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NBC Network - Mr. Smith - "Dial-An-Ape" (1983)

Here's a promo for the short-lived NBC program Mr. Smith, about a talking orangutan. I guess they thought it would be a good idea to try and charge people 50 cents to hear what he had to say on the phone at 1-900-40-SMITH. The show lasted less than two months.

"All New! Message #2"

This promo aired on local Chicago TV on Tuesday, September 20th 1983 at a couple minutes before 10pm.

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This clip aired on Tuesday, September 20th 1983, and is included in the following categories:

Viewer Comments

Unfounded rumors back then had said that the show was actually cancelled because the orangutan (real name C.J.) had died of abuse and neglect during production.
I did some checking up and it appears that the show was actually cancelled due to low ratings.
This show would have probably worked on Saturday mornings or in syndication.

Comment posted by armitagenlowell on Tuesday, March 2nd 2010 at 12:33pm.

I remember this show. I don't know if I watched it, but I remember it. If I remember, this is around the time I started seeing many 900 and 976 commercials (I remember calling the Scott Baio hotline around this time, don't ask why). I remember a few years later calling 900 numbers during the MTV video fights and later, the party lines (bad mistake on these).
Comment posted by LaPrincess on Tuesday, March 2nd 2010 at 4:57pm.

The mouth syncing looks pretty good, almost like an anamatronic. How did they train him to move his mouth like that?
Comment posted by smctopia on Tuesday, March 2nd 2010 at 8:57pm.

I remember that show. I used to enjoy it because it was so funny. To bad it lasted only two months.
Comment posted by Loyal32fan on Tuesday, March 2nd 2010 at 9:03pm.

smctopia - I'm going to guess peanut butter with chunks of banana in it. ;-)
Comment posted by FuzzyMemories on Tuesday, March 2nd 2010 at 9:07pm.

WOW! Never realized that 900 numbers came out when I was so young.
Comment posted by Pete on Wednesday, March 3rd 2010 at 12:44am.

The ape named C.J. who was on Mr. Smith was in the 2 Clint Eastwood movies "Every Which Way But Loose" and "Any Which Way You Can" as Clyde the Ape.
Comment posted by dth1971 on Wednesday, March 3rd 2010 at 8:57am.

Actually, dth1971, there were 3 orangutans used in the movies. The first "Clyde" was beaten to death by his trainer before "Every Which Way But Loose" was filmed. The 3rd "Clyde" was employed for publicity.

http://apemuseum.com/clyde.htm

Comment posted by Pete on Thursday, March 4th 2010 at 12:58am.

So which "Clyde" was used for Mr. Smith? Hopefully the one that was beaten to death by his trainer? (just kidding - but boy , I'm sorry - that show sucked)
Comment posted by FuzzyMemories on Thursday, March 4th 2010 at 4:00pm.

LOL! The "Clyde" seen here was used in "Any Which Way You Can".
I also mentioned the wrong film in my earlier reply. The first "Clyde" was beaten to death by his trainer before AWWYC was filmed. My apologies for confusing anyone.

AWWBL-"Clyde" #1(Killed by trainer)
AWWYC-"Clyde" #2
Publicity-"Clyde" #3

Comment posted by Pete on Saturday, March 6th 2010 at 3:03am.

I came across something about this show and found out there apparently WAS an audio anamatronic puppet used in some scenes.
Comment posted by Smctopia on Sunday, October 27th 2013 at 1:51pm.

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This clip has been viewed 4289 times.
This clip debuted on FuzzyMemories.TV on Monday, March 1st 2010.
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