No, no, I had no personal relationship with the ill-fated Travis of Stamford. I do, however have a theory to share on the possible cause of his vicious insanity.
I suspect that despite his steady diet of filet mignon, lobster, and chocolate…despite his comfortable life and the love of his owner… he was a bitter chimpanzee.
Bitter that his acting career had been largely limited to commercials (Old Navy, Coca Cola). He had also appeared in a failed pilot for a series.
There were two sitcoms starring chimps that I can recall. (The fact that I recall them at all is probably cause for alarm.)
Jack Weston and Peggy Cass, two fine character actors, starred in “The Hathaways” in 1961. The show was about a couple who adopted three pet chimps and treated them like children. It didn’t last long.
In 1972, Ted Bessell played second fiddle in an even shorter-lived sitcom, “Me and the Chimp.” Bessell survived 13 episodes. (Bessell’s claim to fame was his role as the boyfriend on “That Girl.” I can only assume Marlo Thomas was easier to work with than the chimp.)
Travis never made it to a weekly series. There had to be long-simmering resentment. But his story has all the earmarks of a Lifetime movie. Love, laughter, a long-term relationship, and ultimately, tragedy.
How much do you want to bet a script is already in the works?