||13|
|Executive producer(s)||Garry Marshall|
|Running time||30 minutes per episode|
|Production company(s)||Paramount Network Television|
|Distributor||CBS Television Distribution|
|Original run||January 13 – April 27, 1972|
Me and the Chimp is an American television situation comedy which aired for one season during 1972 on CBS. The series was created by Garry Marshall and Thomas L. Miller and was produced by Alan Rafkin for Paramount Television. The series is considered by many to be one of the worst shows in the history of American television.
Mike Reynolds (Ted Bessell) is a dentist who lives with his wife (Anita Gillette), two children (Scott Kolden and Kami Cotler), and a chimp named Buttons, a washout from the space program (though unknown to Ted and his family until an old army sergeant visits).
Episodes revolve around Buttons' doings or undoings, such as extending the line Ted drew on a map (to mark their driving route) onward to a ghost town, and stealing an alarm clock which gets Ted arrested for public indecency (in his pajamas).
- Ted Bessell ... Mike Reynolds
- Anita Gillette ... Liz Reynolds
- Scott Kolden ... Scott Reynolds
- Kami Cotler ... Kitty Reynolds
- Jackie ... Buttons
The series was created by Garry Marshall and Thomas L. Miller, both of whom are better known for their later work on Happy Days and Laverne & Shirley. Bessell originally refused to participate when the title was first given as the grammatically incorrect "The Chimp and I".
The chimpanzee who portrayed Buttons was owned by veteran animal expert Lou Schumacher and was trained by Bob Rydell who was responsible for teaching the chimp to perform its "acting" tasks on cue by responding to various hand and voice signals.
The series is considered by many to be one of the worst shows in the history of television; for many years it was a frequent punch line when comedians wished to reference bad TV shows. In July 2002 the series was featured on TV Guide's "List of the 50 Worst Shows of All Time", being named the 46th worst show ever.
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