Carole Womack, was the co-owner and trainer of Zippy the Chimp (known as Zippo in the Bilko show) along with her ex-husband, Lee Ecuyer. Here, Carol gives us an insight into what it was like working on The Phil Silvers Show.
"Lee died many years ago of cancer, I am remarried and live in Taylors, SC. My new married name is Womack (it was Ecuyer) I''ve been wed to Don for 30 years now. I worked on that Phil Silvers show with Lee but was off camera as I often was. Usually receiving the chimp or giving cues from different angles. We worked most of the big TV shows like: Ed Sullivan, Gary Moore, Jackie Gleason, Howdy Doody, Captain Kangaroo, so on."
"First we were under contract with NBC and then with CBS. Those were the days! Later I had an animal act, Alfie Cockatoo and Co or Alfie Cockatoo and His Comedy Macaws, which I toured with for thirty years. It was a comedy bird act and our website is still available on the internet." Here
"I believe Lee was only seen standing behind Zippy during the court martial. Lee was behind Zippy and his feet were seen in the foot scene as he was holding Zippy's hands and causing Zippy to move his hairy feet around in front of the eye doctor. He may have been in the scene where the test papers were switched. I would have to review that scenario."
Lee Ecuyer keeps a well honed eye on the inducted chimp!
Carole, continues: "The fact that the show was shot live was astounding!!! Not only that but it was shot in front of a live audience. Therefore, the laughter and responses were real. That show was voted the best and funniest of all the Bilko shows. I worked with Zippy for 23 years and trained fourteen Zippys. I also trained most of the couples that worked with Zippy. I was on many television shows with Zippy.
A fabulous new book is finally available about the escapades of Zippy during the wonderful, wacky, years of vintage TV. From Howdy Doody to David Letterman, Zippy the TV Chimp brought a new dimension to the hundreds of network shows he appeared on. Even more entertaining were the behind the scenes stories of his antics off stage; real life, unbelievable, funny and true! This chimp dressed, lived and traveled as a child, interacted with countless Television Hosts, Celebrities and people on the street. His adventures were limitless.
Zippy made more commercials than any comparable headliner. His Xerox commercial won the coveted Cleo Award. Personal appearances were in the thousands. He roller skated like a pro, rode his bike all over the country and made himself one of the most lovable chimps in history.
This book is about Zippy and Carole: Their odyssey together. From the early days of live television, with live commercials and performances in front of a live audience. To grand openings and other special occasions, to shows in malls and on fairgrounds, and movies, Zippy was ever the trouper. I trained and performed with Zippy for twenty three years and those years produced what you will find inside these covers. Sometimes funny and sometimes sad, those experiences are too significant to be forgotten “Baby Boomer”, animal lover, cult follower or curiosity seeker, there is a story inside for you
The book tells it all...a book you will never regret having purchased and read, it's harder to put down than that second potato chip!
Zippy The TV Chimp...order your copy TODAY! Click