Me and the Chimp

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Me and the Chimp
Me and the Chimp Ted Bessell Buttons 1972.jpg
Ted Bessell and Buttons
Created by Garry Marshall
Thomas L. Miller
Starring Ted Bessell
Anita Gillette
Scott Kolden
Kami Cotler
Composer(s) Charles Fox
Country of origin United States
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 13
Executive producer(s) Garry Marshall
Producer(s) Alan Rafkin
Running time 30 minutes per episode
Production company(s) Paramount Television
Distributor CBS Television Distribution
Original network CBS
Original release January 13 – April 27, 1972

Me and the Chimp is an American sitcom which aired for one season during 1972 on CBS. It was created by Garry Marshall and Thomas L. Miller and produced by Alan Rafkin for Paramount Television.[1]


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 Mike and his family until an old army sergeant visits).

Episodes revolve around Buttons' doings or undoings, such as extending the line Mike drew on a map (to mark their driving route) onward to a ghost town, and stealing an alarm clock which gets Mike arrested for public indecency (in his pajamas).



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".[3]

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.[4]

Episode list[edit]

# Title Original Airdate Episode Summary
1 "Mike's Day With Buttons" January 13, 1972 Mike's life as a dentist becomes more complicated when his daughter brings home a chimp named Buttons.
2 "My Pet, the Thief" January 20, 1972 Mike fights a losing battle trying to convince his wife and children that they can't keep Buttons.
3 Mike's Burglar Alarm January 27, 1972 The effort of Mike to train Buttons to ring a bell when a stranger enters the house backfires when a burglar offers the chimp candy.
4 "Mike the Matchmaker" February 3, 1972 Buttons meets a female chimp named Mildred that he's attracted to, but when Mike attempts to discuss the situation with the other chimp's owner, he's distracted by the chimp's baby sitter, a beautiful Swedish blonde.
5 "Mike's Big Act" February 17, 1972 Mike reluctantly agrees to use Buttons during his magic act before the PTA, which results in him trying to teach Buttons some entertaining tricks.
6 "The Lost Flashlight" February 24, 1972 After Buttons loses his flashlight at a drive-in movie theater, the chimp keeps the neighborhood in turmoil while the item is missing.
7 "One Romantic Evening" March 2, 1972 Mike and Liz are all set to celebrate their wedding anniversary along, but Buttons ends up causing havoc while Liz's mother watches the children.
8 "Tennis Anyone?" March 16, 1972 Buttons helps Mike cure a small case of bigotry at the local country club.
9 "The Paint Job" March 23, 1972 The Reynolds are chosen by a paint manufacturer as the ideal family to demonstrate their product on television, but Buttons ends up causing chaos.
10 "The Ghost Town" March 30, 1972 A planned weekend trip to the snow country ends up in a deserted ghost town.
11 "Mike's Night-In" April 6, 1972 The Reynolds discover that Buttons was once a part of the space program and that they might have to return him to the government.
12 Hoop-Lah" April 13, 1972 After Mike squabbles with his son's basketball coach, he takes over the coaching of the team, which eventually involves Buttons.
13 "Liz's Allergy" April 27, 1972 While Mike is out of town at a dentists' convention, Liz develops an allergy that appears to be connected to the presence of Buttons.


  1. ^ "Me and the Chimp". The Montreal Gazette. January 15, 1972. 
  2. ^ "Chimp Tells Of Stardom". Schenectady Gazette. June 10, 1972. 
  3. ^ TV Guide. July 20 - 26, 2002. pg. 26. 
  4. ^ "Adjusting to life with chimpanzee". The Calgary Herald. January 28, 1972. 

External links[edit]