Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Lancelot Link & the Evolution Revolution!!!

Courtesy of T.V. Party:

"Lancelot Link, Secret Chimp debuted on Saturday morning, September 12, 1970 and was an instant hit.

With a cast made up entirely of primates, this live-action series chronicled the comical adventures of secret agent Lance Link; a silly simian version of The Man From U.N.C.L.E. with fur puctuated with Laugh-in style blackouts, cartoons and music breaks.

Together with his female sidekick Mata Hari, the agents from A.P.E. (Agency to Prevent Evil) battled nefarious villains like The Duchess, The Baron, Wang Fu, Dr. Strangemind, Creto, Ali AssaSeen and other colorfully clad agents of C.H.U.M.P..

The narrator for Lance Link was Malanchi Throne, with the apes voiced by Bernie Kopell (Love Boat), Dayton Allen (Winky Dink) and Joan Gerber.

The creators of the program, the writing team of Mike Marmer and Stan Burns, sold ABC on Lancelot Link in part because of their stint writing for the clever spy spoof Get Smart, which had just left the air after five seasons.

Marmer and Burns were known for exceptional work, writing for the best variety programs of the Sixties and Seventies - including Flip, The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour and, in particular, The Carol Burnett Show, where their infamous Gone With The Wind parody won the duo an Emmy.

The budget for Lancelot Link, Secret Chimp was the highest ever (at that time) for a Saturday series - over a million dollars for a fourteen episode season. The chimps were trained by industry veteran Frank Inn (Petticoat Junction, Benji).

The sets and props were fairly elaborate and many new lighting techniques had to be devised to shoot the dark chimp faces. The best part of the show was the groovy rock band, The Evolution Revolution, whose music videos were at least as pop refreshing as The Archies."