Model Airplane News|
Model Airplane News Cover for October, 1964
Zippy the TV Chimp
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Here is what the blurb about the cover has to say:
"...Our cover photo was taken by Lee Ecuyer, a well-known RC flyer at his studio. Lee is the trainer and manager of the famous performing chimpanzee known to millions of TV fans as "Zippy". Little old Zippy took tiome out of his busy schedule to pose with our equally famous Bob Dunham of Orbit Electronics as well as Lee's latest multi job also known as Zippy ..."
About Zippy the TV Chimp
Zippy was "discovered" by Bob Smith, "Buffalo Bob" of the long running and famous "Howdy Doody Show" while on vacation in New Orleans. Zippy stole a cherry out of Bob's drink and was rewarded with a five year contract, appearing at the end of the show. Zippy was probably even more famous than Howdy.
Carole Womack began working with Zippy in 1955. She trained and performed with Zippy for three years and then married Lee Ecuyer. The Ecuyers performed with zippy for nearly 23 years. Because Zippy was dressed and treated as a child, his freedom from restraint lended itself to numerous, unusal, fascinating adventures. He was known as the "TV Chimp" and appeared on countless TV programs beginning with Howdy Doody, and included "Golden Age" shows like Ed Sullivan, Jackie Gleason, and Steve allen, all the way through Johnny Carson and David Letterman. He performed with both Frank Sinatra and Mick Jagger as well as hundreds of other celebrities. There was a popular line of toys, books and other lines of merchandise based on Zippy.
The Zippy Phenomenon
That's Carole in the right photo
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Here is a video of Zippy taken in 1988 when he was 23.
Lee Ecuyer's model airplane named "Zippy" has apparently been lost to history.
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