Do you remember that show?
It was a safari type animal show with an old guy, Marlin Perkins, who always seemed to be in the studio office while his younger side kick was always on the scene in the bush somewhere right in the path of an angry hungry hippo, tiger, lion or bear.
I remember the narrator’s soft, calming voice describing the beauty of the serene gazelle.
This is the part where I hid my eyes because anyone who watched Wild Kingdom knew that the calmer the narrator’s voice
and the more beautiful the description of the serene animal,
the closer they were to a brutal end.
There was always some tiger hiding behind a bush that would
pounce suddenly and drag the gazelle off to munch on.
I talked about this with Monte and we had the same memories of the show so he decided to bring up a You Tube video to share the fun and death that was Wild Kingdom with Ellie.
It was a clip from an episode where Marlin Perkins was in the studio (shocker) with a monkey that was chained BY THE NECK to his office desk.
I’m not even joking.
Hooked to desk.
The monkey was not even 3 feet tall so no King Kong threat was apparent.
Ellie was appalled and she might have left the room at that point.
The monkey just shoved and shoved and shoved and shoved those berries into his mouth until his cheeks were ENORMOUS!
I guess they stored the berries in their cheeks for later meals.
The cheek capacity of this monkey was impressive.
I wanted to raise my hand and ask Marlin what kept another monkey,
maybe a little down on his luck in the berry finding department,
from walking up to an obviously filled-to-capacity-cheeked monkey
and just taking both little monkey fists and popping those huge cheeks balloon-style
thus shooting a few of those berries into his own mouth?
But Wild Kingdom was not an interactive show or much for
staying away from the gray areas of animal cruelty.
I have to admit that, for the most part, I thought the show was BORING.
(I don’t recall seeing the cheeky monkey episode back in the 70s).
The narrator’s calm tone of voice was like a monotone lullaby to me.
And to keep my dad from switching the channel to 60 minutes
which was like brutal torture to a kid.
I remember watching all kinds of great movies on The Wonderful World of Disney.
Ichabod Crane and the Legend of Sleepy Hollow (scared me half to DEATH when I was younger).
The Strongest Man in the World with Kurt Russell.
Remember the cereal he ate to make him strong?
And of course classics like The Apple Dumpling Gang with Tim Conway and Don Knotts.
The girls hated that too,
Sorry the bad guys carry guns they never use
and no one gets thrown into a vat of nuclear waste
turning them into a super villain
But I digress.
Sunday nights in the 70s was magical.
I miss that.
There just aren’t enough shows like that now.
Are there ANY shows like that??
If you know of any, let me know.