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Orangutans

Mr. Smith  - Talking, genius orangutan featured on the situation comedy MR. SMITH/NBC/1983.

Mr. Smith (a.k.a. 'Cha Cha') - MR SMITH

The TV series told the tale of Cha Cha (played by C.J.), a curious circus orangutan who accidentally drank a bottle of experimental formula that transformed him into a genius with an I.Q. of 256.

Cha Cha soon learned to read, speak (voice of Ed Weinberger) and then taught himself the intricacies of chess, law, medicine and nuclear physics.

Thereafter known as Mr. Smith, the US Government used his new found talents by bringing him to Washington and setting him up in a think tank office. Mr. Smith wore a three piece suit, and a pair of spectacles (but no shoes).

Cha Cha was monitored by Dr. Judy Tyson (Terri Garber) from the Institute for Primate Studies. Mr. Smith shared a suburban home with his owner Tommy Atwood (Tim Dunigan).

Mr. Smith, aka 'Cha Cha'

Later in the series, Cha Cha's ordinary orangutan brother, Bo Bo was introduced.

C.J. was born at the Dallas Zoo in 1971 and put up for adoption at the age of seven at which time he was purchased by Boone Narr, a head animal trainer and Bill Gage, his associate.

C.J. liked cookies and milk before going to bed. Reportedly, C.J. received a yearly fee of $500,000.

C.J. also starred with Clint Eastwood in the films Every Which Way But Loose (1978), Any Which Way You Can (1980) and with Bo Derek's Tarzan, The Ape Man (1981).

TRIVIA NOTE: In 2005, the Virginia-based company Capital One ran a "non-human" themed ad spot that showcased a number of simians dressed in human clothes. Animal activists protested the use of simians in this manner and cried "Primates are not Props!"

Capital One Primate in a Suit

Capital One Baby Orangutan

Capital One Simians

In a spot called "Jungle," non-human primate babies party with a lot of stuff purchased on a stolen non-Capital One credit card. Their "Monkey Man" spot features six baby apes and a monkey celebrating wealth gained from interest on a non-Capital One credit card.


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