Lancelot Link, Secret Chimp was a live-action children's program that aired on ABC television from September 12, 1970, to September 2, 1972. Created with the intention of cashing in on two proven successful television formulas -- spy shows (Get Smart) and pop music (The Monkees and The Banana Splits) -- it was the Mr. Ed formula taken to the ultimate extreme. Lancelot Link featured actual live chimps with offscreen actors dubbing their goofy voices. It was actually funnier than it sounds. The half-hour series would follow a Get Smart-type plot involving the forces of good A.P.E. (Agency to Prevent Evil) against evil C.H.U.M.P. (Criminal Headquarters for Underworld Master Plan). The main characters besides Lancelot included Mata Hairi (Lancelot's girlfriend), Darwin, CHUMP the Baron, Creto Dragon Woman, and Dr. Strangemind. At the conclusion of each episode, a new song from the Evolution Revolution would be introduced. The Evolution Revolution consisted of several chimps dressed up in psychedelic threads situated around instruments with freaky out-of-sight camera angles perfected for the Saturday-morning crowd. An album was released on the ABC label, but failed to make an impact on the charts. While the original album has become a prized collector's item, the track "Sha-La Love You" appears on the Varese compilation Bubblegum Classics, Vol. 3. In the '90s, Lancelot Link reruns were shown for a short period on the cable network Nickelodeon and TV Land.
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