Weird Nature The Bizarre Story Of The Chimp That Saved NBC's 'Today Show'  

Rebecca High

The Today Show has been a television standby since it first aired in January of 1952. It was the first of its kind and remains, as of 2018, the fifth-longest running American TV series. The NBC classic might have failed from the very beginning if it hadn't been for J. Fred Muggs, and this video tells his story.

The original season of The Today Show combined current events with comedy sketches, product demos, and other conversational topics, but it was unconventional for its time and pulled in low ratings.

It was in danger of being pulled from the network until a former NBC page decided to use his contacts to garner an audition for his pet chimp — J. Fred Muggs — for a hosting cameo.

They missed their audition and thought the opportunity was gone forever, but just then, some blind luck struck. The Today Show quite likely survived because of this happenstance; watch this behind-the-scenes trivia from one of television's most respected chimps.