7 Crazy 'Planet of the Apes' Moments You Won’t Believe
By Matthew Chernov
When a film franchise lasts for more than four decades, it’s bound to collect a few odd moments along the way, and the Planet of the Apes series is no exception. As the eighth film in the popular saga arrives in theaters July 11, here’s a look at some of the strangest riffs on simian cinema.
The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson
Animal acts were a staple of Johnny Carson’s 32 years on The Tonight Show, and none were more memorable than when singer Paul Williams took the stage in full orangutan makeup and crooned a bluesy ballad to promote his role as Virgil in Battle for the Planet of the Apes. The lit cigarette in his hairy hand helped add to the surrealism.
The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour
During the second season of this CBS variety show, Cher dressed in a loincloth and appeared with a group of gorillas in a spoof of the original 1968 film. Guest stars for this episode included Telly Savalas and Lassie. Disappointingly, Sonny and Cher’s signature song lyrics were not changed to “I Got You Ape.”
The Carol Burnett Show
A year after appearing in his final Ape film, actor Roddy McDowall endured three-and-a-half-hours of chimpanzee prosthetics to perform a romantic song and dance with a comically flustered Carol Burnett. This vintage clip also includes a rare behind-the-scenes makeup demonstration.