Using apes in advertising seemed to peak and virtually disappear in the 1980s. Since this is when I was watching TV the most, I have many fond memories of these commercial masterpieces. Last night I found this gem from the mid-1980s for Fruit Roll-Ups that features a very unsafe looking school bus full of chimpanzees with an orangutan driver.
This makes total sense since orangutans are by far the most responsible members of the ape family.
I do not think they ever made a banana flavored Fruit Roll-Up, but that seems like a joke they should have thrown in to this commercial. While it might have felt like they were ripping off the “We have no banana” Fig Newton ads, I would not have noticed at the time.
Images courtesy of the Vintage Lunch Box Archive.
Ha, ha! General Urko will totally confiscate your chocolate milk and gladly execute you on Councillor Zaius’ orders for you having ventured into the forbidden zone in the first place, silly human child.
To be honest Burke (James Naughton), Virdon (Ron Harper) and Galen (Roddy McDowall) didn’t exactly take off into the Forbidden Zone during their adventures but they certainly encountered more than a few human city ruins. I still think it’s a shame this series didn’t take off back in 1974, there really is a lot to like about it.
A huge thanks to Vintage Lunch Box Archive for the images of the lunch boxes you see above.
That cat had to have been drugged for his upcoming bath.
How I wish I could invent a time machine to go back and visit the world that we briefly see in this clip from a ‘lost’ documentary, it must have been a Golden Age in 1945 when your average Joe and Jill had most of their work accomplished by good-natured chimpanzees willing to shine your shoes and give your little kitty a bath.
[Via] Squabbling Turtles
Though I think while this Golden Age was beautiful and brief it was probably for the best because we all know where this would have ended up, right?
“Where there is fire, there is smoke. And in that smoke, from this day forward, my people will crouch and conspire and plot and plan for the inevitable day of Man’s downfall – the day when he finally and self-destructively turns his weapons against his own kind. The day of the writing in the sky, when your cities lie buried under radioactive rubble! When the sea is a dead sea, and the land is a wasteland out of which I will lead my people from their captivity! And we will build our own cities in which there will be no place for humans except to serve our ends! And we shall found our own armies, our own religion, our own dynasty! And that day is upon you… now!”
Photo courtesy of MobyGames.
Two years after Rampage “hit” (pardon the pun) arcades, Midway’s big monsters made their way to the small screen in Data East’s 1988 version of Rampage for the NES. Rampage was ported to most home computers and game systems, each of which losing details (some small, some large) along the way. The NES version dropped Ralph the werewolf, retaining Lizzie the Lizard and George the Gorilla. It also dropped a bit of quality. The game is playable, but it’s not the best home version by far.
Unlike the arcade version (which required quarters to continue) or some of the other ports that limited the amount of times a player could continue, Rampage for the NES allowed players to continue as many times as they wanted, until their their thumbs went numb or the played through all 128 of the game’s levels.
In 1983, NBC television networked aired a short-lived series about and Orangutan, who after ingesting some experimental drugs, becomes super intelligent. Rechristened “Mr. Smith”, the intelligent ape becomes a political consultant and moves to Washington DC (So…Mr. Smith goes to Washington). Sadly despite a rabid young fan in suburban New Jersey and an Emmy nomination, the show never managed to find an audience and was canceled after just 13 episodes.
The show did an interesting thing to try to promote itself. They got themselves a 900 number and charged people to call in and hear a message from Mr. Smith. I would like to say that I did not get suckered into calling, but I probably did. Who could resist this pitch?
I often wonder if the Nabisco company knew that showing a chimpanzee in a commercial would easily double Fig Newton consumption in my childhood? I loved this ad when I was younger and would go around singing it to myself. The problem with it thought, was that the message of the commercial was lost on me. We would go to the store month after month during my “Newton Cookie Phase” and when my Mom asked me what type of cookie I wanted to have, I would always ask if we could try those new Banana Fig Newtons. That is right, the very thing they were telling me they did not have, was what I took away from this commercial.
It took about 6 months of not finding Banana Newtons before I realized what was going on and then this commercial made a whole lot more sense. They have NO BANANA NEWTONS! That is why the chimp is so sad. I guess the takeaway is that, I was not a very sharp kid and I am very easily distracted by apes.
I started watching “Every Which Way But Loose” when HBO started show it and its sequel “Any Which Way You Can”. I cannot say with any certainty that I has developed into a Clint Eastwood fan at this point. I had seen a few of his film, but he was not the draw for me on these movies. No, what I wanted to see was the antics of a certain orangutan named Manis who played Clyde.
Manis has a short resume. He was just in “Every Which Way But Loose”. After it wrapped and before they started shooting the sequel he had grown and changed physically and no longer resembled the Clyde you saw on-screen. So for the sequel a new orangutan was brought in to play this very important role. Sadly just a couple of days after “Any Which Way You Can” wrapped, this replacement Clyde died of a cerebral hemorrhage.
Both of these films did very well at the box office and were some of the biggest money makers for Mr. Eastwood. I am not sure they go over well with a modern audience. Way too many people I bring these films up to, have never even heard of them, or they remember Clyde, but have never seen the entire film.
Because so few people seem to be proclaiming their love for the films, I never expected to find any fan art related to the film, but a quick search later and some artistic fans were found. Not a ton, but any is better than none.