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Series / Lancelot Link, Secret Chimp

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This early 1970s series was basically Get Smart with Chimpanzees (and in fact was created by two of that show's writers).

Lance Link and his partner, Mata Hairi, are agents of A.P.E. (the Agency to Prevent Evil), led by Commander Darwin. They oppose the sinister plans of CHUMP, whose members include Baron Von Butcher and his chauffeur Creto, the Dragon Woman and her assistant Wang Fu, Mad Scientist Dr. Strangemind, evil sheik Ali Assa Seen and the Duchess.

Lance and Mata are also part of a rock group called the Evolution Revolution, who are always introduced by Ed Simian.

Airing on ABC, the first season included a selection of Warner Bros. cartoons which up to then had not been screened on TV (mainly the "Dork Age" cartoons with the Daffy/Speedy pairing along with Cool Cat, Merlin the Magic Mouse, and Bunny & Claude).

The technique of lip-syncing chimpanzee actors was already well-known in Britain because of its use in a long-running series of tea commercials.

This series contains examples of:

  • Dragon Lady: Dragon Woman
  • Fake Band: Lancelot Link and the Evolution Revolution
  • Fun with Acronyms: A.P.E. is the Agency to Prevent Evil; C.H.U.M.P. is the Criminal Headquarters for Underworld Master Plan.
  • Grande Dame: The Duchess.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Several episodes were titled "The Great ______."
  • Intelligent Primate: The series is built upon chimpanzee agents Lancelot Link and Mata Hairi thwarting the various nefarious schemes of Baron Von Butcher, Doctor Strangemind, shiekh Ali Assa Seen, and other simian no-goodniks. Everyone is dressed in scaled-down clothes, and can mimic human actions such as driving a vehicle and cracking a safe.
  • Punny Name: The Evolution Revolution segments were introduced by "Ed Simian".
    • There's also Lance's partner, Mata "Hairi".note 
    • Lance and Mata's boss is named "Darwin" ("What's your theory, Darwin?")...
    • Von Butcher's chauffeur is named "Creto" supposedly a pun on "cretin".
    • One of CHUMP's agents is the Arab-themed "Ali Assa Seen". See what they did there?...
    • Another CHUMP agent is named "Dr. Strangemind".
  • Spy Versus Spy: A.P.E. versus C.H.U.M.P.
  • Unified Naming System: APE vs. CHUMP.
  • Yellow Peril: Wang Fu.