Must-See Imaginary Television
Here are a few of the television series currently running in my head. Technology hasn’t developed to the point where you can actually watch them, and they probably aren’t worth actually making.
After appearing in an episode of “The Phil Silvers Show” (“The Court Martial”) as a chimp who joins the army, Zippo was a hot property. A series of super-successful guest appearances led NBC to decided in 1957 to catch lightning in a bottle and give Zippo his own show. Zippo’s owner Karl Polk was difficult to deal with and it took almost six months to find an idea he was comfortable with. That idea was “Monkey Millionaire.” NBC had wanted a more traditional show where Zippo lived with a family in the suburbs, but Karl wanted Zippo to have more screen time.
In the show, set in 1935, Zippo played Simian Sawbucks, a former circus monkey that became the ward of an insane millionaire. Although details were changed, the millionaire as he appeared was obviously inspired by William Randolph Hearst. After the millionaire died in mysterious circumstance, Simian Sawbucks inherited all of his money. Accompanied by his friend Rocko, a rough-and-tumble former boxer with a thick Brooklyn accent, he made his way around the United States eating bananas, solving problems and, for some unexplained reason, murdering prostitutes.
The show only aired twice and was then quickly canceled, but it is fondly remembered by most who saw it. Zippo would later, ironically, become a millionaire as the “spokeschimp” for asbestos. Karl Polk died in the electric chair.
Theme to Monkey Millionaire (Money, Monkey, Marvelous!)
Swinging from a vine above
Kidnapped from the trees he loved
Purchased by a wealthy man
who became his biggest fan
That man swallowed the wrong pill
left all his money in his will
to a brainy monkey just filled with flair
we all know him as Monkey Millionaire!
Monkey Millionaire looking jaunty in his suit
Monkey Millionaire pockets loaded down with loot
He eats bananas like rich monkeys do
He pays a hobo to fling his poo
THE BIG TIME BUMMER
Startup animation company Hijinxery was formed in 1964 by a group of moderately talented animators who met in the waiting room of Hanna Barbara while applying for jobs. None of them were hired, so they decided to band together into a kind of animation cooperative. They were all of similar sensibilities and each had a trust fund so instead of pitching ideas to studios, they decided they would just make an entire season and present it to executives as complete.
Big fans of “The Jetsons,” Hijinxery tried to imagine what it would be like if one of the rebellious youths of Haight-Ashbury were thrown into the future. While visually the cartoons were moderately interesting looking, none of the animators had much of a talent for dialog, so when copies of the episodes are traded today, the volume is usually turned down.
The lead character was named Harry Jointsman. Each episode would begin with him accidentally causing the Time Machine to land in a different year, almost always in the future. Then there would be a long establishing shot of the future landscape that would last for at least a minute while incredibly inept jazz played. Then, Harry would enter the usually sterile future city and teach the people there an important lesson from the past. Usually some crap about love and understanding. The humor came from Harry being tortured by future technologies, including the most famous scene where he gets plastic surgery to look like J. Edgar Hoover in full drag.
Sample Script Page:
Harry approaches really cool futuristic city.
Harry: I am Harry Jointsman, hippie from the past. Who are you, future man?
Future Man: Beep beep, I have never met a Hippie, Harry Jointsman. It is rumored that you knew something about that emotion of connection between people and did not charge for it.
Harry: Do you mean “free love”? Man, this future is a bummer! I am going to have to teach you about love.
Future Man: Beep beep, I am going to shoot you with my pain ray!
Harry: Police brutality, man!
Theme to Big Time Bummer
He’s a hippie from 1965
found a time machine he couldn’t drive.
There’s robots and cops, everything he hates
trapped in a future he didn’t create.
The Big Time Bummer is about to start
A stinky old hippie with a bleeding heart
The Big TIme Bummer is so cool it’s hot
A long haired, time traveller looking for pot
“Hey Man, I’m… lost in time. What’s a laser beam? OUCH!
That stings, time is such a bummer.”