The Hathaway family consisted of two humans, Elinore and Walter, and three chimps, the Marquis Chimps. Elinore treated them like children and also served as a booking agent for the trio in their show biz act. Walter, a real estate agent, had mixed emotions about this arrangement wondering if his wife thought more of the chimps than him. The neighbors also had problems with the "children." Written by
J.E. McKillop <email@example.com>
WE HAD ALL but forgotten this series completely; when we were reminded of it several years ago. The occasion was the publication of a news item about 1930's & '40's TARZAN Series co-star,. Cheetah, was still living and enjoying life at a Hollywood home for retired simian performers.
IT STARTED A WEIRD chain reaction that brought THE HATHAWAYS back from being buried deep in the gray matter.
THERE HAVE CERTAINLY been some very strange premises for building a sitcom; but surely none were this bizarre. Even a 'clunker" like Jerry Van Dyke in MY MOTHER, THE CAR, couldn't measure up to all the references made by Peggy Cass about "the Children!"
AND CONCERNING THOSE "children", the Chimpanzees were played by real life Chimpanzees, "The Marquis Chimps"; which was a very well known animal act of its day. During this same period, the MARQUIS Clan was prominently featured with ventriloquist Paul Winchell, Jerry Mahoney & Nucklehead Smith along with archival Three Stooges footage in Columbia Pictures' cheapie ripoff, STOP, LOOK AND LAUGH!
BUT MEMBERS OF the Animal Kingdom weren't the only actors who found work on this series, for its cast contained many of those of 'familiar face' and unknown name variety. Among those appearing, we find: Joe Flynn (future Capitan Bingamton, McHALES'S NAVY), Robert Q. Lewis (TV/Radio personality), Frankie Darro (perennial film juvie tough & sometimes jockey), Mary Grace Canfield, George Ives, Joe Devlin and Harvey Lembeck.
IT ALSO GUEST starred the comedy team of Wally Brown & Alan Carney, who a decade or so earlier had been touted as RKO Radio Pictures' answer to Abbott & Costello!
UPON FURTHER REVIEW and In giving this animal/human thing a little further consideration, maybe it's not so outlandish a series after all. We mean, just look at that incident of a few years ago where that woman had her face mutilated by the pet ape; who slept with her. Or in Show Busines, remember what happened in Las Vegas with Siegfried and Roy and their trained Big Cat act?
WE OFTEN WONDER if those two called their Tigers "chil;dren" also?
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