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Animal Stars and Their Memoirs

Les Marcott-Scene4 Magazine

Les Marcott

The chimpanzee has always been the go to animal for madcap fun and zany adventure.  So when a famous chimp decides to write their autobiography (yes, you read that correctly), I’m more than open to the possibility of reading it.  Me Cheeta chronicles the life of Cheeta of Tarzan movie fame.  Written when he was 76 years old and living comfortably in Palm Springs, Cheeta wrote with the slang and hipness of a Generation Xer.  He dishes out dirt and salacious stories about Johnny Weissmuller, Maureen O’Sullivan, Charlie Chaplin, and Rex Harrison to name a few.  After a career in film, Cheeta went on to become a renowned painter. Due to the overwhelming success of this memoir, look for other animal penned books coming soon to a bookstore near you.

The Long Lost Diaries of Mr. Ed by Bamboo Harvester aka Mr. Ed

It seems that the popular Mr. Ed was a meticulous recorder of the day to day events that occurred on the set of his hit tv show.  After a long day on the set, Ed would go home and type up his recollections.  Yes type! It wasn’t easy typing with one hoof. Two hooves were simply too big to fit on the typewriter.  Ed learned to manipulate the one hoof just enough to apply the right amount of pressure on the intended key.  These diaries were stumbled upon by a local horse whisperer at a flea market in Paducah,Kentucky.  They were later verified as authentic.  Proceeds from the sale of the book are being donated to Veterinarians Without Borders. An excerpt from August 22, 1962 reads: Another bad day on the lot.  Me and Alan (Alan Young – Ed’s costar) were goofing around on the set as usual when (name deleted due to legal reasons) came by to chastise me once again for my perceived disinterest in the script.  The script was crap as usual and since I could talk, I told him as much. I asked him what my motivation was. He then proceeded to call me an ingrate and told me my motivation was simply the fear of being sent to the glue factory!  (Ironically Mr. Ed later did voiceovers for Elmer’s Glue commercials.)  Later me and Alan being the pranksters that we are sneaked into (name deleted) office and I left a big hot steaming pile of dung on his desk.  I’m sure I’ll hear about that one.  But anyway, I’m sure I set him straight as far as who the real horse’s ass is.  

Gringos, Gauchos, and Flaming Hot Gorditas (My Life In Taco Bell Hell)

One of the most successful ad campaigns of all time which spawned the catch phrase “Yo quiero Taco Bell” centered around a cute, lovable Chihuahua named Dinky.  If you like your tacos served with a large dollop of bitterness, then this memoir is for you.  Dinky was the original Taco Bell dog and what most people don’t realize is that he was later replaced by a female Chihuahua named Gidget.  It seems that Dinky let all the fame and adulation get to his head. There were drugs, wild parties, photos of Dinky in compromising positions which led to blackmail, which led to alcoholism, depression, which led to his firing.  Before you know it, Dinky who once was the most famous dog in the world was out panhandling, wandering from shelter to shelter, and sadly turning tricks outside a Riverside, California Taco Bell.  Let Dinky’s story serve as a warning to any would be animal star.  Note:  This book is the first in what is sure to be a long line of publications from Bob Barker Press.   

The Day I Got Caught (A collection of remembrances, recollections, and regrets by various animals ensnared by the legendary Marlin Perkins)

The animals profiled in this collection were the original reality television stars and they achieved their 15 minutes of fame by being featured on the hugely popular Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom.  As a child, I grew up watching Perkins and marveled at his prowess and over the top antics in the pursuit of exotic wildlife.  Carl “The Crazy Cajun” Crocodile recalls one such encounter as he came face to face with Perkins in the bayous of Louisiana.  “Perkins was there with his henchmen along with a lot of cameras.  Perkins loved cameras.  In fact one of the most dangerous places one could be was in between Perkins and that damned camera.  Well anyway, up until my encounter with Perkins, my life was good. Damn good!  But Marlin Perkins destroyed all that.  My life was never the same again.  His mission was to ostensibly “save” the crocodile.  Save the crocodile from what?  One armed Cajun hillbillies?  Yea right.  And all the while, he was wearing these funky crocodile skin boots.  What a hypocrite!"  Carl’s battle with Perkins lasted twelve hours.  The highlights of such resulted in one of WildKingdom’s highest rated episodes. Carl continues, “…after the show I was “donated” to a zoo in Montreal.  Do you know how cold it gets in Montreal in the winter?  I froze my crocodile balls off!  And the insults I was subjected to…in French no less.  I did achieve some degree of satisfaction by leaving that silver haired sonofabitch bloodied and battered.  You never saw him try to apprehend another crocodile again, did you”?

It seems to me that the members of the animal kingdom are a lot like you and me.  They are no strangers to scandal, gossip, rumor, and innuendo.  They think like us, they behave badly like us, they emote like us, and now they can even write like us.  And occasionally they can pull our leg, just like I’m pulling yours.

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Les Marcott is a songwriter, musician, performer and a Senior Writer and columnist for Scene4.  For more of his commentary and articles, check the Archives.

©2020 Les Marcott
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March 2020

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