For those of you under the age of 35, Lancelot Link Secret Chimp was a live-action Saturday morning kids show that ran from 1970-72, and sporadically in repeats for a few years after that. It featured secret agent chimps from APE (Agency to Prevent Evil) that battled an evil organization known as CHUMP (Criminal Headquarters for Underworld Master Plan). As was the custom at the time, the show also featured bubblegum pop musical interludes, and Lance’s band, Lancelot Link and the Evolution Revolution, provided the show’s music. Somehow the fact that the chimps were both secret agents and rock musicians provoked no cognitive dissonance for me when I was four. Hey, if the chimps could talk, why not?
In 1970, ABC Records released an above average bubblegum pop LP featuring music from the series credited to Lancelot Link and the Evolution Revolution. The music may not quite be up to the standards of the best of The Ohio Express or the 1910 Fruitgum Company, but it is pretty groovy nonetheless. And I have to give these chimps extra credit for even being able to play instruments, because I don't think most chimps can do that. And you gotta love the outfits!
The entire Lance Link series was recently released on DVD. Unfortunately, it has been the subject of a boycott by both animal rights groups who believe the animals were treated less than ethically during filming, and fundamentalist Christians who find the notion of talking chimps blasphemous. I understand Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum has even made a campaign issue out of it calling his opponent, Bob Casey, "soft on talking primates."