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Lancelot Link, Secret Chimp

Contributed by Florian Hardwig on Jan 8th, 2021. Artwork published in .
    The title card features all-caps  with a perspective drop shadow.
    Source: https://www.metv.com © SBM Productions, 1970. License: All Rights Reserved.

    The title card features all-caps Roberta with a perspective drop shadow.

    Lancelot Link, Secret Chimp is an early 1970s comedy series featuring a cast of chimpanzee spies. It was produced by Sandler-Burns-Marmer and first aired on ABC on September 12, 1970. From Fabulous Sebastian’s review for DVD Purgatory:

    Children’s television in the sixties and early seventies was bizarre. Really bizarre. I don’t know if drugs were involved, but reflecting on shows like Batman, The Magic Roundabout, Banana Splits, HR Pufnstuff, and even Sesame Street, makes me think they were. And in large quantities. Perhaps the oddest of them all was Lancelot Link, Secret Chimp, which was produced from 1970 to 1972. Mike Marmer and Stan Burns, probably inspired by the success of Get Smart (where they were writers), Planet of the Apes, and Mr Ed, had the idea to create a spy series using talking chimpanzees. The cost of creating costumes and sets in perfect scale for the apes made it the most expensive Saturday morning children’s show of its time. And it looks fantastic for the effort.

    The show centred around Link and his love interest, the glamorous Mata Hairi, who were spies for APE (Agency to Prevent Evil). APE were in a continual war with CHUMP (Criminal Headquarters for Underworld Master Plan), headed by Baron von Butcher (voiced by Bernie Kopell who played Siegfried in Get Smart). Each show also included Lance and friends performing as The Evolution Revolution, who were the coolest band of the time (much cooler than Josie and the Pussycats or The Monkees).

    Lancelot Link, Secret Chimp 2
    Source: https://www.youtube.com © SBM Productions, 1970. License: All Rights Reserved.
    The Agency to Prevent Evil (A.P.E.) wordmark uses  Bold with faux small caps, set on a curve and framed by bananas.
    Source: https://www.youtube.com © SBM Productions, 1970. License: All Rights Reserved.

    The Agency to Prevent Evil (A.P.E.) wordmark uses City Bold with faux small caps, set on a curve and framed by bananas.

    Roberta appears again for the secondary title card.
    Source: https://www.youtube.com © SBM Productions, 1970. License: All Rights Reserved.

    Roberta appears again for the secondary title card.

    The squarish sans-serif caps with rounded corners used for the logo of C.H.U.M.P. (Criminal Headquarters for Underworld Master Plan) appear to be custom lettering.
    Source: https://www.youtube.com © SBM Productions, 1970. License: All Rights Reserved.

    The squarish sans-serif caps with rounded corners used for the logo of C.H.U.M.P. (Criminal Headquarters for Underworld Master Plan) appear to be custom lettering.

    Among the accompanying merchandise was a metal lunch box produced by Thermos (1971). Here, the “Lance Link” wordmark uses  Shaded (Photo-Lettering, 1970). This precursor to  (1975) was drawn by Ed Benguiat, who also helped to develop the title graphic for Planet of the Apes in 1968. [House Industries] “Secret Chimp” is set in . Link is shown together with Mata Hairi and his boss, Commander Darwin.
    Source: https://www.flickr.com Rancho Cocoa. License: All Rights Reserved.

    Among the accompanying merchandise was a metal lunch box produced by Thermos (1971). Here, the “Lance Link” wordmark uses Bauhaus Geometric Shaded (Photo-Lettering, 1970). This precursor to ITC Bauhaus (1975) was drawn by Ed Benguiat, who also helped to develop the title graphic for Planet of the Apes in 1968. [House Industries] “Secret Chimp” is set in Broadway Condensed. Link is shown together with Mata Hairi and his boss, Commander Darwin.

    The reverse side of the lunch box shows Baron von Butcher, the Duchess, and another CHUMP villain.
    Source: https://www.flickr.com Chimpy Tater. License: All Rights Reserved.

    The reverse side of the lunch box shows Baron von Butcher, the Duchess, and another CHUMP villain.

    Lancelot Link also had a band, The Evolution Revolution, which released one self-titled album (Dunhill/ABC Records, 1970) of psychedelic bubblegum pop music, with a cover design by Douglas Carr. [More info on Discogs] The typeface chosen for the band is  (also known as Domingo), used in all caps.
    Source: https://www.amazon.com Dunhill Records. License: All Rights Reserved.

    Lancelot Link also had a band, The Evolution Revolution, which released one self-titled album (Dunhill/ABC Records, 1970) of psychedelic bubblegum pop music, with a cover design by Douglas Carr. [More info on Discogs] The typeface chosen for the band is Marschall (also known as Domingo), used in all caps.

    Gatefold of Lancelot Link And The Evolution Revolution. Photography by Mike Marmer and Allan Sandler.
    Source: https://www.tradera.com License: All Rights Reserved.

    Gatefold of Lancelot Link And The Evolution Revolution. Photography by Mike Marmer and Allan Sandler.

    Title card from a music video. In the show, the band was introduced by Ed Simian, a riff on Ed Sullivan.
    Source: https://www.youtube.com LancelotLink1970. License: All Rights Reserved.

    Title card from a music video. In the show, the band was introduced by Ed Simian, a riff on Ed Sullivan.

    Typefaces

    • Roberta
    • Bauhaus Geometric
    • Broadway Condensed
    • City
    • Marschall

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    1. I cannot believe that it’s taken me this long to 'Like’ and comment upon this font use!…especially given that Lancelot Link is inextricably 'Link-ed’ with Valérie Čižmárová via her cover of Lancelot Link and The Evolution Revolution’s 'Sha-La Love You’, 'Dávno nejsem hloupá' ('I’ve Not Been Crazy For A Long Time’), without which I’d never have heard of either one of that song, the group who performed it or the television show on which that group appeared, of which only three episodes were shown in the UK (9th, 16th and 23rd January 1971) on ITV, which our household didn’t get anyway, we being strictly BBC One and that was that!

      Roberta looks not a million miles away from the font used for the title of the debut album of Deep Purple, Shades Of Deep Purple, which I think someone here at Fonts In Use identified, but I’ve forgotten what they said it was – a musical memory of my youth, having had it as a Christmas 1975 present.

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